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Photoshop Elements: How to Make Black and White Photography With Color

Updated on November 23, 2018
angela_michelle profile image

Angela, a lover of photography and the beauty it creates, has taken courses and read many books to help with this artform.

There are so many amazing things you can do in PhotoShop. Have you ever seen those gorgeous pictures of the children holding a rose, where the photo is in all black and white with the exception of the red rose? Well, here is a simple way to get that effect using PhotoShop Elements. This step-by-step instructional guide portrays a photo of what your screen will look like, as you do each step. You will be able to see what buttons to press, and where they are on the screen.

This Is the Before Photo

Source
smart tool
smart tool | Source

Step One: Click on the Smart Tool:

The smart tool is on the right. It is emphasized by the darkened area around it. If you are uncertain you are clicking on the correct icon, hover above it for a few seconds and you will see a bar coming that will tell you what the icon is. If it says "smart tool." Click on it. Once you do this, you will see a new drop-down menu on the top of the screen.

Click on this drop down menu and scroll to black and white in reverse.
Click on this drop down menu and scroll to black and white in reverse. | Source

Step Two: Scroll Down and Click on "Black and White in Reverse."

The drop-down menu will be right above your work area and below the main menus. Click on the arrow clicking down, and you will find "black and white in reverse." Assuming you have the same version as me, it should be one of them that uses a flower icon.

Then you will want to click on the areas that you want to highlight.
Then you will want to click on the areas that you want to highlight. | Source

Step Three: Highlight the Area That You Want To Be Colored

When you first press black and white in reverse, you may feel like nothing happened. So take your cursor and click on an area that you want to remain in color. The moment you release the right button on your mouse, all except the highlighted area will turn black and white. You will want to keep putting the mouse over the area until all of it is highlighted. There will be a lot of tweaking which will be explained in the next step. This refining will take several minutes.

Right next to the drop down menu you will see a plus and minus brush.
Right next to the drop down menu you will see a plus and minus brush. | Source

Step Four: Coloring Inside the Lines

Next, to the drop-down menu, you will see three important buttons. The first two, you will see are a brush with a (+) next to it and one with a (-) on it. These are very essential to tweaking. Click on the plus area when you want to continue to add color to the picture. If you have gotten areas that you don't want to be colored, then use the minus button, and spread over those areas. This will be the most time-consuming part. By maximizing your image, this will be much easier.

The diameter brush tells you how big the brush is.
The diameter brush tells you how big the brush is. | Source

Step Five: Changing Brush Sizes Help

The tweaking will be the most tedious part. By adjusting the diameter of the brush, it will be easier to make the object as perfect as possible. You will find this button next to the plus and minus brushes. You will probably want to start out with a larger brush, (I use twenty to start with). Then when you begin tweaking, use smaller (I usually use between 1 and 7 for refining the area). This will be a long game of going between the plus and minus, adjusting the brush size until it's perfect and to your liking.

Once everything is highlighted and perfect, then flatten it! Then voila! Your picture is finished.
Once everything is highlighted and perfect, then flatten it! Then voila! Your picture is finished. | Source

Step Six Flatten The Image

This may not make sense unless you are familiar with Photoshop. When you start editing, the program will automatically make another layer to your picture. This means that everything you will do will be on its own separate layer. The background, which is the image you started with will always be there until you flatten your image. They do this, so that way if you do a lot of work, and you want to scratch it, it is an easy one-step change. Or if you have several layers going, and you realize you want to scratch a previous layer without scratching what you just did, then you can delete that layer without affecting what you had just done. Once you become familiar with Photoshop this will make more sense.

The important thing to note, before flattening a layer is that once it has been done, you can not change it. If you want to undo anything you already did, you will have to get your original and start from scratch. So before you flatten the image, you need to make sure you are pleased with your work.

Once you have decided you are pleased with it, you will want to click on the top layer. A menu will appear. It should look like the one to the right. The darkened area is the layer that I had clicked on to make my project. It should help you locate it on your screen. On the menu "flatten image" will be the very bottom item on the pop-up menu. Click on it, and you are done!

Step Seven: Save! And Enjoy!!

Once you save your final project, you can sit back and enjoy your beautiful masterpiece. Show it off to all of your friends.

Before with color background.
Before with color background. | Source
After when pulling color out!
After when pulling color out! | Source

© 2010 Angela Michelle Schultz

Comments

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    • angela_michelle profile imageAUTHOR

      Angela Michelle Schultz 

      6 years ago from United States

      Thank you so much!

    • Alex Jose profile image

      Alex Jose 

      6 years ago from Cleveland, Ohio

      Awesome and will definitely try this out at home next time. Voted up for this hub.

    • angela_michelle profile imageAUTHOR

      Angela Michelle Schultz 

      7 years ago from United States

      Hope you have fun with it!

    • photobackdrop profile image

      photobackdrop 

      7 years ago from Michigan

      Amazing! I must try this out. Thanks!

    • angela_michelle profile imageAUTHOR

      Angela Michelle Schultz 

      7 years ago from United States

      This is a lot of fun! I hope you enjoy doing this as much as I do!!

    • Eiddwen profile image

      Eiddwen 

      7 years ago from Wales

      A very useful hub which I will bookmark.

      Thanks for sharing and take care

      Eiddwen.

    • angela_michelle profile imageAUTHOR

      Angela Michelle Schultz 

      8 years ago from United States

      Thank you so much for that really nice compliment. I liked the photo a lot. I actually love Photoshop Elements, I have so much fun with it. Which reminds me I have a lot of pictures to download. If this wasn't such a crazy world, I'd show some of the amazing things I do with pictures of people (especially my daughter).

    • agvulpes profile image

      Peter 

      8 years ago from Australia

      angela_michelle, terrific Hub. I did not realize that Photoshop Elements was so versatile !

      The image is quite striking when you have a black and white background.

    • angela_michelle profile imageAUTHOR

      Angela Michelle Schultz 

      8 years ago from United States

      Gateway6 to Jesus, weren't those photos so gorgeous. I did some of those with pictures of my daughter. The pictures with little kids or even people turn out the best with black and white, but I don't want to show pictures of my daughter on the Internet. So this was the next best picture.

    • gatewaytoJesus profile image

      gatewaytoJesus 

      8 years ago from victoria australia

      thankyou for this angela_michellei love doing things like this i used to color black and white photos too that's good fun thanks again

    • angela_michelle profile imageAUTHOR

      Angela Michelle Schultz 

      8 years ago from United States

      I actually got mine for 20 dollars off of ebay. It was just the disk and did not come with anything but the disk. I love it, and I found out how to do a lot of the stuff through tutorials online either through youtube or even on here!!! It's so much fun, worth buying.

      Elements is a lot of fun, but it's more for the hobbyist, not for a professional photographer. :)

    • Pamela Kinnaird W profile image

      Pamela Dapples 

      8 years ago from Just Arizona Now

      When I saw this title, I clicked on it right away. I want to learn to do photoshop. I thought, though, that it's about $400 for the program, but I see in your Amazon ads it's about $70? Or is that just for a segment of what one needs -- I don't know.

      You've done a great job on this hub. It opens up my eyes to what I'm missing out on.

    • angela_michelle profile imageAUTHOR

      Angela Michelle Schultz 

      8 years ago from United States

      Thanks, by the way cool avatar!

    • mhuze profile image

      mhuze 

      8 years ago from USA

      Cool!

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