Chapter 8. Draining, Changing, and Adding Color

When you want to make a big difference with one simple change to your photo, you can’t beat converting it from color to black and white. The Ansel Adams approach doesn’t just evoke nostalgia; it puts the focus back on the subject in a powerful way. Going grayscale also lets you salvage an image that you can’t color-correct, or beautify a subject whose teeth need heavy-duty whitening or whose skin needs fixing. Those problems all but disappear when you enter the realm of black and white.

But does that mean you should set your digital camera to shoot in black and white? Heck, no! It’s much better to photograph in color and then drain the color in Photoshop. That way, you have a truckload of artistic options like bringing back just a touch of the original color for a partial-color effect. And, speaking of color, Photoshop has several tools that let you change the color of anything, whether it’s a car or the hair on your head. You can also breathe new life into vintage photographs by adding a dash of color.

This chapter teaches you how simple it is to drain, change, or add color to your photos in a variety of ways. You’ll find the following pages packed with creative color techniques you’ll use time and time again.

Draining Color

You’ve probably heard the saying, “You get what you pay for!” In Photoshop, that saying translates to, “The quickest method ain’t always the best!” In other words, some techniques just take a little extra time, and ...

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