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Photoshop: Black and White Photo with Color Reveal

SHSU Technology Tutorials | Photoshop | Black and White Photo with Color Reveal


Bring a focus point to your photographs by making them black and white and highlighting one area by colorizing it.

Here are the before and after photos:


Original Photo


Final Image

Step 1: Open your original picture in Photoshop and add a Hue/Saturation Adjustment Layer to it from your Layer pull-down menu (Layer>New Adjustment Layer>Hue/Saturation).

New Adjustment Layer - Hue and Saturation

Step 2: Give the Layer a Name and choose OK.

New Layer Name

Step 3: Move your sliders for Hue & Saturation all the way to the left so that -180 shows up in the Hue box and -100 shows up in the Saturation box and press OK.

Hue and Saturation Sliders

Step 4: Presto! You now have a black and white photo. We could stop here if that was the desired effect, but remember we are shooting to make a focal point by revealing color. Our next step is to make sure the color swatches have the Hide & Reveal Colors situated appropriately.

Paint Brush ToolReval and HideIt is important to remember here that black reveals the color and white hides it. When you clicked OK in your Hue/Saturation box, your color swatches switched to black & white. If your black color swatch isn’t on top and the active (foreground) color you can click on the double arrow noted in the graphic on the right.

Step 5: Now be sure to select the paint brush tool and choose an appropriate size for the part of the picture where you are revealing the color. Then all you need to do is use the brush. (Hold down the left mouse button and move your mouse over the area of the picture you wish to reveal) If you go over and make something colored that you don’t need color, don’t worry about it. You can use the double arrow on your color swatch boxes to make the white/hide swatch active and hide the colored area with a white paint brush.


Brush Size    Partially colored

The finished product should be a black and white photo with a colored section that really stands out and brings a focus to the image.

Final Image