Friday, August 23, 2013

How to Make a Colour Splash Photo

I have always admired other people's photos. How do they manage to compose the photo so perfectly? How do they get the lighting just right? And how on earth do they manage to edit those pictures so spectacularly, like that great effect where just one thing in a black and white photo is coloured? Obviously they must use some extra special editing programs that are incredibly difficult to use. Normal people couldn't do it. Or could they?

The other day my clever mother found out how to make these colour splash photos, and she taught me how to do it too. You only need a photo and some simple, free, online photo editing software. It's so easy that even I can do it! I'm going to show you how you can make these fantastic your photos, even if you know nothing about photo editing.

Step one is to find a photo to use. You can use one of your own, or, if you're like me and aren't any good at actually taking photos, you can use a free one. Most of my photos come from Morguefile, a creative commons photo resource website. I find that using a photo with a strong subject in a strong colour makes the photo more striking. This is the photo I've chosen.

Now go to Picmonkey. It's a free online photo editing program, and it has all the tools that you're going to need for this. If you need to play with the colours and brightness in your photo, now's the time to do it. Make sure that the part of the picture that's going to be coloured is just how you want it to look. Once you've started the next step it's difficult to go back and fix colouring. My picture already looks ok, so I'm ready to move on to the next step.

This next step is where the magic happens. Go to the 'Effects'. It's in the left sidebar, and looks like a bubbling flask. Scroll down and click on the black and white effect. Now your whole picture should be black and white. Do not click on apply. You should see a floating window with slider bars sitting near your picture. This is the paintbox, and it's going to help you make your amazing photo.

Make sure that the 'original' button is clicked on the paintbox. Hover your mouse over the picture. It should be a little round circle. Click and drag across the part of the picture that you want to colour. The black and white effect will disappear. Use your paintbrush to colour the subject of your picture. This might take a while, and can be a little fiddly. If you make a mistake, just click 'Effect' on the paintbox and rub over the mistake and it'll go away.

Once you're sure that you've got the picture right, click on 'apply'. And there you have it, your black and white picture with a splash of colour. Isn't it awesome looking? And you didn't need anything special to make this effect.

If you're feeling like the black and white is too harsh, you can use the slider bar in the left sidebar, where you clicked on the black and white effect, to fade the black and white, like I've done in this picture. This lets a little colour into the picture, but keeps everything except the painted area very muted.

Isn't my mum clever to know how to do this? And now you can do it too. Why not give it a try? Then leave me a link in the comments so I can go and see your masterpiece. I'd love to see what you come up with.


  1. Clever trick. Simple tool for those who find Photoshop overwhelming.

    1. Just what I thought. I've never dared to think about trying Photoshop, as my computer skills in that sort of area are pretty poor. But this trick is just like colouring in a picture, just on a computer, and it's so much better for people like me I think.

  2. Hello!
    Wow... that actually sounds simple enough that even I might be able to do it...
    I really need to try that out... maybe I can make a present using that ... and learning how to edit things in general...
    My computer skills in that area are pretty much non existent as well ^^

    How are you by the way?

    1. I'm sure you could do it Autschi. I am terrible with photo editing, and even I could do this. I'm sure you could make beautiful pictures. It would make a great present for someone I'm sure. You're always very good at making your presents.

      I am very well thanks. Glad to be getting back to blogging. How are you?

    2. I am very glad and happy you are back to blogging. I worry when I hear nothing from you.
      Also I got my wisdom teeth removed and that is slightly uncomfortable but I am mostly good.
      School and stuff.

      That reminds me that I have to start working on these years christmas presents..... I should really do that but yes.
      I still need to buy stuff and think of stuff

    3. When did you have your wisdom teeth removed? They're always a bit uncomfortable for the first week or so.

      I should be working on Christmas present too. I want to make as many as possible this year, but I've hardly thought about it yet.

    4. I had my wisdom teeth removed on saturday so they are a lot better already but I can still feel them and I need to be patient before I am completly done with it...

      For some reason I decided that knitting three scarves for christmas would be a good idea... I don't even really know how to knit (well I sort of do... but sort of is probably not good enough) so I really need to get the first one done soon because that one is for me and no matter how weird it is it will be okay.
      And I need presents for sooo many people I have no idea what to give them...