Photoshop: How to Create Striking Black and White Portraits from Photos


Hi.This is Marty from Blue Lightning TV. I’m going to show you how to quickly create
the look of powerful black and white, illustration-style portraits from photos. Make sure your image has the same height and
resolution as mine, to ensure that your results will look similar to mine. You can do this while cropping your image. Open your Crop Tool and Crop presets. Click the “Width x Height x Resolution”. Clear the Width field and in the Height field,
type in 870 “px” for pixels. Make the Resolution: 150 pixels per inch. Go to the middle of each of the 4 sides and
drag the bounding box in or out until your photo is ultimately cropped to your liking. Then, click the check mark at the top to accept it. To fit the entire image onto your canvas by
pressing Ctrl or Cmd + 0. Next, we’ll separate our subject from its
background by making a selection around the subject. There are lots of ways to do this and I covered
them in many of my tutorials. For this example, I’ll use the Quick Selection
Tool with a Radius of 10 pixels. I’ll drag the tool over my subject to select it. To remove areas outside my subject, I’ll press
and hold Alt or Option as I drag over those areas. After you make your selection, to refine its
edge, go to Select. If you’re using a Photoshop version earlier
than CC 2015.5, click Refine Edge. If you’re using a later version,
either click Select and Mask or if you prefer to use Refine Edge, Shift-click Select and Mask. Check “Smart Radius”, which detects smooth
and sharp edges. Slide the Radius until you start seeing feathering
of the soft edges. Output it to “Layer Mask” and click OK. We’ll make a new layer below the active layer
by Ctrl-clicking or Cmd-clicking the New Layer icon. We’ll fill the empty layer with white, but before we do, check your foreground and background colors. If they’re not black and white respectively,
press “D” on your keyboard. Since white is your background color, press
Ctrl or Cmd + Delete. We’ll convert our layers into a Smart Object,
so we can modify our image non-destructively, as well as replace it with a different photo
without having to redo the effects. To do this, Shift-click the top layer to make it active as well, and click the icon at the upper, right. Click “Convert to Smart Object”. Make a copy of it by pressing Ctrl or Cmd + J. Click the Adjustment Layer icon and click “Black White”. Hide the middle layer temporarily and make
the bottom layer active. Go to Filter and Filter Gallery. Open the Artistic folder and click “Paint Daubs”. Make the Brush Size: 1, the Sharpness: 40
and the Brush Type: Simple. Make the middle layer visible and active. Change its Blend Mode to “Linear Light”. We’ll adjust its brightness by making the bottom layer active and clicking the Adjustment Layer icon. Click “Levels”. If the Levels panel is being cut off at the
bottom, just slide down the group of panels under it. If your overall image is too light, drag the
Input Shadow slider to the right. Conversely, if your image is too dark, drag
the Input Highlight slider to the left. If you want to bring out the detail of some
of the dark areas of your image like the gloves of my subject, double-click any Smart Object
to open its original image. Open your Dodge Tool and press “x” on your
keyboard to invert your foreground and background colors to make white your foreground color. When you use the Burn Tool, black should be
your foreground color. Open the Brush Picker. You can adjust your brush’s size by pressing
the right or left bracket key on your keyboard when the Dodge Tool is directly over your image. Make the Hardness: 0%. Choose “Highlights” for the Range and the
Exposure is 100%. Brush over the dark areas to bring out its detail. Then, close the panel of the Smart Object. This window will pop up. Click “Yes” to save the changes. As I toggle back and forth, you can see the difference. This is Marty from Blue Lightning TV. Thanks for watching!

23 Replies to “Photoshop: How to Create Striking Black and White Portraits from Photos”

  1. Thanks, great tutorial (as usually 😉 May I ask what video editing software you use, and are you happy with it? Mine crashes regularly… (Magix) Thank you and have a nice day.

  2. Marty, How would I go about making a filled circle (black) the making the center transparent? Like making a robber mask with eye holes? Trying to make a raccoon mask…THANKS Cliff

  3. تحيه حاره لك :
    اول مره تنشر عنوان باللغه العربيه
    سلامي لك من العراق واتمنى ان تستمر في ابداعك😍😍😍

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