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Black is also a colour

Correct colour or simply get rid of them and turn your picture into a perfect black/white image with Photoshop.

Rajwant Rawat | Print Edition: December 2011

There is a great debate about colour in photographs. Some swear by monochrome, others feel a picture isn't a picture if it is not in rainbow hues. Let's leave the discussion to the artists and see how we can improve or change the colours in our photographs. We need to sometimes edit colours to ensure a proper balance or for special effects. We can also drain the image of all tints, leaving it in stark black and white. Carrying out these processes in the era of films called for professional skills, but with the advent of digital cameras, they are not difficult.

Most cameras, even the point-andshoots, will allow you to choose monochrome, standard colour or vivid colour modes when you shoot. And with the LCD panels showing you the end result even before you have clicked the photos, you know pretty well how your efforts will turn out. Even then, you may sometimes need to touch up the colour palette. Or you may realise that the image is stronger in monochrome or conversely, in more saturated colours. It is then that you could take the help of a software to carry out the changes. Here are some simple ways in whch you can play with the colours of your photograph using Adobe Photoshop.

1 BLACK AND WHITE
Some pictures just look good in black and white. Lack of colour creates a mood and imparts a sense of timelessness to a picture. It may also be easier to focus on a story if there are no distracting colours around. To covert your picture: Open your image in Photoshop. Go to Image and then Adjustments in the pulldown menu. There are two ways forward from there.
Desaturate: If you choose the Desaturate option in Adjustments, the computer will automatic turn a colour image into a B/W picture .
Black & White: If you choose this option, you have the freedom to control the tones to your preference.

2. CORRECTING COLOUR
Open the image in Photoshop. Go to Image and then to Adjustments. You can balance your colours in two different ways.
Colour balance: When you opt for the colour balance option, you will be prompted to make the changes via three channels: Cyan, magenta, yellow. These three colours can be tweaked to your liking. You will notice that the three channels have inverse colour on the opposite end. This means that when you increase one colour, the same action also decreases its inverse colour.
Hue Saturation: When you click on this, a window opens. The first option on that is Edit, which allows you to choose Master (overall colour) or individual colours like Red, Yellow, Green, Cyan, Blue, Magenta to work on. Remember that clicking on Hue helps you correct colour by changing the colour palette itself. By using the Saturation option, you can adjust the amount of colours already present, that is, the colours get more or less pronounced. The Lightness option allows you to increase or decrease the darkness of the colour.

3. CONVERTING TO SINGLE TONE
First convert your picture to B/W using either method mentioned earlier. Then press F7 to open a layer window at the bottom with your picture as the background. Create a new layer using the icon at the right bottom (hover your mouse over the icons to find out what they are). Then go to tool bar on left side of the screen. Click on the Set Background Colour tool (depicted by an icon of two boxes overlapping each other). Select a colour from a palette. To select colour in the upper window, press Alt + Backspace. To select colour in the lower window, press Ctrl + Backspace. Then go back to the layer window. In the options, click on Normal, which opens up a dropdown menu. Select type of single-tone effect you want in your image.

Courtesy:Gadgets and Gizmos

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