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Photoshop Elements >

Spot Color

Spot color is where a portion of the photograph has color and the rest is black-and-white.

Here's the original photograph and the spot-color version.

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Original

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Spot Color

Be sure to check off as you go along.

Preparation

1) Preserve your original file.

If you haven't already done so, go to Preserve Your Original File.

2) Create a Background copy layer.

If you haven't already done so, go to Create a Background Copy Layer.

Spot Color

3) Select the object that you want to keep in focus.

The red hanger was selected here.

4) Flip the selection by going to Select > Inverse.

Everything is selected, now, except for the hanger.

If you haven't already done so, go to Flip the Selection.

4) Make sure the Background copy layer is active (highlighted).

Background copy

Background

5) Create a Hue/Saturation adjustment layer.

The Hue/Saturation window will open in the Adjustments panel.

Hue/Saturation 1

Background copy

Background

6) Slide the Saturation slider (the middle slider) to -100.

The background is now black-and-white, while the hanger is still red.

7) Return to the Layers panel by clicking the Layers tab.

8) Look at the Hue/Saturation 1 layer.

The selection of everything-but-the-hanger made a mask automatically.

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Here's the mask.

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Where the Mask Is Black

Where the mask is black, the hanger, the Hue/Saturation 1 layer is blocked.

The Hue/Saturation 1 layer isn't making the hanger black-and-white, due to the black mask.

Where the Mask Is White

Where the mask is white, the Hue/Saturation 1 layer is revealed.

The background is black-and-white because the white mask

Alternative: Brush the Color On or Off

You can use the Brush tool to paint the color on or off.

Do the following.

1) Go through step two above.

2) Make sure the Background copy layer is active (highlighted).

Background copy

Background

3) Create a Hue/Saturation adjustment layer.

The Hue/Saturation window will open in the Adjustments panel.

Hue/Saturation 1

Background copy

Background

4) Slide the Saturation slider (the middle slider) to -100.

The photograph is now black-and-white.

5) Return to the Layers panel by clicking the Layers tab.

Fork in the Road

Do you want to brush to:

Remove the color from a color photograph?

Add color to a black-and-white photograph?

Brush to Remove the Color

From a Color Photograph

3) Make sure the Hue/Saturation 1 layer is active (highlighted).

Note the white mask in the Hue/Saturation 1 layer.

4) Press Ctrl + i to change the mask from white to black.

The Hue/Saturation 1 layer is now blocked by the black mask.

The photograph is now a color photograph.

5) Make sure the foreground color is white.

If you haven't already, go to Foreground & Background Colors.

6) Select the Brush tool.

Use a feathered brush.

If you haven't already done so, go to Feathered Brush.

7) Brush where you want the photograph to be black-and-white.

As you brush with white, the white paint is going on the mask.

The white paint is revealing the Hue/Saturation 1 layer.

Brush to Add Color

To a Black-and-white Photograph

3) Make sure the Hue/Saturation 1 layer is active (highlighted).

4) Make sure the foreground color is black.

If you haven't already, go to Foreground & Background Colors.

5) Select the Brush tool.

Use a feathered brush.

If you haven't already done so, go to Feathered Brush.

6) Brush where you want the photograph to be in color.

As you brush with black, the black paint is going on the mask.

The black paint is blocking the Hue/Saturation 1 layer.

More

Now that you can do spot color, you can do spot focus.

Saving the Photograph

If you haven't already done so, go to Saving Files.