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Creating Black & White Photo and Using the Colorize Option

Lecture Slides are screen-captured images of important points in the lecture. Students can download and print out these lecture slide images to do practice problems as well as take notes while watching the lecture.

  • Intro 0:00
  • Lesson Overview 0:07
  • Creating Black & White Photo 1:50
    • Grayscale Mode
    • Desaturate with Hue/Saturation
    • Converting to Black & White: Example 1
    • Converting to Black & White: Example 2
  • Colorizing an Image 14:01
    • Colorizing an Image
    • Adding a Vignette
    • Adding a Border

Transcription: Creating Black & White Photo and Using the Colorize Option

Hi, everybody--Mike Brown here again with another lesson for you in Adobe Photoshop Elements 11 from!0000

At this point in the course, if you have been following the course and gotten this far, you have pretty much learned almost every technique and feature that there is within Adobe Photoshop Elements to basically work on and enhance your images: selections, corrections, retouch, and manipulation--my four basic categories.0007

In this lesson, we're going to play a little bit here, and I'm going to show you the whys of the three different ways to create black-and-white photo.0029

I think I briefly dealt with this in a couple of lessons in the past, but we didn't attack it as a specific lesson.0040

There are three different ways to create a black-and-white: there is the grayscale mode, which just removes all of the color information from the image; there is the Desaturate, using the Hue Saturation dialog box; and then, there is the using Convert to Black-and-white, which you may have seen before, under the Enhance menu down here.0048

I'm going to show you a couple of examples to talk about why the Convert to Black-and-white is better than the other two.0071

Then, we're going to take our best conversion, and we're going to play with it a little bit; we're going to use the Colorize feature, which I have gone over before; it's pretty easy to use--it kind of makes an old-time look, and you can do other things with it.0080

I'll show you how to add a vignette, and stroking the border to come up with a finalized, pretty cool image, like this: with a stroke border--you can see a little vignette in here; and here we have a really nice desert scene that has that kind of old-fashioned look to it.0092

All right, so let's go ahead and get started here.0111

In the lesson on converting to black-and-white, this picture here--I took it this morning on the way here to the video studio, because I was thinking about which images would best portray the differences between the three methods of converting to black-and-white.0114

One thing: if you happen to be color-blind--or those people that are: red-green colorblind interprets reds and greens identically the same--so they all become the same shade of gray.0133

So, in most cases, if we just desaturate an image that has red and green, you will just see overall flat grays; so, we're going to take three different ways at this point.0150

The first way I'm going to do is to go to the Image menu; we're going to go down to Image Mode, and we're going to go to Grayscale.0163

What Grayscale does is just physically takes every pixel and converts it to a black-and-white.0171

As it says, changing modes can affect the appearance of layers, flatten the image (we'll go ahead and flatten it), and discard all of the color information; and here you see a perfect example of what I was just talking about.0179

This was a vivid (we'll undo that--Command/Control+Z) can see: the flowers are vivid; the oranges are vivid; their greens are really nice; Command/Control+Y, and now we have an image which is almost a "Where's Waldo" for the flowers--they have disappeared, because the red and the green, as you can see, have exactly the same tonality--the only thing that sets the flowers apart are the little white spots within them--it's very hard to see; no dimension--a very flat image.0192

So, the Image Mode, Grayscale, doesn't work, really, that well for a black-and-white conversion.0223

If we take a layer here, and we apply an adjustment layer for Hue Saturation, and we just take the saturation level with the master and desaturate it, now it works a little bit better, because, if you look at the flowers carefully, the red color of gray is pretty much the same as the green, but it did interpret the shadows a little better, so that there is some definition here indicating that those are separate flowers.0231

But, it doesn't really pop that much.0268

What we're going to do is: we're going to just call this layer here HS B and W; so those two go together, right here; we're going to take the background layer, now, and we're going to duplicate it again.0270

Command on a Mac/Control on a PC, plus the letter J, and I'm going to name this one Convert to Black-and-white.0285

