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Photo Studio Tutorials

How to use selective color in your photos

Looking for inspiration? Why not try playing with selective color! A simple edit is all you need to transform an average snapshot into an artistic photograph.

In this tutorial you can learn how to add a creative touch to your photos with the Paintbrush. This tool allows you to apply targeted edits to a specific part of an image.

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In the example below, we will change the photo background to black and white and leave only the subject in color, highlighting the red and yellow colors of the coat and umbrella. Brushes at the ready!

Image after selective color editing compared with original photo


Step 1 – Select the area to retouch

The first step is to “paint” the area that you want to adjust using the Paintbrush tool:

  1. Open your photo in Photo Studio
  2. Go to the Selective Retouching tab in the right-hand panel and open the Paintbrush
  3. Adjust the size and hardness of your brush using the sliders.Adjusting brush size for selective retouching
  4. Using the left mouse button, “paint” the area you want to edit
  5. Continually adjust brush size and hardness to increase precision and paint areas close to the subjectPaintbrush selection on the photo
  6. If you paint an area by accident, change to Eraser mode to remove it from your selection

Tip: Move the Hardness slider to the right for a more solid brush, or to the left to get a lighter, more feathered outline.


Step 2 – Apply adjustments to the selected area

Set the Saturation slider to -100% to get a monochrome background:

Adjusting saturation for selective retouchingResult:

You can see the Paintbrush edits in the left-hand photo below. The red umbrella and yellow raincoat stand out clearly against the gray background, creating an artistic effect.

Image after selective color editing compared with original photo

Now you know how to use the Paintbrush tool to apply selective color effects to your photo. However, you can use the Paintbrush to apply all kinds of targeted edits to your photo by adjusting different settings. Why not try it yourself?

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