Some of the most iconic portraits were black-and-white pictures of film stars, produced as publicity shots by the great Hollywood studios of the 1930s and 40s. The combination of dramatic lighting, a sumptuous tonal range, and flattering soft focus produced portraits that summed up the golden age of the silver screen.
As we'll demonstrate here, you don't need expensive studio setups to recreate such portrait shots, thanks to the power of Photoshop CS3 and its new Black & White command. Layer blending modes inject a bit of much-needed tonal punch, and we can manipulate the tones with the Dodge and Burn tools.
So, if you've always dreamed of Hollywood stardom, follow this recipe to create your own classic Hollywood portrait!
1 Open the start image and go to Layer > New Adjustment Layer > Black & White. In the Black & White dialog, choose Green Filter from the Presets. Click OK to apply the adjustment.
2 Click on the Background layer and duplicate it via Layer > Duplicate Layer. Set the blending mode for this layer to Overlay, and set the opacity to around 45%. Go to Layer > Flatten Image.
3 Click the Blue channel in the Channels palette ...