All we're going to do: we're going to turn off those other two layers, and we're looking, now, directly at the Convert to Black-and-white layer.0297

To convert this, we go to the Enhance menu; we'll come down to Convert to Black-and-white.0305

Up comes this dialog box; I find--you can see already, if I don't do anything (I just pull the box aside): look at the snap in the flowers.0312

Now, the greens are darker; you can see that the color red--the gray for the red--in the flowers is lighter than the greens, all throughout the picture, so we have much more dynamic now than we had before; the flowers already stand out.0323

Here is the dialog box; it kind of looks similar to the Variations dialog box; again, I'm not really pleased--I like what they are doing, but I wish they would have full size, side-by-side; it's sometimes hard to see.0339

But here, we can really see the effect, and the way this works is pretty simple: there is your before and your after dialog box--you can always reset, if you're playing around with the sliders.0353

This is where the Convert to Black-and-white sets itself apart from the other two methods of creating a black-and-white.0364

Notice over here; we are able to individually change red, green, and blue channels and snap contrast.0373

That allows us to lighten or darken, individually, the red, green, and blue channels to get some snap.0383

We also have presets that are in here; right now, we're on the Scenic Landscape, and it looks pretty good as it is--I don't think I have to do much.0390

But, I'll show you the other ones: here is what Infrared is--it kind of reverses everything--kind of a weird look; I'm not really that pleased with it.0397

Newspaper: again, now there is the conversion where the greens and the reds are pretty much the same gray color, so you kind of see the flowers, but it doesn't jump at you.0407

Portraits are a little bit flatter, but again: notice, in the flowers, it's darker, but the reds...and go over to the greens...a little bit of difference, but again, it doesn't stand out.0420

We're going to skip the Scenic Landscape and go down to Vivid Landscape.0431

It just (and if you look here--see what it did) pumped the reds and brightened them up dramatically.0435

Let's go back to the Portraits; notice how the sliders change for each one: Infrared--green is up, blue is down--it just snaps them.0442

Urban Snapshots: not that much different from the other choices; again, the red is darker than the green.0449

But then, we go to the Scenic Landscape, and you see that the reds are up, the greens are down a little bit, and the blues are, and there, your flowers snap really well.0458

So, we're going to click OK, and now we're going to compare the Convert to Black-and-white, and we're going to turn on the Hue Saturation layer with its adjustment layer.0467

There is the differential.0479

The red gray and the green grays are the same; but, if we go to Convert to Black-and-white (and you have the ability to play with the sliders--I'll show you this on another one), see how much better that works than either of the other two methods--going grayscale or desaturating--a really cool tool.0481

All right, so now let's play with it for a little while.0500

Let's go over to this particular image, right here, that I have; we'll duplicate the background; Command/Control+J.0504

Now, you know that we're going to do the Enhance Black-and-white; I've already shown you that that works better than the other options.0512

So, let's just go ahead and do it on the duplicated layer; Enhance, Convert to Black-and-white, and here we have our options.0518

We have a Scenic Landscape; let's see what a Vivid Landscape does; I like it--in this case, there is the Scenic Landscape; there is the Vivid; and I'm sure that the blues dropped.0527

Let's look at the blue channel: Scenic...actually, the reds and greens dropped; the blue went down a little bit, but predominantly, the red went up and the green came down, just a little bit.0538

What I would like to do is adjust the green up a little bit to see if we can lighten some of this dark foliage.0551

Let's move it over to this side so we can see, because this is the area we're looking at.0558

Let's take the green; you have to be careful with these sliders...they are pretty gross moves in terms of--a little motion will give you a lot, so just kind of slide them gently.0563

We get a little bit; we're seeing it already--see how that green is beginning to come up?0578

Let's come up just a little bit more, and again; there we go!0582

Let's compare that, now, just looking at the green areas to the right of the image.0587

I'm going to go back to the Scenic Landscape; it went down; and so now, we'll just pump those greens up just a little bit more...0593

