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Turning a Color Photograph into a B&W Pseudo Night Photograph


This tutorial will illustrate every little step in the hope that beginners will find it more user friendly. Advanced users can simply read the steps without clicking on the detailed illustrations. The idea here is to darken the photograph without destroying desirable tonal characteristics.  Have fun.

Be sure to click on the PLUS arrow so the illustration fills your screen! Otherwise, it will be hard to read.

1- Here is the original color photograph. Click on the image to see it 100%.


2- In PS CS3, go to Image - Adjustment - Black & White . . . . as illustrated here.


3- Now select the High Contrast Red Filter.


4- Duplicate Layer


5- Multiply


6- Select the sky using the Magic Wand set at 32. Remember to hold down the shift key as you add more and more sky parts.


7- Modify - Expand one pixel. This is always a good idea when separating skies from your photos.


8- Modify - Feather one pixel. Selections should ALWAYS be feathered to some degree to eliminate pixel corners.



10- Select - Inverse. This will now enable you to work on everything BUT the sky. Now we can work on the foreground.


10- Now Flatten and use the Dodge tool.

In the Layers pallet select Flatten. By not flattening before this, it makes it easier to select areas with the Magic Wand.

For more information on using the Dodge and Burn tools you might want to review this: http://dustylens.com/Dodging%20and%20Burning%20for%20selective%20contrast.htm



11- Image - Adjust - Curves


12- Curves. Here is where put in a gentle "S" curve to enhance the midtone contrast (we steepen the center part of the curve which increases the contrast there)


13- Deselect. (Keep in mind that if you choose to go back to Inverse as in step 9 you can play with the sky portion!)


14- The final image. You can now play with the image even more. Perhaps adjusting the tonality even further. 

The point of the tutorial is simply to show you a very simple technique. It is up to you to refine it to your own taste. There can be much more to it! Enjoy.