Saturday, 21 July 2012

Selective colouring and particles!!!

Hello interweb. there is a very strange bright thing in the sky outside. I'm scared so I thought I would pop along here and share with you my method of selective colouring a black and white photograph.
I am not a massive fan of this type of photograph myself but some subjects do work well with the technique and all I am doing is sharing my method with you. The whole process can be done in Photoshop but as my work flow now includes Lightroom I will begin there.
Please click on any of the images for a larger version.
First off we need to open our Raw file in Lightroom.

Here I have adjusted the colour temperature to cloudy as I nearly always have it set to auto on the camera. I have adjusted the exposure very slightly to darken the image a little and made minor adjustments to the luminance to get rid of a bit of noise. Export or save this image to a folder where you can find it later.
Next we convert the image to a black and white one. There are lots of different ways of doing this which I am not about to go into here but try to get a good tonal range by making adjustments to the levels etc so that you get rich blacks and a good tonal range all the way up to the white highlights. Export or save this black and white image to the same folder as before and give it a new name.

Next we need to open up both images in Photoshop.

Here we make the black and white image active and click on edit-select all. We then copy and paste this image on top of the colour image using the edit-copy-paste command.
This should have created a new level with the black and white level on top. Make sure that the black and white level is highlighted to work on and then select the eraser tool from the tools menu.

For this image I set the eraser tool to 32% opacity flow 100% and simply started to paint over the poppy and it's stem adjusting the size of the brush as needed for the more intricate bits. Click away until the amount of colour you require has come through.
If you go over a bit you didn't mean too simply go to edit undo(this is why I click lots of times instead of painting large areas)
Once you are happy with your image you will go to Levels-Flatten Image.
I will then make a few more adjustments and maybe use the burn tool a little to burn in some of the midtones but only very small amounts at a time (set at 2%).

If you really want a dreamy effect you could always add a little diffuse glow which can be found under the filters menu but it is all subjective really.

Time from opening up first image in Lightroom to getting final edit? About 5 minutes.
And so to some drivel interweb,  We are a specific arrangement of particles and this instant is infinite. Did we luck out, or didn't we? The odds against this sentence having ever being typed, much less the odds against you reading it were inconceivable. Smile, because the fact that you're able to is almost impossible to comprehend.

Peace out yall, THE BAGSTAXXX

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