Oh, it was the Vivid Landscape--excuse me!--and we were moving the greens up.0601

Coming up; coming up; coming up a little more; even a little more there; I kind of like it.0606

Oh, it has gotten way too hot--way too hot; knock it down, take the blue down even further; let's get some dramatics.0615

OK, that is pretty nice; I like that just about the way it lies.0627

So, we're going to go ahead and click OK; and we have gone from a color image that looked like image that looked like that, to a black-and-white image that has a pretty dynamic look to it.0632

Now, one thing I can see that we can do: this is the way we're going to tackle it: we have a pretty good black-and-white, but it's a little bit dark over in this landmass area, so let's go ahead and take our Selection brush as a mask, and right bracket key to up the size, and let's just paint over (that's green right now; that's OK) this section, right in here, just generally; maybe a little back in this shadow area; that is fine.0644

Now, we'll come back to our selection; remember, we invert it because we are masking the area we really want to have as a selection.0674

So, we just do Select, Inverse--there we go--just to show you; now, everything else is masked out.0683

Let's go with a Levels adjustment layer for exposure, and lighten that stuff up, just a little bit, over there.0690

See, there we go; it's coming up pretty nice.0699

OK, and we'll just turn that off and turn it on; we have a little snap there.0704

Now, let's take these rocks and pull them down just a hair; so, we'll go to the masking again and up it, and let's just paint right over that bright rock, kind of in that area there.0709

That is pretty much good enough; we're not really killing this thing.0721

Select again; Inverse to get the selection (oops, I didn't get it to take) of the rocks, and once again we'll do a Levels.0725

What we're going to do is darken that down just a little bit, open it up, and darken it down there, just a little bit--maybe snap that contrast--there we go!0738

That looks pretty good; turn that off; turn it on; we just have a little bit of a difference in there.0749

I would like to darken this corner down, just a little bit, up here--just for a foreground dimension.0754

We will take that same brush and just paint over this foreground corner greenery right here, turn it into a selection, go to the Select menu, and invert the selection, so that we now have just that little bit of plant work.0760

One more time we will take a Levels (everything has been Levels, you notice), and we will snap the contrast on that--there we go!--and lighten it up just a little bit, and maybe just pull that down.0777

Now, we have changed it from a little flat gray--just given it a little more presence; that looks pretty decent!0792

We can accept that, and so, we pretty much have our image the way we want it now.0799

All right, so the next step: now I'm going to show you...let's go back to our title, and let's catch up with where we are.0804

We talked about the Grayscale mode, and you noticed that when we removed all of the color, it became very flat.0813

Desaturating had a little more snap, but the reds and greens were pretty much exactly the same tonality of gray and didn't snap.0819

But then, when we used Convert to Black-and-white, it has...with the presets and the sliders, we can separate the reds from the greens--brighten the reds or darken the reds and reverse on the greens and the blues.0829

Now, what we're going to do is: we're going to start by colorizing this image that we have just done here.0841

Let's go back to that, and all we have to do is put an adjustment layer for Hue Saturation on top, and we don't have to do anything with the sliders--just hit the Colorize button.0847

You notice, what happens is--notice, the sliders are dead center; as soon as I hit Colorize, the Hue goes far left, and the Saturation drops.0861

So, what we're going to do is take the saturation down a little further and bring the hue into that kind of an old-time vignette kind of a sepia-tone color; right about there looks pretty decent.0871

Notice how nice that looks?0885

So now, we have our colorized version; we can always turn that off as a black-and-white.0888

We have gone from a color to a black-and-white to a sepia-tone; now, we're going to add a blank layer on top, and I'll show you a really easy way to make a vignette using selections, feather, and the Refine Edge dialog box.0894

We're going to go to our Marquee tool; take the elliptical Marquee, and I'm going to hold the Option/Alt on a PC, and drag from the center, and that will create an oval.0913

You can see the crawling ants, and we'll try to make it exactly the size of the image.0926

