This week’s question is pulled from the forums  because it’s a popular question and a lot of fun.  We covered it here in a tutorial titled Selected Saturation  and I’m sure you’ll see it again.  I also missed a very important part of Rod’s question and recently realizing it, I decided to run the entire question with my updated response here.

Rod C asks:

Looking on some different forums there seems to be multiple ways of making part of the picture B&W. I know to some this is a “kitch” look that has been done to death. But I think at times it can have a real impact.

Looking on some different forums there seems to be multiple ways of making part of the picture B&W. I know to some this is a “kitch” look that has been done to death. But I think at times it can have a real impact.

Using Lightroom 3 I highlighted the area I wanted B&W with the adjustment brush then reduced the selected areas saturation to zero.

One thing I don’t know how to do is use the Lightroom presets to adjust only part of the photo. For Example I’d like to adjust only part of this picture to a sepia tone, leaving the rest colour.

One thing I don’t know how to do is use the Lightroom presets to adjust only part of the photo. For Example I’d like to adjust only part of this picture to a sepia tone, leaving the rest colour.

 

Hi Rod. 

You're correct.. it’s been done to death, but properly employed such as you've done here it can be very effective.  Usually this works best with a strongly colored red/green/blue subject that sits off by itself.  Like your tiger.  Monks in Orange robes, a red sports car against b&W city streets..

I have a friend with a half Chinese daughter.  He sent me a picture of her dangling a live cockroach in front of her face looking intently at the bug wiggling around.  He felt it was a good picture but didn't have any 'pop', so I recommended he desaturate all but the cockroach.. WOW, it totally changed the character of the picture!

I have a friend with a half Chinese daughter.  He sent me a picture of her dangling a live cockroach in front of her face looking intently at the bug wiggling around.  He felt it was a good picture but didn't have any 'pop', so I recommended he desaturate all but the cockroach.. WOW, it totally changed the character of the picture!

Rod - I just realized I didn't answer part of your question. I'm really sorry. I'll do it now.

"One thing I don’t know how to do is use the Lightroom presets to adjust only part of the photo. For Example I’d like to adjust only part of this picture to a sepia tone, leaving the rest colour. "

The Lightroom presets are not yet available in the localized editing mode. This means you also can't set the entire image to a preset, and then go back and selectively erase part of it back to color.  Please see the tutorial "Selective Saturation"   to see how to use CS5 Photoshop to accomplish what you ask in this manner, and it would be the best way to do this.

However, you can use the localized editing sliders for exposure, saturation, contrast, etc, to create your own 'mix' of black and white or sepia, and then paint the area you don't wish to be in color. You can even save these settings to a localized editing preset to use again later.  Hopefully Lightroom being a relatively new product will evolve more and more with each new version as Photoshop itself has done.

Steve

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