Selective color photo effect

The selective color photo effect shows a photo in black and white with just one element left colored. The effect is popular and is often used in advertising and in Wedding photography. As it is a relatively easy effect to achieve, you can create this effect on a favorite photo and we will show you how.

For this tutorial, we are using If you haven’t yet installed, revisit Issue 1 of this newsletter to learn how to download and install it.

Launch, choose File > Open and choose a photo to use. A photo with one distinct colorful element is a good choice. Choose Layers > Duplicate Layer to add a second version of the photo on top of the first – you should see no difference in your photo at this stage.

Choose Adjustments > Black and White to make the top copy of the photo black and white. As the layer underneath still contains the original full color photo you will now erase part of this top layer to reveal the color version of the photo underneath. To do this, click the Eraser tool in the Tools collection.

Use the dropdown list at the top of the window to set the size of the Eraser. Paint with the Eraser over the area of the photo that you want to return to full color. Work slowly, erasing in small steps and adjust the size of the eraser as you go.

If you make a mistake, choose Edit > Undo and start over. Use the Zoom option on the menu bar to zoom in close to the area you are working on. When you are done, choose File > Save As and give your photo a new name so you don’t overwrite your original colored image.