How To Create a Selective Color Photo Effect in Adobe Photoshop

Hello everyone this is Chris from Spoon Graphics back with another video tutorial for Adobe Photoshop Today I'm going to show you how to create a popular photo effect that goes by many names, including selective colour photography, spot color photography, colour isolation photography, partial colour photography, colour splash photography, colour accent photography and many many more

No matter what you want to call it, it's where a photograph is converted to black and white with a single colour preserved to highlight specific areas This simple photo effect is often slammed for being overused, so we'll also throw in some additional techniques to mix up the result with subtle toning and cross processing effects To begin we need a photograph that has a bright colour that we can highlight This effect is most commonly used with red areas, but any colour can be selected I'm using this photo of a cute little puppy from Unsplash

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com It has a nice bright red bucket that we can focus on, as well as the dog's collar Head to Select > Color Range In the dropdown menu there's a range of preset colour channels we could choose, one of which is Reds, however the red hue in a photograph isn't always a perfect red Instead, choose Sampled Colour and click on your artwork to determine which area should be selected

Toggle on the Localized Color Clusters option and alter the fuzziness slider so the selection applies to the lighter and darker tones of your sampled colour Choosing the Black Matte preview mode is useful to visually see the area that is being captured in the selection Click OK to make the selection, then go to Select > Inverse Apply a Black and White adjustment layer to convert the image to black and white, while automatically applying this selection as a layer mask, which allows the original red portions of the image to show through If your photograph has areas of red in the background that you don't want highlighting, you can use the brush tool to mask these areas by painting them with white

I quite like the dog's collar being highlighted in red in this example, so I'll Undo that additional masking That's the basic effect complete, but let's finish it off with a few extra processing techniques Add a Levels adjustment layer and boost the contrast by dragging the shadows and highlights sliders inwards slightly The matte effect is really popular in photography circles at the moment This can be quickly replicated by adjusting the Black Output Level slider

Dragging it inwards will convert the blacks to a darker grey Since the red portions of the image are meant to stand out, we can use a Vibrance adjustment layer to boost the colour even further Unlike Saturation, vibrance doesn't blow out the colour as much Even though the majority of the image is black and white, a subtle split toning effect will give the image an interesting processed look Split toning is when analog photos were developed with Selenium and Sepia to add silvery blues in the shadows and yellowy browns in the highlights

We can replicate the effect in Photoshop by adding a Color Balance adjustment layer Change the drop down menu to Shadows and move the sliders to add more Cyan and Blue Values of around -10 and +13 work well Switch to the Highlights and move the slider to add more yellow and a touch of red, such as +7 and -13 Tweak the overall colour hues with the Midtones with small values changes like +7 and -5

The image still has a black and white appearance but toggling the Color Balance layer off and on shows the difference this subtle split toning effect has to the photograph The most recognisable transformation is the red highlights though, which draw the eye into specific areas of the image and give it a nice artsy appearance Combining these different processing techniques helps generate some really interesting photographs So I hope this tutorial helps you out If you enjoyed the video or learnt any new techniques be sure to stick around for more by subscribing to the Spoon Graphics Youtube channel, or join my mailing list at spoon

graphics to receive notifications of all my videos, written tutorials, free resources and design inspiration So as always thank you very much for watching, and I'll see you in the next one

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