Selective Coloring is a technique that you can do using photo editing software like Photoshop if you need to highlight some portions of your photograph. Using this technique, you can make your subject stand out and draw more attention to it by highlighting its natural color while leaving the background in black and white or sepia. There are several ways to do this in Photoshop. The easiest would be to convert the image into black and white and leave the portions that you want to highlight in color. Below is a very easy step-by-step tutorial that I developed using Photoshop CS3:
STEP 1: Once you have the image opened in Photoshop, go to the toolbar and click IMAGE/ADJUSTMENT/DESATURATE. This will convert your image to black and white. If you know other ways to convert your photo to black and white, then by all means, use that technique you are most comfortable with. STEP 2: Select the History Brush tool. For best results, adjust the brush size to what you think is the best for the image you are working on. Then brush the area where you want to restore color. This can be done by selecting the down arrow (by the History Brush icon on the tool bar). Remember also that its is best to set the “Hardness” of your brush to 100%. If the area that you need to brush has lots of details, then you can always use some of Photoshop’s selection tools such as the lasso or the magic wand before starting to brush the area that you want to restore color.
If you need a detailed tutorial for some complicated post-process selective coloring, then this video tutorial via youtube would be helpful for you.
For your inspiration, we also look around for some excellent examples of selective coloring done in Photoshop. To view the larger version of these images, simply follow the link provided below each preview.
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