Happy Australia Day: How To Selectively Recolour Your Photos

Good morning and Happy Australia Day! Hopefully, you are sitting back on this lovely public holiday having a leisurely read before popping off to an Australia Day BBQ with friends and family.

Here is an Australia Day layout to set the tone for the day:

The photo is in black and white but the coloured details of my daughter’s Australia Day flags and her temporary tattoo are in colour.  I created this effect using a process called ‘Selective Recolouring’.  Let me show you how to do this in Photoshop CS5.  Other photo manipulating software that use layers  work in a similar manner.

Step 1: Launch the software and open up your coloured photo.

Step 2: Copy the layer and convert the copy to black and white.  Black and white conversions can be carried out many ways –  I simply desaturated the image.

The black and white photo is now perfectly stacked on top of the underlying colour photo.

Step 3: Erase the black and white portion of the photo from the  flags so the underneath coloured image can show through. There are two ways to do this.

Option 1: Using a layer mask is a sophisticated and highly effective way of doing this as you can easily paint in and out what you do and do not need and the process is totally non destructive.

Option 2: Simply erase the portions of the black and white photo you do not want.

Whichever option you use, remember to zoom in and magnify the image so you can accurately get into all the nooks and crannies.

Enjoy your Australia Day lamingtons and vegemite. I know I will be! — Jenny xx

4 thoughts on “Happy Australia Day: How To Selectively Recolour Your Photos

    • Hi Tania,

      Thanks for the comment–you can definitely reblog the post. I think wordpress credits us anyway. =) As for sharing it on Facebook, there’s a Facebook button at the bottom of the article which will allow you to share it, if you want to.

      — Ellen

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