TUTORIAL: How to Create a Black & White Photo with a Colored Highlight

Clicking any of the images below will open them up to view larger.

Here is the effect I will show you today:

We've all seen photos where only one area has color and the rest of the picture is black and white. I will show you here a very simple way to accomplish this using Photoshop. As always, I am sure that this is not the only way to achieve this effect but it is the simplest way I have found.

Locate the photo you would like to apply this effect to. Here I am using my "Red was Clueless" image and will just be letting Red Riding Hood's signature attire appear in color.

1. Once you have your image, you will want to remove all color from it. Go to (1.) "Image" ---> (2.) "Adjustments" ---> (3.) "Hue/Saturation".

2. Now with the (1.) "Master" channel chosen you will want to slide the (2.)"Saturation" level all the way to the left. You can also accomplish this by typing in (3.) -100 in the box you see circled above. This removes all color information from the photograph, leaving you with a black and white image.

3. Now you will be "painting" back in the color you wish to have visible. In this case, I have "painted" in the Red Cape. This is accomplished by using the( 1.)"History" brush. This brush can be adjusted like any other photoshop brush. You can change the (2.) size, or even the (3.) opacity of the brush to suit the desired effect.

4. Above, you will see the end result. If you feel the color you have added back in appears too bright, or saturated, you can follow Steps 1 and 2 to fade out the color a bit. Play around, it's fun!

As always, if you have any questions or comments, please leave me a message. Thanks for looking!


Kirsty said…
nice tutorial!
Ingo Jewelry said…
Excellent info. I am planning to install Photoshop on my laptot. I'll try that
Derya said…
This is nice, thank you! I have photoshop elements,still learning, I'll try to do this with my program.

I've always wanted to learn how to give that stained old photo effect, mostly on the edges.. I couldn't find any tutorial on the internet to be able to achieve that with elements. Any info or help will be appreciated! :)
Susan said…
I was successful following your tutorial. I used Photoshop Elements 7 and a few things were a little different but I was able to figure those out. Thanks so much!
Anonymous said…
your tutorial worked for me, it was great! and so easy! where can i find more?
Anonymous said…
your tutorial worked for me, it was great! and so easy! where can i find more?
Anonymous said…
I have Adobe photoshop elements 4.0,I dont seem to have the same icons, and I cant work it out, would you be able to tell me what I use on my program thanks
To find more tutorials, just enter the term in the search box located below "followers" on the home page.

I can not answer the question about Elements 4.0...sorry...I am not familiar with that program.

Thanks for checking out my blog!