I’m sure you’ve seen all types of ads in magazines and the internet where photographs have been manipulated in many different ways. As a matter of fact, no “original” photo has probably ever been used in an ad. Something has always been done to each and every one. Whether it be simple color correction to more involved color alterations, something has been done. I’m referring to professional ads here, not simpler graphics that are created by those who aren’t in the industry.
In today’s post, I’d like to cover some easy things you can do to add some emphasis to objects in an image using Adobe Photoshop. With my demo photo, I’ll first select the primary object and then I’ll alter its color. Then, I’ll desaturate the remainder of the image to make the object stand out more than it originally had and then finally, I’ll reduce the visibility of the desaturated area of the photo so the object really stands out. You’ll see this type of technique used in magazines and print publications where something very specific is for sale or where a particular message is being conveyed. The purpose behind this is to get the reader to see, but mostly ignore most of the image and to focus their eyes on the actual product. This is about reducing noise in an photograph.
The Demo Photo
I chose this photograph because it’s obvious what the product is. It may be the apple, but it also might be a message the apple is trying to convey. Something like, “This is the epitome of health,” or “Take care of what you treasure.” It could be anything, but the apple is definitely the focus of the image.
Selecting the Apple
First things first. To start off with, I’ll go ahead and select the apple using the Quick Selection Tool.
I’ll size the tool and then configure it properly for my use. Then, I’ll trace the inside of the apple until I see everything I want selected. If there’s something I don’t want selected, I’ll hold down the Alt key on my keyboard to deselect that area.
Here’s the selection.
Changing the Color of the Apple
Now that I’ve got the apple selected, I’d like to make it a bit more green than it currently is. I want it to stand out more. To accomplish this, I’ll go into the Adjustments panel and click on the Hue/Saturation icon.
Once the associated Properties panel is opened up, I’ll push the Hue slider until I find a color for the apple I like.
There, that should do it. I could even make the apple red if I wanted to, but I decided to stick with the green.
Duplicating the Mask
Since I already have the selection made, most of the work for this project is completed. Selections are usually the most complicated challenges of a project. My next goal is to remove the saturation from the remainder of the photograph. To do this, I’ll click on the adjustment layer that I already created and then I’ll use the keyboard shortcut of Ctrl+J to duplicate it. Once that’s done, I’ll click on the new mask and I’ll use the keyboard shortcut of Ctrl+I to invert it. So now, instead of any changes being applied to the apple, they’ll be applied to everything except the apple. I’ll also notice my previous edits being applied to this area, so I’ll reposition the Hue slider so it’s back at the center. Then, I’ll push the Saturation slider all the way to the left, so there’s no color remaining in this part of the image.
This is what the photo looks like now. See how much the apple stands out?
Reducing the Visibility Even More
With this step, I’d like to reduce the visibility of the girl in the photo even more than I have. I’d like to place somewhat of a semi-transparent overlay on top of her. To accomplish this, I’ll press the Ctrl key on my keyboard and then click on the inverted mask in the Layers panel. That will activate the selection once more. The selection of everything but the apple, that is.
Then, I’ll head down to the bottom of the Layers panel and I’ll click on the Create New Fill or Adjustment Layer button. When the menu pops up, I’ll select Solid Color from the available options.
When the color picker appears, I’ll choose white and then I’ll close that out. Finally, I’ll head over to the Opacity slider in the Layers panel and I’ll reduce the opacity to 25%. This is what I’ll end up with.
Now, like I said, I could have gone with a red apple…
Or maybe even blue.
I actually kind of like that blue apple. You get the idea.
And that is how to make an object in an image stand out. I hope I explained everything clearly and remember, this is just the beginning. Graphics like this will usually have text accompany them so they make sense.
If you have any questions regarding this post, please let me know in the comment section below. You can also ask any question you’d like in the discussion forum as well. Thanks for reading!