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Photoshop tips: Selective Color Photography

Posted by oneslidephotogaraphy On March - 5 - 2013

Photoshop tips - Selective Color Photography Tutorial

Photoshop tips - Selective Color Photography Tutorial




Selective color photography is a photography technique where the resulting photos will have a few prominent colors against a black and white background. The following is tips and tricks to achieving a selective color photograph using adobe photoshop. These steps are simple, and can be done by even the most novices in digital editing.


1. Open the colored photo to be process in Photoshop.
Photoshop tips -  Selective Color Photography

Photoshop tips - Selective Color Photography




2. Click Layer >> Duplicate Layer
Photoshop tips - duplicate layer

Photoshop tips - duplicate layer




3. There will then be a “background copy” layer in the layer window.
Photoshop tips - duplicate layer

Photoshop tips - duplicate layer




4. Change the “background copy” to black and white. Here I use ‘gradient map” to change the image to black and white. (image >> Adjustments >> Gradient map…)
Photoshop tips - gradient map

Photoshop tips - gradient map




5. Now, add a masking layer to the background copy. The “add layer” button is on the bottom part of the layers window.
Photoshop tips - add layer mask

Photoshop tips - add layer mask




6. Use the “brush” tool and set the opacity as necessary. Here, I use 47% as the opacity setting. The black brush is used to erase any parts of the “background copy” layer, while the white brush returns any erased section. Erase any unwanted black-and-white effect of the “background copy” with the black brush. Use the zoom tool for higher precision when brushing over any borders.
Photoshop tips - brush

Photoshop tips - brush




Photoshop tips - brushing

Photoshop tips - brushing




7. After the masking is done, it should look like this:
Photoshop tips - selective color photograph

Photoshop tips - selective color photograph




S p o n s o r e d L i n k s





7 Responses to “Photoshop tips: Selective Color Photography”

  1. Steve says:

    Sir/Maam,
    I can’t get enough.please include the complete step. i am really interested with your tutorials. but i can’t get the instructions clearly. thank you.

    • admin says:

      Hey steve! i’m glad you find my tutorial useful. what do you find unclear? please elaborate. maybe i can edit the entry to make it more understandable :)

  2. nurul says:

    i cnt follow it..which photoshop that u use..i try to do it..but cant..please help.

  3. matani says:

    Hey Admin….

    Even me I can’t follow the instruction after step 5.

  4. Anshuman Chandel says:

    I got it done till step 5 but I just cant get step 6, the brush thing . Please help me out with that.

  5. Zepp says:

    Hey…thanks for this illustrative tips…really helped…:) i was wondering if there are any other ways to do selective color filtering?…like if i have to do selective color filtering for a splashing water…or something else that is highly tedious…mm
    any help would he highly appriciated…thanks

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