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How do you make the background black & white and subject color

JJ Adams , Aug 03, 2003; 09:49 p.m.

Such as a color butterfly in a black & white background.

I used "cutout" option to remove the butterfly and then changed to background to black & white but my freehand cutout is terrible.

Any help is appreciated. Thanks


matt betea , Aug 03, 2003; 10:23 p.m.

The main way to do this is through the Hue/Saturation panel under Image/Adjust, or more perferably, Layer/New Adjustment Layer. Once you're in that, go through all the color channels and drag the Saturation slider all the way left. Say the butterfly is yellow, desaturate all colors except for yellow.

If that doesn't work 100% for your image, try using one of the selection tools to outline the subject you want in color. Then go to Select/Inverse and then bring up the Hue/Saturation panel again. This time under Master, bring the saturation slider all the way to the left.

The first way should work most of the time. The second method would be for the times when you have a lot of the same colors in the subject as well as the background. Hope that helps.


Nic Turchin , Aug 03, 2003; 10:54 p.m.

Here's a pretty easy technique a friend of mine showed me:

Create a new adjustment layer >>> Hue/Saturation

Turn the saturation down to 0. This will produce an entirely greyscale image.

Now, select the adjustment layer, grab your eraser tool and erase away the portions of the layer you wish to be in color. Use a feathered brush to make the edges less hard. This method has produced some very pleasing macro-flower shots for me. I'm going to try it on some of my butterfly shots now! :)


John Lund , Aug 04, 2003; 12:34 a.m.

Photoshop meets Ted Turner

Please don't. Selective de-saturation/colorization is such a faddish gimmick. It can work, but most of the time it's just a cheap ploy to punch up a mediocre photo. Lipstick on a pig.

Then again, I recognize that not everyone shares my tastes. Experiment and enjoy yourself.

Jerry Litynski , Aug 04, 2003; 12:38 a.m.

Hmmmmmm -- "Lipstick on a pig."

Wal-mart has made millions to selling lipstick to some rather large ladies.

Ivan Colman , Aug 04, 2003; 09:55 a.m.

I agree with Mr Lund that selective coloration should be considered very carefully. In most cases the selctive colors do not add any value to the photo. Even less...it is often used to push some less-succeeded photo's. <P><P>

Of course there are always exceptional situations where a selctive colored element could work and take the whole photo some stages higher. And for these cases, the above described techniques could offer a good approach !<P><P>


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