Above is the result of this tutorial.
Here’s an image that I took of a horse at Muscoot Farm in Westchester. In this example I’m going to make the image black and white and then bring the horse back to color.
Now I’m going to make a copy of the background layer. So I hit CTRL-J on the keyboard. Then the copy layer will say Layer 1. I always name the layers. This way when I have a lot of layers in a big project I won’t get confused. I’ll double click the word “Layer 1” to rename it. Here, I’ll name this layer “Horse”:
The next thing I’ll do is put a mask on this layer, so that I can paint the color right back into the horse easily. I’ll click on the mask icon at the bottom of the layers palette:
Next, I’ll make sure that the image of the horse is selected in the layer to make the image black & white:
Ok, now I’m ready to make the image black & white. I’ll go to Image on the menu at the top of the screen, and drop down the menu. I’ll then select Adjustments / Black & White:
In this case, when I change the image to black and white I’m not going to worry about how the horse comes out. I’ll be bringing the horse back to color. I’m just going to concentrate on the background. I want to make the background as dark and dramatic as possible. Here are the settings I used, not worrying about the horse at all. Then I click OK:
Now I’ll click on the mask to make it active:
Here’s the image in process. I usually start at the center and work my way out. I take my time and zoom in to the outer edges of an object so that I can see the details when I work. Remember, painting with black reveals and painting with white conceals:
Sometimes it helps to see exactly what the mask is doing. You can hold the ALT key on your keyboard and click on the mask at the same time to see the mask in action. Hold the ALT key and click on the mask icon again to bring it back to its original state:
Here’s the finished image: