Black and White Portraits: how to add drama in Photoshop

    | Photoshop Tutorials | Tutorials | 10/03/2012 07:00am
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    Black and White Portraits: add grit and drama in 4 easy steps

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    Black and white portraits are one of the more popular genres for photographers to shoot, but many times any number of factors can leave your pictures feeling flat.

    After you’ve converted your portrait to black and white, why not use Photoshop’s dodge and burn tools to give your image a rough and ready makeover.

    This excellent, non-destructive technique will make your black and portraits really stand out. Here’s how to do it.

    Black and White Portraits: add grit and drama in 4 easy steps

     

    Black and White Portraits: add grit and drama in 4 easy steps

    Step 1: Add fill layer
    Open your black and white portrait in Photoshop. Click the Create new layer icon at the bottom of the Layers panel. Now double-click on the layer name and change it to Dodge Burn. Go to Edit>Fill then select 50% Grey from the Use: Drop-down menu. Hit OK.

     

    Black and White Portraits: add grit and drama in 4 easy steps

    Step 2: Change blend mode
    Go to the top of the Layers panel and change the Blend Mode of the Dodge Burn layer to Overlay. The Overlay Blend Mode multiplies the darker areas on the layer below and screens the lighter areas. As we’ve used a neutral 50% Grey, the layer will now appear transparent.

     

    Black and White Portraits: add grit and drama in 4 easy steps

    Step 3: Select Dodge tool
    Now we can paint on the Dodge Burn layer and get the same results as if we were painting on the background. However, any alterations are now non-destructive. Select the Dodge tool from the Tools panel, then go to the Options bar and set Range to Highlights, Exposure to 10%.

     

    Black and White Portraits: add grit and drama in 4 easy steps

    Step 4: Dodge and Burn
    Pain with the Dodge tool to lighten areas such as the cheeks, eyes and tops of ridges in the face. Build up your strokes gradually. Switch to the Burn tool (Shift+O will flick between them) and set Range to Shadows then paint in the darker areas to accentuate the lines of the face.

     

    Black and White Portraits: add grit and drama in 4 easy steps

    Final image


    Posted on Saturday, March 10th, 2012 at 7:00 am under Photoshop Tutorials, Tutorials.

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