Several people were anxious to know the steps to create "Monochrome Lake" that was on my Phun Phriday! post yesterday. I'll make this as short and complete as possible.
I use Adobe Photoshop CS4 and these instructions will be using that program. If you have Photoshop Elements or another version of Photoshop or GIMP or some other program that allows you to use layers you'll have to adapt but it can probably be done. NOTE: There are several different ways to do some of the steps I'll tell you about here, so if you know a different or better way, go for it. It's the end results that count. Since I am not a pro at Photoshop I just bully my way through and sometimes I find an easy way and sometimes there are easier ways.
I always shoot in RAW format and so the first thing I have to do is process through Adobe Bridge to create a JPEG image. While in bridge I usually enhance the blacks, the contrast, clarity and vibrance. I also crop almost all of my horizontal photos to a 16 X 9 ratio as opposed to the standard 4 X 3 that the camera originates them in.
When I was through with my Bridge processing I had this image to begin the "Photoshoping".
The next step is to create two copies of this image, name one of them B&W and the other Color (or whatever you want). You create the new layers by right clicking on the existing layer and selecting "Duplicate Layer". Remember to do this twice.
Now select the layer you named B&W and then go to the tool bar and select layer > adjustments > Black & White. You may want to click the little eye next to the Color layer so it is hidden and you can see that the B&W layer is not Black and White. Once you've checked to be sure it is B&W, click the eye on the color layer again so that it is visible on top. Of course your Layers palette will now look like the one above also.
Now we need to create a layer mask on the COLOR LAYER, which you do by going to the Layers palette and first selecting the Color Layer and then clicking on the little square box with the circle inside it at the bottom of the palette. Once you do that a white box will appear next to the image in the Color Layer.
Before proceeding you must make certain that your color palette is correct and to be correct the foreground color must be black. I believe the quickest way to do that is hit the D key, which should give you something like this. Without the red arrow of course ;^) . If it doesn't just select the foreground block and make it black.
Finally, we're ready for the fun part. All you have to do now is remove the part of the color photo that you don't want to be in color any more and the black & white will show through. To do that you select the Brush tool, then change the size to whatever you want. Make sure the Color layer is selected and start painting in black. You won't see black lines like you would expect, you'll see the background photo becoming visible. If you look over in the layer mask box on the Layers pallet you will see the white box start to fill in with black where you've painted.
You may want to make your brush very small and zoom in close when you're getting close to the edge. Also, in this particular image there was a very difficult area over on the right side of the lake where it was quite marshy so there is a lot of grass but also a lot of water reflecting the color. I could have zoomed in real tight and tried to change each pixel, but I'm too lazy so instead I tried to do that the best I could in the areas where I could, but in the overall area I simply change my opacity on the brush to about 50% and carefully went over the area until it looked the way I wanted. Remember if you make a mistake you can always hit edit > undo or CTRL - ALT - Z to back up.
If there is interest in how I do the framing let me know and I can do a tutorial on that also. It is really pretty easy and I know of people who use Paint Shop to do it also, but since I don't use that I don't know how.
Remember if you want to see the finished product again just click here.
I did this in a hurry so if there are any errors or anything you don't understand, comment or email me. The email link is below.