How to make the single color in a photography to be color and other parts changed to B&W?.

Don't know exactly the name of the effect, to be more clear in the following photo I want the green part to be green and other parts( leg and sandal) in B&W..

enter image description here

How to achieve that effect in Photoshop?

  • 1
    You already got an answer for Gimp and we already have an answer for Lightroom which may be interesting to you: photo.stackexchange.com/questions/15315/… - So I made your question Photoshop specific. – Itai Jul 30 '12 at 14:02

While the posts pointed to by @SteveKemp are good, there is a more general way to accomplish this in Photoshop. Basically, you do this:

  • Duplicate the background layer
  • Use your masking technique of choice to isolate the area that is to be turned black & white. In the case of the image below, Select > Color Range works nicely to select the blue jeans. After selecting the pants, I can go into QuickMask mode to tidy up the feet by painting on the mask. Many other selection options would work equally well.
  • With the selection active, do Image > Adjust > Desaturate and only the stuff selected will be desaturated.

This effect is in a commercial post-production person's must-have bag o' tricks. It's useful in a number of situations and even if it's not to your taste or overused, it's really handy to understand how to do it. Beyond that, it's a short step from understanding how to do selective desaturation to gently dialing back saturation in image areas that are less important to draw attention. This may be a more artful technique.

  • +1 for posting a workable explanation rather than links that might die on the vine or be blocked by someone's home/corporate/national firewall – Drew Aug 2 '12 at 4:56

This technique is called "selective desaturation", and you can do it using many techniques.

The following guide is for The Gimp, an opensource & free editor for Linux, Mac, and Windows machines:

You added a "photoshopt" tag, so if you're using that editor in particular this guide might be more of a help to you:

In general people do it to draw emphasis to a particular area of the photograph, by leaving it in colour. I've always felt you draw eyes to particular areas of pictures by making them interesting above all, but some people like the look.


Use Black & White adjustment layer and by using the layer mask,you can define where it affects.

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    I think this is a better solution than desaturating as it gives you more control over the B&W portions of the image. – MikeW Aug 2 '12 at 6:08

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