Tint tricks: adding color elements to black & white photographs


There's nothing more classic than a black & white photograph. However, there are occasions where you want to add a little punch to a monochromatic look. Adding one or more color elements to black & white photos is easier than it looks, all you need is a little Photoshop know-how.

1. Once you've chosen your photograph (and keep in mind this step-by-step only works if you start with a color photograph), open the file in Photoshop.

2. Click on "Image" in your menu bar, then select "Adjustments - Desaturate". Your photograph is now in black and white!

3. Decide what parts of your photo you want to keep in color. Go to your history tab on one of the side palettes, and click the empty box next to the word "open". The history brush icon will then appear. Remember, the history brush is your friend.

4. Choose the history brush from the tool palette, adjust the size of the brush to the  area you want to color (you can do this by either clicking on the slide bar at the top of the screen under the menu bar, or an easier way is to use the parentheses buttons on the keyboard: left parentheses for smaller, right for bigger).

5. Just click and hold the history brush over the subject, like magic the colors re-appear! You may want to increase the magnification of the image so you can see the edges of the re-colored subject better while you use the brush (choose the magnifying glass from the tool palette and click on your image to enlarge).

6. When choosing which parts of the photo to keep in color, keep in mind what you want to stand out. Too many color elements can look cluttered, too small compared with the other objects in the photo will be all the viewer will focus on. Try to choose elements with bright colors for more effect, especially if you are using small features of the photo, or if you are only keeping one or two elements in color.

What photographs of yours would you like to add some flair to?