How to keep selective colour in black and white conversions: Steps 1-9
01 Open the start file
Open your start image in Photoshop Elements. The photo will open in Photoshop Elements’ Full Edit workspace. Go to Window>Layers to make the Layers palette visible, then click on the Background layer and press Cmd/Ctrl+J to duplicate it.
02 Make it mono
In the Layers palette, click on the new Layer 1 thumbnail. Go to Enhance>Remove Colour. This creates a black-and-white version of the image. To reveal some of the girl’s colours from the Background layer below, click on the Add Layer Mask icon at the bottom of the Layers palette.
03 Brush tool options
Use the Zoom tool to get a closer look at the model’s face. Choose the Brush tool, then click on the Brush Preset picker at the left of the options bar and choose a soft round tip with a Size of 100 pixels. Click on Layer 1’s white mask. Press X to toggle the Tools palette’s foreground colour to black.
04 Paint on the mask
Spray the black brush on the white mask to poke a hole through the monochrome layer and reveal the girl’s colours on the Background layer below. If you reveal unwanted background colours by mistake, press X to toggle to a white foreground colour and spray to restore these areas to monochrome.
05 Re-colour the girl
Keep spraying a black brush over the model to reveal her skin and clothing colours – don’t worry too much about editing all of her jacket, because it only has a hint of colour in the leather’s shiny specular highlights. Using this technique you can restore the rest of the model to full colour.
06 Fill with grey
Choose Layer>New>Layer. In the New Layer window’s Name field, type ‘Dodge and Burn’. Click OK. This creates a new transparent layer called Dodge and Burn. Go to Edit>Fill Layer. Select 50% Grey and then click OK. Set the Dodge and Burn layer’s Blending Mode to Overlay.
07 Darken the shadows
Choose the Burn tool from the Tools palette. Grab a soft-edged tip from the Brush Preset Picker and set the Size option to 600. Set Range to Shadows and drop Exposure to 15%. Spray around the edges of the frame to darken the shadows and hide the interior’s distracting architectural details.
08 Add drama
To tease out more detail in the clouds, set the Burn tool’s Range option to Midtones. Keep the Exposure option set to 15% so you can edit the clouds in gentle and controllable increments. Spray the Burn tool over the clouds to darken the midtones and make the cloud texture look more prominent.
09 Lighten the midtones
The girl’s dark jacket blends too much with the shadows, so to help her stand out from the background choose the Dodge tool from the Tools palette. Set Size to 125 and Range to Midtones. Keep Exposure at 15%. Spray behind her head and jacket collar to lighten the midtones of the roof a little.