Create more DRAMATIC Black & White Photos with This Technique!


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.

  1. Open RAW image and tweak the lens correction and add sharpness
  2. Warm image to about 7200K and add a little green with tint (–5 ish)
  3. Open in Photoshop. 2:3 ratio crop to cut off any sky and anything EXCEPT bldgs in NYC
  4. Duplicate and flip the foreground ledge so it’s symmetrical
  5. Merge all to new layer and convert to smart object
  6. Camera RAW filter and boost the exp: +3 contrast +30 shadows -30 blacks -15
  7. Create selection around flatiron and create a mask
  8. Use soft brush to clean up edges
  9. NOTE: reduce the opacity of this layer if the subject is too bright!
  10. Merge to new layer again and convert to smart object and use Field blur to isolate obj more
  11. Add back to white Gradient Map @ 50% opacity
  12. Finish black and white with Channel Mixer monochrome it
  13. Load building’s mask as selection and use that to add a black to white gradient map just to the building
  14. 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
  15. Add a Levels adjustment layer to pump contrast
  16. Merge to a new layer and convert to Smart Object and create field blur to draw in the eyes

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