Friday, June 7, 2013

How to Create More Dynamic Black and White Images in Photoshop CS5

I'll be honest. There are some black and white images that just pop, and others that just....well don't. When you're faced with an image containing similar tones, it can be hard to get the dynamic feel often associated with black and white images. However, thanks to Photoshop adjustment layers, you can fix that in a jiffy.

 
 

Alrighty. Here is the photo that I'll be demonstrating with today. I took this picture in Martin's Cove ,Wyoming while reinacting a pioneer trek near Devil's Gate. It's a beautiful area. If you haven't been, I'd highly recommend it.

Well, there's my random thought for the day. haha Let's get back to editing. :)

First, create a hue/saturation adjustment layer and drag the saturation slider all the way to the left.


Here's what I got:



Not too shabby, but it's a little boring. Notice how all the plants, water, and sky are pretty much all the same tones? Can we fix it? Yes we can! [Yes. I occassionally watch Bob the Builder. I swear that even though I know a variety of children's TV refrences I really don't watch cartoons  that often. :D]


In this step we'll be creating another adjustment layer. In the adjustment box, go up to the tiny list button [in my screen shot it's circled in yellow] and then use that menu to choose "selective color".

 

 
 
Note: Make sure the Selective Color adjustment layer in UNDER the Hue/Saturation adjustment layer or the following steps will not work.


Double click the icon for your Selective Color Adjustment layer in the layers panel.

 

Use the adjustment sliders and color menu to adjust each hue individually. [I like playing with the neutrals the most. You get more impact.]


Lastly, select the background layer and adjust the brightness/contrast of your final image.



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Much better, don't you think? Even though the changes are minor, the impact is huge.

Happy editing!

-Sarah

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