We’ve all seen those photos. You know the ones. They contain essentially an entirely black and white image with the exception of a small amount of color showing through like a beacon of beautiful light. This is called a spot color effect. And while it may seem like something that might be highly complex, that doesn’t have to be the reality in many instances.
Here I will explore two methods to create stunning spot color shots. One for beginners and those with a less demanding color need and the other for more advanced users or ones willing to be a bit adventurous.
Quick saturation adjust
To use this method for spot color, use your editing tool to find the saturation controls. In Photoshop, they are under the IMAGE TAB > ADJUSTMENTS > HUE>SATURATION select the MASTER option and adjust the individual colors to the left on the slider to remove them. This works great for all colors except variations of red being that red is what makes up most of a person’s skin tone and you can’t keep it if you want the body to be in black and white. Other programs should have similar tools.
Layer and erase
So, if you have any variation of red you want to keep in the shot or want to be a little more picky about the specific locations in the shot that you want to keep in full color, you can start by creating a new layer on top of the original. Then, go to the aforementioned HUE/SATURATION tool while on the top layer and drag it all the way left to remove all color. Next, get your eraser tool and simply go along the areas you want to show through in color. This is harder and more time consuming because you have to be more precise. This can be done is pretty much any decent photo editing program as well.
Give it a shot for yourself, I bet you’ll like the results.
Ask us about the site Image Aids to access great video tutorials on topics like this and more.
As any reader of this blog knows, being a photography enthusiast, I tend to think that cell phone photography is generally a poor substitute for the real thing if you will.
Sure, there are some exceptions but usually a good old traditional camera or SLR is light years better than even the latest mobile phone in this area.
But, given that there are some exceptions, it only stands to reason that this would be the case with mobile editing apps as well. Enter Photoshop Express. Yes, the first name in photography has done it again.
Recently, when I was having a very difficult time editing the coloration of an image, I figured I’d give PS Express a shot. I uploaded the image from my SLR to my camera’s Micro SD card and went to work. The results where fast, easy and incredibly effective.
Check it out, I bet you be glad you did.
Within the art of photography, there are many sub-categories.
Most of us can probably come up with some of the more common ones without giving it much thought – portraits, landscapes, wildlife… But one of the ones that has a huge industry onto itself that may not necessarily rank high on your list is food photography.
Think about it, many major restaurants, grocery stores and other similar businesses use images in their advertising. And just like is the case with any other form of photography, a well shot, well edited image is essential.
Example of bad food photography:
Notice how the color is bland, the image is washed out and it is actually quite hard to even know what the item may be.
Example of bad food photography:
This image blurs out background distractions, features nice and even light and really captures the texture of the meal.
Here are a few tips that might just help anyone interested in delving into this sort of work.
1. Lighting and white balance
– Make sure you have an adequate amount of light for your shot but don’t do overboard. You don’t want to have hot spots in the image that can distract from the main focal point. Nor do you want to see harsh shadows.
2. Color and texture
– Do what you can to make the color as accurate and inciting as possible. Same goes for texture. A few Photoshop tools that can help here are playing with the satiation and using the dodge and burn tools.
3. Remove distractions
– If there are any items near your image that might take away from the food itself, do what you can to remove them.
Good luck and have fun.
Editing is crucial
For any photographer who takes his or her craft seriously, editing is just a fact of life. And while it has its creative qualities, a lot of shutterbugs would agree that it’s not exactly their favorite part of the process.
When all is said and done though, the time used doing a thorough editing job is well worth it when you see the final product.
Some causal photographers make the mistake of thinking that some of these “editing” apps, online tools or quick-fix type programs can get the job done almost instantly. While it might not take a long time to edit an image sufficiently, any real quality editing can’t be done with just a click or two of the mouse.
Below is a sample of some photography editing I did after a recent promotional shoot for a young lady starting her own life coaching business. I hope these before and after images along with the basic steps taken to get from the original to the final version will give you an idea of what I mean.
Please note that all edits where made using a combination of Adobe Photoshop and a program called Portrait Professional. However, some of these edits can be made using any number of other programs that offer a wide range of similar features.
General overview of steps taken to edit the above photo:
1. Adjusting exposure
– Started out with “Auto Levels” before increasing the exposure a little more.
2. Tweaking colors
– An increase in overall saturation was used to add color and vibrancy
– Using the “Dodge/Burn” tool also helped.
– Basic tuning with Portrait Professional softened the skin, reduced blemishes, removed pores and took care of assorted imperfections.
4. Small details
– It was necessary to use the” Clone Stamp” tool to match some skin tone areas and clean up shadows and glare cast by the glasses.
– Did some final burning to minimize hot spots and even out the color of her hair.
Sometimes you might just have a reason…
to need some sort of graphic design work but either don’t have the knowledge or time to complete the project yourself. And if you’re anything like this blog owner, you may not have the funds either.
One option is to hire someone who engages in what is known as “micro-jobbing.”
So what is micro-jobbing?
Actually it’s a very simple concept. People provide a service, such as graphic design, for a very small fee in order to complete a relatively quick or minimally time consuming job. Sometimes you can get things done for as little as $5!
Some other types of services include:
Search engine optimization
One of the top sites for this type of business exchange is Fiverr.com.
Check out a few examples of some work I offer below:
If you need something quickly and at an affordable price, this may just be your answer. Or, if you’ve got some extra time on your hands, you can possibly make a few extra bucks here and there by offering your skills in this capacity.
Shadows are a double edged sword
In photography, they can be used strategically to enhance shapes and form or even the overall tone of the image. But at the same time, inconveniently located harsh and harsh shadows can just about destroy an otherwise beautiful photograph.
Some of the photos you may not want in your shot are those that appear on the background behind your subject. This can occur commonly in studio or other indoor settings.
But fear not, there is a fairly easy way to correct it with the use of Photoshop or most other common editing tools. (This works especially well with either black or white backdrops but may work adequately with other really dark or really light colors as well).
Once you’ve opened your photo and decided what shadows much be removed, select your Dodge/Burn tool in Photoshop or the equivalent in another program.
If you’re working with a white (or really light backdrop), you’ll want to use the dodge tool. The reverse is true if you’re image has a black (or really dark) backdrop.
You may need to adjust the exposure and brush size. It is best to start out with a relatively low exposure such as 25% too see how things look. You can always adjust it to a higher or lower level if need be.
Use the tool to cover over the shadowy part of the background that you want to remove and that’s really all there is to it.
It may take some trial and error but you’ll get there.