ISOLATE A SUBJECT IN BLACK AND WHITE TO CHANGE THE FOCUS OF A PHOTO! | Use Camera RAW and Masks to bring emphasis to a part of your photo | We will cover how to work with filters, masks, and smart objects to change the entire way a photo is viewed.
Images used in this tutorial
In this Photoshop tutorial, we’ll work on isolating the Flatiron building in a black and white photo to create an image that is really cool looking. We will create a brighter and darker version of the photo using Camera RAW and then we’ll create a mask that limits the brightened area to just what we want and finally, we’ll use Adjustment Layers to create a beautifully toned black and white image that draws the viewer’s eye exactly to where you want them to look.
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Site Exclusive Tutorial Recording Notes:
Disclaimer: these are the actual notes I used to record this video and are written in a language you may or may not understand. Hopefully, you find them useful or cool.
- Open RAW image and tweak the lens correction and add sharpness
- Warm image to about 7200K and add a little green with tint (–5 ish)
- Open in Photoshop. 2:3 ratio crop to cut off any sky and anything EXCEPT bldgs in NYC
- Duplicate and flip the foreground ledge so it’s symmetrical
- Merge all to new layer and convert to smart object
- Camera RAW filter and boost the exp: +3 contrast +30 shadows -30 blacks -15
- Create selection around flatiron and create a mask
- Use soft brush to clean up edges
- NOTE: reduce the opacity of this layer if the subject is too bright!
- Merge to new layer again and convert to smart object and use Field blur to isolate obj more
- Add back to white Gradient Map @ 50% opacity
- Finish black and white with Channel Mixer monochrome it
- Load building’s mask as selection and use that to add a black to white gradient map just to the building
- Add a Selective Color adjustment and tone down the whites and boost the black levels and also try moving the midtone black slider as well NOTE: Don’t worry if it looks very flat here
- Add a Levels adjustment layer to pump contrast
- Merge to a new layer and convert to Smart Object and create field blur to draw in the eyes