When you get this where you want it, you want to release before you release the Option/Alt key.0934

Now, see, we have set it; now I can release the Option/Alt.0943

Don't take your finger off the Option/Alt first, or it will just jump over.0946

So now, I can take my arrow keys, and I can come down a couple and over a couple to center that crawling ants in there.0951

We can see what we have done; again, we'll just go to a mask, and see: we have a perfect oval in the center.0961

Go back to the selection; but we don't want to darken that center section; we want to darken the corners.0968

But first, we need to soften this oval; so, with the selection (and we have gone over into the Selection brush tool; we'll go to the Select menu, Refine Edge)...and you can put as much feather in this as you want, but I have done this a lot, and somewhere around 200 to 250 is a good number.0976

You can play with it wherever you want; we'll just put...let's put 225--right in between.1000

You see how nice and soft that has become, but it's a little too far in, so now we're going to use the Shift Edge to expand the selection outwards.1007

Oops...I got...all sorts of things happened here.1017

I want to shift the edge outwards; notice how it went out?1024

I want to shift it out; not too far out; not too far in; about like that looks pretty good--we'll click OK, and that is going to convert to the selection.1027

But, once again, that is the selected area in the center; so we need to invert this: Select menu, Invert.1036

Since we went to all this trouble, let's go to Select, Save Selection, and we'll call it Vignette 1, just in case we have to do it again, and there we have it.1045

Now, all we have to do: we have this blank layer sitting right here--we're going to set our foreground and background colors...1055

Let's just go to the Gradient, first of all--which we're going to talk about in another lesson coming up--and let's see what we have for gradients.1065

We don't have one that we want, but we can set one very quickly; this will give you a preview.1073

We're going to set the left side at black, and we're going to set the right side color at black.1078

Now, we have a black-on-black gradient, and we're going to only do this at a lower opacity; remember how we were doing retouch on skin to remove wrinkles?1087

Fifteen to twenty percent is what you use on your clone tool.1101

In this case, we want to build up a soft vignette, and we don't know exactly how dark we're going to need it, so we'll take about 20% opacity.1106

Take the opacity slider here, and drop it right down to about 20%; there we go.1114

Everything else is fine; we're using a regular, linear gradient; we're going to do Command on a Mac/Control on a PC, the letter H, hide our crawling ants, and it doesn't matter where you click and drag; just click and drag.1121

You can see that the corners came down; we could use a little bit more, but I don't want to go that much, so let's take the opacity down, this time, to about 12 or 14, and we'll click and drag again.1134

There we go; maybe that was too much; undo it; let's go back and change that down to about...just under 10; hit it one more time; there--that looks pretty decent.1147

Now, we have a nice look for our image; it looks very nice.1158

The only thing that is missing is a border, so we're going to put another brand-new layer on.1163

We're going to do Command on a Mac/Control on a PC, the letter A to select all (see the crawling ants all the way around the outside).1170

Go to the Edit menu, down to Stroke or Outline our selection, and we're going to do this in black, and I'm not sure how many pixels I need; it's a pretty high...let's try, arbitrarily, 21 pixels, and see what it looks like.1176

Click OK; it's calculating; and that is a little thin--we'll undo that; I think we need a little more, so instead, let's stroke it 28 pixels.1195

Click OK, let it think, and there you go--that looks pretty decent.1207

There you see--we started with the colored image; we converted it to a black-and-white; we put 1, 2, 3 adjustment layers on this of Levels, with layer masks.1213

Then, we went to the Colorize feature to adjust it into a sepia tone, put on a vignette, put on a border--and we have a really, really nice-looking photo here; I like it.1230

Let's go back to the title; so there you have just some creative work with colorizing an image after you have converted it to a black-and-white; adding a vignette; and stroking the border--giving you some really fun things to do with the Convert to Black-and-white method, and then sepia-toning with colorizing an image, and enhancing it with a vignette, a border...1243

All of this really made a great image in Adobe Photoshop Elements 11!1269

See you back for the next lesson!1273