The Photoshop Secret that Will Change the Way You Edit Color

It seems simple, changing a colored object to black in Photoshop, until you try it. If you’ve ever had a Photoshop fail when attempting to convert color to realistic, pure black, and you're looking for a solution, you’re in the right place.

Oftentimes while editing in Photoshop, I'll decide to completely change the color of something in my image. Many times I do this as a result of client preference, whether it be to change the color of some part of their clothing, their hair and makeup, or something in the background of the shot. It's so nice to be able to do this and offer it to my clients as an incentive to hire me, as they see this, and most other Photoshop tweaking, as some kind of impressive magic.

Recently I had a client ask me if I would be able to turn my studio's pink sofa to black in post production. While I had indeed changed the color of the sofa many times in the past, I had never turned it completely black, and I was afraid that with my skills it would end up more of a gray than a realistic, true black. Enter this video from PiXimperfect.

In his simple, yet effective way of explaining, Photoshop guru Unmesh Dinda shows us a quick and easy way to use a black and white adjustment layer to create realistic black where there once was color. As a bonus, he also shows us his technique to make something white. I used this technique on my sofa and was able to show my client exactly how things will look when we shoot the real thing.

Do you have a favorite Photoshop tool or technique that you prefer to use when changing something from color to completely black? Share your thoughts in the comments!

Jenny Edwards's picture

Jenny Edwards is a portrait photographer based in Amarillo, TX. She specializes in family and generational portraiture, as well as fashion-inspired portraits for high school seniors.

Log in or register to post comments
1 Comment

The first example truly looked black, but the second example looked very gray and the third example looked pretty gray. Still, helpful information for the tool box.