Saturday 14 June 2008

Colour touch

For further photography-related information check out my compendium of tips.

Colour touch (also known as spot colouring or colour pop) is a technique used to emphasise elements in the frame by leaving them coloured while desaturating the rest. Like all 'special-effects' I think it should be used in moderation. It is a crowd-pleaser though, so worth having in your arsenal of photographic techniques. When I design albums for clients everybody wants one of these included.

The only challenging aspect to the technique is to make an accurate selection in Photoshop. I strongly recommend you read chapter 1 of Steve Caplin's 'How to Cheat in Photoshop' entitled 'Natural Selection'. This will familiarise you with the lasso, magic wand, quick masks, quick selection tool, pen tool and refining edges - all key skills to have for image manipulation. When making a selection I generally use a combination of these tools.

If you just want to do a rough-and-ready treatment though:

1. Make a copy of your image in a new layer.
2. With this layer active go to Layer-New Adjustment Layer-Hue/Saturation and drag the saturation slider to -100.
3. Click on the layer mask icon (the white canvas icon adjacent to the adjustment icon).
4. Select the paint brush tool.
5. Painting with black will allow the coloured original layer to show through.
6. If you make a mistake, press X to paint with white and return to mono.


Check out my albums page to see further examples: Kent wedding albums

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