Selective Color Using GIMP

1. Launch GIMP
2. Open your photo from the File menu
3. Select Duplicate Layer from the Layer menu. This will create a duplicate photo on top of the orginal.
4. Open the Layers Toolbox (Windows > Dockable Dialog > Layers).
5. You should see two layers, both layers will use the filename for the layer name but the duplicate will have copy appended to the end.
6. Make sure the duplicate layer is selected.
7. Select Desaturate from the Colors menu.
8. From the desaturate popup select which every option looks best.
9. With the copied layer still selected create a Layer Mask (Layers>Masks>Add Layer Mask)
10. From the Add Layer Mask popup select White (full opacity)
11. Select the Paintbrush tool from the Toolbox and paint with black over the areas you want color to show through.
12. Once finshed select Fatten Image from the Image menu.
13. Save the finshed photo.

Removing noise using Photoshop

The following is a brief tutorial on removing image noise using Photoshop. Removing noise is a process of trial and error while making sure as much image detail is retained as possible.

1. From the Filter menu select Noise, then Reduce Noise.

2. This will open a dialog with an image preview and a number of sliders.

3. Set the Sharpen Details slider to 0, this will prevent the filter from applying sharpening. Any sharpening should be done afterwards using Photoshop’s dedicated sharpening filters (Unsharp Mask or Smart Sharpen).

4. Zoom in and check for random red, blue or green pixels. If any exist the image contains Colour Noise.

5. To clean colour noise set the Reduce Colour Noise slider to 0% and slowly increase the value until the noise is removed. You may find its not possible to remove all noise without removing detail from the image. In which case find a happy medium between the two.

6. The second type of noise is called Luminance. These are pixels of different brightness levels (Black, white and gray) to the surround pixels.

7. To remove Luminance noise first reduce the Strength slider to 0% and slowly increase the value until the noise is removed. Then use the Preserve Details slider to restore as much detail as possible without bringing back the noise

Basics of photo editing

Its best to try and get photo’s shot right while actually taking the shot. However most photo’s could do with a little post editing. Modern image editor/management software is very powerful and provide so many options it’s possible to spend hours on tweaking one photo. Unfortunately most of us do not have time to spend hours in front of our computers. I follow these steps to quickly enhance my favorite selection of photo’s after each shoot. If there one or two which I particularly like then I may revisit them when I have more time for further adjustment.

1. Crop and Straighten – Before you so anything else make sure the horizon is straight and the composition is correct.

2. Adjust Brightness – Usually down with the levels tool. Adjust highlight towards the peak of the histogram. Boost contrast by moving the mid slider towards the highlight.

3. Correct Colours – Use colour balance to adjust shadows, mid tones and highlight to enhance specific areas of your photo.

4. Sharpen and remove noise – Use your image editor’s sharpen and noise tools to finish your image off. For Photoshop users the Unsharpen mask is very powerful. As a starting point try increasing the amount to 100% and radius between 1.00 and 1.08 pixels.

Many photographers only spend 2-3 minuets per photo.