Monday, June 25, 2012

Tutorial Time

I've had fun creating and posting black and white and color photo combinations in PhotoShop Elements.  Apparently, a few of you have liked the results and one has asked for a tutorial on how to create these images.

I'm going to do my best to keep this simple.  I know most people cringe when they hear the word PhotoShop.  It is a powerful and complex program and can be very intimidating but, we're not going to think about that because this process is fairly simple.

Are you ready?  Do you have a photo picked out that you would like to play with?  Then grab a cup of coffee or a big 'ol glass of sweet tea, open up that photo in Elements and let's have some fun!  Here's my photo from yesterday's post already opened in Elements.

Go ahead and edit the photo the way you normally would, i.e., crop, tweak colors (found under the Quick tab to the right), etc. focusing on the part of the photo that will be in color until you achieve the desired results.  Do not sharpen or resize the photo just yet.

Now that you're finished with the editing we're going to make a duplicate copy of the photo.  Click on the Full tab underneath Edit (to the right of your screen).  Now click Layer from the Menu bar and select Duplicate Layer.

You can choose to name the layer or use the default which will name it Duplicate copy.

You should now have two layers underneath your Layer section on the right.

Now, we want to convert the layer you just created to Black and White.  To do this, first make sure the Duplicate copy layer is selected.

Then, click Enhance on the menu bar and scroll down to select Convert to Black and White.

You will then see this screen...

There are several choices to choose from under Select a style in the lower left corner.  Click on the choices to see which one you like best (you'll see the changes in the black and white photo).  Since I have been converting landscape type photos I leave it on Scenic Landscape.  Once you've decided then click OK.

Now for the fun part, erasing the part of the image that you want in color.  Make sure you are still on the Duplicate copy layer (the black and white one) and select the Eraser tool on the left menu bar.  You'll want to adjust your eraser size to get the most coverage during the first series of 'erasing'.  With your eraser tool selected, look at the box just underneath File, Edit and Image in the menu bar.  That box will show you the size of your eraser.  To adjust the size, click on the small arrow where it says Size and a slider bar will pop up.  Slide it to the right or left until you get the size that will do the most coverage at first.  (To check the actual size, put your cursor on the area you want to erase and the curser will change into a circle.  You don't want your circle to be larger than your area.  You want it smaller.  We'll do the fine erasing in a bit.)

Now let's do some erasing...

You'll notice I just focused on the large parts of the flower during the initial erasing.

Next, we'll move in to do the finer bits of erasing.

Click on the Magnifying tool on the left menu bar.  You'll notice plus or minus buttons just above the magnifier.  Make sure plus is selected then click and drag the magnifying tool over the area you want to focus on first.

Decrease the size of your eraser tool.  Remember how?  Select the eraser tool and under Size slide the bar to the left to decrease the size.  You may need to do this several times depending on how complex your image is or if there are a lot of nooks and crannies (yes, I need to eat something thus the English muffin reference, lol!).

Once you've completed the area, use the slider bars on the side and bottom to move your image around so that you can continue to erase the rest of the areas.  TIP:  erase small segments at a time so that if you mess up you can undo it and you will have a smaller portion to redo.

How's it going?  It's OK if you end up erasing a little more around the edges.  It doesn't have to be exact.  Have you practiced changing the size of your eraser?

Now let's see how you did.  Click View from the menu bar and select Fit on Screen.

Check your image now and see if there are any noticeable spots (especially around the edges) that you missed or are unhappy with.

I'm satisfied with the results.  If you find that you've missed or want to fine tune an area just click on the magnifier tool, then the eraser until you're satisfied.

Now, we'll finish up the image.  Click Image, select Resize, then scroll to the right and select Image Size.

For web use, I usually resize the largest side of my image to 640 pixels and keep the proportions box checked (actually all three are checked).

Click View again and select Fit on Screen.

Now to sharpen the image.  Select the original background layer (to the right) then click on Enhance on the Menu bar and select Auto Sharpen.

That should crisp up your image and your edges.  If you'd prefer to have a softer look then skip the Sharpening step.

Tada!  That's all there is to it!

At this point, the rest is up to you, whether you add a watermark or flatten the image before saving.

I've tried to keep it simple and explain everything but if I've left something out, or you have any questions, please don't hesitate to ask.  I'll do my best to answer and explain it better.

I hope you had fun and I'd love to see your images.  (Maybe I should start a Linky (if I can figure out how to do that) of black, white and color images... what do you think?!)

Till next time,


Country Gal said...

Great info ! Papa here is a Photo shop junkie lol he has the newest version . I am slowly learning from him , I have never been a computer wize like he is with all this stuff but like my digital photography I learn by trial and error lol ! Nice photo ! Have a great day !

Country Gal said...

Oh and he is teaching me Lightroom as well OH my I get confused some times lol .

Anonymous said...

Good job!

Lisa @ Two Bears Farm said...

I am soooo impressed with your Photoshop skills! I have struggled the few times I've tried to use it. I fare better with online editing programs it seems.

Georgianna said...

Wonderful tutorial! Great of you to create this so others can learn. Great job!

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