Even though a majority of my January photos are mostly portrait shots, I thought I’d make a few of them a bit more interesting. This photo had a nice angle and showed off the rhinestone sunglasses very nicely so I selected it to be part of my faux advertisement. But I wanted to get a bit more contrast and change from my other photos. In this blog, I’ll show you all how I changed the color photo to a black and white with very easy steps.
This was the original image. I know! I truly didn’t have time to iron out the sheet before shooting. (In hindsight, I will totally make the time next shoot!)
After I moved it into Lightroom 5, I only had a few adjustments to exposure and I lowered the shadows to -88 so my sunglasses and jacket we very black. I also did this so the shadows from my hair disappeared. And since my hair is blonde when I ramp up the clarity and saturation it comes out very yellow. In the colors panel I lower the yellow to -87 to get rid of that yellow since I’m trying for a lighter look. I didn’t mess with the red color that much since I just want the bubblegum saturated and not the rest of the tones.
After I exported the image into Photoshop CS5 I immediately duplicated the layer several times (a very old habit I’ve done since college) and desaturated the top layer. There are many ways to do this but I chose the simple process through Image > Adjustments > Black & White. In PS7 it was simply desaturate. I adjusted the levels how I wanted and made any blemish and wrinkle patches in this layer. I also took the reflection from the sunglasses. Normally, I would say to keep the reflection on the glass but what was reflected was my sister’s back office windows.
I then made a layer mask and proceeded to paint in black the bubblegum and rhinestone crystals leaving the rest untouched. This brings out the colors from the layer underneath. Select the layer under the black and white layer and play around with the color and saturation until you get the color for the bubblegum and crystals that you want. It doesn’t really matter what the rest of the image looks like since you won’t see it through the black and white layer.
Other fun stuff you can do if the black and white doesn’t work for you is changing the Layer Mode on the desaturated layer and experiment with all the cool effects. I found out that if I drop the opacity to 65% and change the mode to Lighten I have pink tinted hair…which is awesome! This happened when I messed around with the color saturation when I changed the bubblegum color. It’s subtle but I love it!