Removing Color

Photoshop Elements offers two distinct ways to remove color from an image: converting to grayscale mode and using the Remove Color command. The differences may seem subtle at first, but the changes they make to your files are really quite significant.

As I mentioned in Chapter 3, "Changing and Adjusting Colors," an RGB image is constructed of three different color channels (red, green, and blue), which combine in different percentages to produce a full-color image. I also explained that a grayscale image is constructed of just one grayscale channel.

Rather than compressing the color information into one channel, the Remove Color command creates an image that appears to be in grayscale, but remains in RGB. The gray tones are actually created by combining equal parts of RGB values in each pixel. Because it's still technically an RGB image and still composed of three channels, there's no saving of file size. So why use it? Unlike converting to grayscale (which removes all color information from an image), you can use the Remove Color command to remove color from just a portion of an image. This can be used to great effect for highlighting or dimming specific areas, creating neutral fields in which to place type, or as a first step before applying a colorization or color tinting effect.

To apply the Remove Color command


Using any of the selection or marquee tools, select the area of your image you want to remove the color from.

If you want to apply the Remove Color command to an entire image, it's not necessary to make a selection.


From the Enhance menu, choose Adjust Color > Remove Color, or press Shift+Ctrl+U (Figure 6.64).

Figure 6.64. You can remove the color from all, or just a portion, of an image by using the Remove Color command.

All color is removed from your image and is replaced by varying levels of gray.


  • You can actually control how much color to remove from an image or selection by using the Saturation slider in the Hue/Saturation dialog box. From the Enhance menu, choose Adjust Color > Adjust Hue/Saturation, or press Ctrl+U to open the dialog box. Then, move the Saturation slider to the left until you achieve the desired effect (Figure 6.65). The value 0 on the saturation scale represents normal color saturation, whereas 100 (all the way to the left) represents completely desaturated color, or grayscale.

    Figure 6.65. Use the Saturation slider in the Hue/Saturation dialog box to control the amount of color you remove from an image.

Photoshop Elements 4 for Windows. Visual QuickStart Guide
Photoshop Elements 4 for Windows (Visual Quickstart Guide)
ISBN: 0321423356
EAN: 2147483647
Year: 2003
Pages: 178 © 2008-2017.
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