ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Creating Color Accents with Free Photo Programs or Photoshop - Black and White with Color Accents

Updated on June 21, 2011

Color Accents

Color Accented Photographs are images which are both black and white as well as color.

Correct use of color accents can create a dramatic impact to your photographs. By using color accenting you can isolate your subject from the rest of the photograph.

You may be familiar with the dramatic photographs by Kim Anderson, with children wearing old fashioned adult clothing. These are excellent examples of Color Accented Photographs.

Hand coloring can be used to add color to black and white images. But, with digital color images you can easily create color accents on your computer.

Using the methods below you can learn how to create your own Color Accented Photographs.

Original Color Photograph

Color Accented Photograph

Selecting an Image to Color Accent

No matter the method you use the first and most import step to creating a color accented photograph is selecting the right image.

You can use color accents to remove distracting colors from the background, like the red flower above. You can also select a certain color from an image and only keep that color, like with the blue in the dragon flies to the right.

When selecting an image to color accent, think about how you are going to accent the image and how it will look like afterward.

The hardest part of creating color accents are the borders between the colored and black and white elements. For your first attempts at color accents try to use images where the area you want to accent has a black or white border and is not ajecent to another color.

How to Create a Color Accent

Method 1

One simple way to create a color accent is to use the Layer, Desaturate, Erase Method.

  1. Layer - Create a new layer from the original visible image.
  2. Desaturate - Convert the top layer to black and white by dropping the saturation of the layer to zero.
  3. Erase - Simply use the eraser tool erase the area which you would like to restore the color to.

Method 2

Another way to create a color accent is to use the Select, Invert, Desaturate Method.

  1. Select - Make a selection of the area that you would like to leave colored.
  2. Invert - Invert the selection so that you now have the area you would like to be black and white selected.
  3. Desaturate - Convert the selection to black and white.

Method 3

If you have just one color that you would like to accent than you can use the Select By Color, Invert, Desaturate Method.

This method works great when creating a color accent with one just one color.

  1. Select By Color - Use the Select By Color tool to select the color range you would like to keep in your color accent.
  2. Invert - Use the selection invert to select the area to be converted to black and white.
  3. Desaturate - Convert the selection to black and white, leaving just the color range you selected to accent the image.

The exact proceedure for these steps can vary depending on the image editing software you are using. As basic programs like MS Paint do not support layers you will need a decent image editing program like Adobe Photshop or Corel Paint Shop Pro. If you do not want to spend the money on Photoshop or Paint Shop Pro, The Gimp is a great free alternative.

100% Opacity

80% Opacity

Opacity

By default the eraser is set to 100% opacity. This will completely erase the area from the desaturated layer and give you the full original color, which you may not always want.

By adjusting the opacity of the eraser you can desaturate the color slightly, so it is not as over powering.

Using a lower opacity can also give your image a more rustic look.

You can see a noticeable difference in the in the examples to the right. The top image was made with 100% and the lower image was made with 80% opacity.

Tip: First create your color accent with 100% opacity. Then, create another new layer from the visiable layers. Now use varying opacities until you find the desired opacity. Since you already cleaned up the borders on the layer below you can quickly and carelessly erase at the edges.

Comments

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    • Movie Master profile image

      Movie Master 

      7 years ago from United Kingdom

      Thanks for the tutorial, I am looking forward to trying this.

    • Peggy W profile image

      Peggy Woods 

      7 years ago from Houston, Texas

      Would like to learn how to do this. Thanks for the tutorial. Bookmarked!

    • DenverPhotography profile image

      DenverPhotography 

      8 years ago from Denver, Colorado

      Beautiful photo. The reds are so dark and deep I love it! Thanks for sharing.

    • nikki1 profile image

      nikki1 

      8 years ago

      Thank you for sharing. Beautiful photos.

    working

    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, hubpages.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: https://hubpages.com/privacy-policy#gdpr

    Show Details
    Necessary
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Features
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Marketing
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Statistics
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)