Saturday, June 04, 2011

How to Make Photos with Black and White Background and Colour Subject

This is to make the photo basically black and white but only the specific subject in colour. The basic idea involves the following:
- Make two copies of the same image in 2 separate layers
- Convert one layer to grayscale
- Switch to the colour layer and select most of the photo leaving the subject unselected.
- Delete the selection, leaving just the colour subject on top of the grayscale subject.

The steps below shop how to achieve this using Photoshop Elements.
1. To make a copy of the image: Layer -> Duplicate layer.
2. To select the bottom layer to work with, go to the Layer Palette on the right side of the screen. Then click Background to select the bottom layer.
3. To convert bottom layer to black and white:
   Enhance -> Convert to Black and White.
Since the black and white layer is at the bottom, you would not see any difference to the top layer.
4. Use a selection tool to select the image that you want to be in colour. For example we can use the Magnetic Lasso to select the subject.
5. To remove everything else besides the subject, with the subject selected from the previous step, now choose Select -> Inverse. Then press Delete.
This will leave the subject in colour on top and the bottom black and white background will appear.

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