Digital Toolbox: Lesson One

From time to time I plan on posting some of the 'tricks' I've learned in Photoshop. I used Photoshop 7, which is an older version, but it was FREE and that's my favorite kind! I am self-taught when it comes to Photoshop and most of what I know I learned through either trial and error or by browsing the internet and learning from others.

The first, and one of the easiest, 'tricks' I want to show you is how to convert a picture to black and white from color. Really simple huh? Well, I'll add in another component just to spice things up a bit. How to retain color in parts of the picture, so now you have a picture in B&W and color! Cool huh?

First, open Photoshop. Easy enough, right?

Go to File>Open (or press Ctrl+O)
Choose a picture, I've chosen one of a lilypad that I took last summer.

  • Next you will need to make a new layer of the picture. This can be done a few ways; 1. Layer>New Layer, 2. In your layers palette click on the paper looking part in the bottom right, next to the garbage can, or 3. Shft+Ctrl+N
  • Then go to Image>Adjustments>Desature (or simply hold down Shft+Ctrl+U)
  • Now you have a B&W image on top of your original color image.
  • Next comes a trickier part. Choose what you want to keep colored and what will be B&W. I decided to leave the lilypad in color and make the background B&W.
  • Now using your eraser, simple 'erase' the B&W portions of your picture that you want to be in color. I usually zoom in as close as I need to be able to make it look as seamless as possible.
  • When it looks the way you want it to, flatten your image. Layer>Flatten image
  • If you like the picture, you can stop here. I chose to make the pink in my lilypad a bit brighter then add a frame. I'll show you those tricks another time.
Here is the final result.


  1. You're going to have to teach me PS! I have the new one though...

  2. They all work pretty much the same, except the newer ones have more fun stuff that you can do. I guess I better post the rest of this entry if it's going to help anyone! Dur.

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