By Fred Moeves.
Lately there has been a lot of interest on selective coloring of photos.
There are many ways to accomplish in Photoshop. Here are a couple of the easier ways to do this.
First open the image you want to work with.
Next choose Image>duplicate do this two times.
Name one Color and one B_W close original image.
Now we have two photos to work on and the original is untouched.
Next change the photo B_W to black and white.
I let you choose the method.
Now select the move tool (V) keyboard shortcut.
Then while holding down the shift key drag the B_W copy onto the Color copy.
By holding the shift key it aligns both photos/layers.
Now click on the mask you created in the B_W layer.
Now make sure you have black as your foreground.
The letter (X) is the shortcut to toggle between white and black.
Next type (B) shortcut for brush and starting painting black on the objects you want in color.
If you mess up just hit the (X) key to change to white and paint over your mistake.
Here's the way I paint.
I am right handed and use a tablet.
So pen in right hand.
My left my forefinger is on (X) and my thumb is on the spacebar.
The reason for this is the spacebar brings up the hand tool only as long as I hold down the space bar.
So now I can move around the photo (spacebar) and the (X) is for switching colors from white to black.
Ok that's it.
Here's the finished photo.
Also here are a few more keyboard shortcuts that make painting and masking a little easer.
 Brackets increase and decrease brush by 10 px
Ctrl+ + and Ctrl+ - zoom in and zoom out
Ctrl+ 0 Fit screen
B for brush tool
X for switching colors
V for move tool
Now here is another method which uses the History Brush(more on this later).
This one is easy, fun and you can add a little art to it also.
Open your photo and duplicate your image.
Work only on the copy.
This method is not as forgiving as using masks.
You only have the undo which really limits you.
Then convert to B/W.
Here is one way I like to use.
From Photoshop Channels Book by Scott Kelby.
Great book by the way.
Go to Image>Calculations
This uses the channels to make palette to make the conversion.
This box comes up.
Now just choose a channel for source 1 and also source 2.
You will be able to see the preview in the background.
Play with these settings till you get the image the way you want.
Also don't forget to experiment with the blending modes too.
Best blending modes are:
Multiply,lighten,overlay,soft light,hard light,
vivid light,pin light and sometimes hard mix.
For this image I used:
Source 1 green channel.
Source 2 red channel.
And blend was pin light
Now we must go back to RBG Color.
Choose Image>Mode>RGB Color
If you forget to do this step the History Brush will not work.
You will get this Photoshop dialog warning box:
"Could not use history brush because the current
color mode does not match that of the history state."
Just click OK and Choose Image>Mode>RGB
Ok now for the History Brush.
Photoshop saves "History States" of everything we do to an image.
It's a record of every edit we do to the photo.
The History Brush lets us paint back through these "History States".
But with a twist.
It allows you to use different blend modes,different brushes
and brush modes while painting to get different effects.
Now type (Y) for the History brush or choose it from the toolbar.
And start painting away on the areas you want to bring back color.
Experiment with different brushes, opacities and sizes.
For this image I used the Oval Rough Tilt Bristle.
Opacity at 20% and the flow at 100%