Page #217 (176. Change a Color Photograph to Black and White)

177. Create a Negative Image

Before You Start

46 Open an Image for Editing

91 About Layers and the Layers Palette

See Also

176 Change a Color Photograph to Black and White

Why would you want a negative image? There are interesting photo effects you can achieve with a negative. For example, a negative of a black-and-white image of a subject's face can be filtered to create an embossed effect, which you can cut and paste on the top of a coin shape. (Imagine your son's head on the nickel!) Negative layers can also be combined with layers beneath using a subtractive blend mode such as Difference, for instance, to create effects where a ghost of a person appears in the sky. Being able to "negate" an image becomes a useful utility when you're working to create new and unique effects.


Open the Image in the Editor

Open an image in the Editor in Standard Edit mode and save it in Photoshop (*.psd) format.


Select Layer to Negate

In the Layers palette, click the layer whose image you want to make negative. If the image has only one layer, or has recently been imported from a digital camera or file, this should be the Background layer.


Choose Invert

From the menu bar, select Filter, Adjustments, Invert. Immediately, the Editor negates the pixels in the chosen layer. For a black-and-white layer, obviously, the light pixels become as dark as they were light previously, and vice versa. For a color layer, the resulting pixel colors are mathematical inverses of their original values. For example, if a pixel is entirely red (RGB { 255, 0, 0} ), the negated pixel becomes entirely cyan (RGB { 0, 255, 255} ). Mathematically speaking, the values of each of the pixel's existing color channels are subtracted from 255. So, a midtone such as RGB { 135, 48, 201} becomes RGB { 120, 207, 54}.


View the Result

After you're satisfied with the result, make any other changes you want and save the PSD file. Resave the result in JPEG or TIFF format, leaving your PSD image with its layers intact so that you can return at a later time and make different adjustments if you want.


You see more about how to use the Gaussian Blur filter in 151 Blur a Background to Create Depth of Field.

Is there someone in your life whose face you think should be embossed on a coin? An inverted portrait might not on the surface look like something sculpted. But when you play with the lighting effects and use blend modes to merge the result back with the original photo, you can easily achieve a "nickel plating" effect.


Because of the way the Vivid Light blend mode works when blending a layer with its own inverse (or, in this case, near inverse), a flat background like the one in this example is assured to have an average color of 50% gray (RGB { 128, 128, 128} ). This makes it easy for you to create a new image with a flat, 50% gray background (perhaps with a slight amount of noise added), and then in the newly embossed image, select the area around the head, feather the selection, cut it out, and paste it in the new image seamlessly.

Here's how I nickel-plated my wife: I took her publicity photo and made a duplicate layer. I then applied a heavy Gaussian blur to the duplicate layer only by selecting the duplicate layer in the Layers palette, selecting Filter, Blur, Gaussian Blur, choosing a Radius value that makes her look as she would if I were squinting at her (in this case, 10 pixels), and clicking OK. I then inverted the blurred layer by selecting Filter, Adjustments, Invert, as described in this task. Finally, with the inverted layer still chosen in the Layers palette, I set its blend mode to Vivid Light. The effect is to desaturate everything except those parts of the blurred layer that contrast with the untouched Background layer beneath it.

Adobe Photoshop Elements 3 in a Snap
Adobe Photoshop Elements 3 in a Snap
ISBN: 067232668X
EAN: 2147483647
Year: 2006
Pages: 263 © 2008-2017.
If you may any questions please contact us: