Photoshop Trick: Create Dramatic B&W Photographs by Isolating the Key Object in an Image (VIDEO)

There are a variety of methods for converting color images to black and white, but the video below demonstrates a unique approach that not only creates a dramatic conversion, but changes the focus of an image.

In this tutorial from image-editing expert Nathaniel Dodson, you’ll learn how to use Photoshop to create a powerful b&w image by isolating a key object in your scene. This simple approach involves using Camera Raw and Masks to bring sharp emphasis to a specific portion of a photograph and change the way the image is viewed.

Dodson explains how to use filters, masks and smart objects to create the eye-catching effect. Using a distant shot of New York’s iconic Flatiron building as an example, Dodson illustrates a quick method for cropping the shot to your liking. He then brightens the image and boosts contrast before isolating the building from its surroundings.

All that remains is cleaning up and softening the edges of the building, using a gradient map when making the b&w conversion, and adding a bit of subtle toning and background blur to make the building really stand out. Dodson also offers few other examples of photos in which he employed this techniquwe.

You can find more helpful videos on Dodson’s YouTube channel, and be sure to look at our earlier story with another photographer’s take on making high-quality b&w conversions.