Colour is a powerful part of photography and it’s presence or absence is a great way to highlight and emphasise certain parts of an image. Although much of photography is about subtlety, there’s occasionally a time and place to make part of an image really stand out.
In today’s showcase, we’re taking a look at a selection of photos that use partial colour to stunning effect.
How to Create This Type of Effect
Post-processing a photo to add this effect isn’t nearly as hard as you might think. Although there are many different ways to add partial colour to an image, one of the simplest is to use Layer Masks in Photoshop.
All you need to do is load up your colour photo, add a Black and White adjustment layer, select the Brush tool, and then select the Adjustment Layer mask. You should then make sure that your foreground colour is set to black, and your background colour is set to white.
After that, it’s just a case of painting (in black) over the bits of the image you’d like to add colour back into! Aiming for a few different areas that each contain the same colour can work well, and this is an effect employed by many of the photographs above.
You can adjust your brush size and style as needed, and it might also be a good idea to play around with the colour saturation when you’ve finished (to make the colour area really “pop”).
More Great Tutorials
This is a really simplified guide, but here are a few more tutorials that you should check out to find out more:
- Black and white photos with just a touch of color
- Partial Color With Layer Masks
- How To Quickly Create A Partial Colour Effect In Photoshop
- Create a Black and White Effect in Adobe Photoshop (video)
If you’ve created “partial colour” versions of your own images, we’d love to see them. Feel free to leave a link in the comments, and thanks for reading!