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How to create black and white photos with a colorful detail

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How to create black and white photos with a colorful detail: Wandering the web, you came across some black and white images in which a colored subject was highlighted: a type of effect that particularly struck you and that you would like to be able to replicate. The problem, however, is that you are not very familiar with photo editing and, therefore, you would not know “where to put your hands” to reach your goal.

Don’t worry: if that’s the case, know that I can help you understand how to create black and white photos with a colorful detail. In the next paragraphs, in fact, I will explain to you in detail how to highlight a color in a photo using both some PC programs and some online services that can be used directly from the browser, without forgetting some apps for smartphones and tablets.

I guarantee that, if you follow my “tips” scrupulously, you will have no problem in completing your “business” today. So, are you ready to get started? Yes Perfect! Carefully analyze all the proposed solutions, try the ones that “inspire” you the most and start using them by following the instructions below. Happy reading and, above all, have fun!

How to create black and white photos with colorful detail on PC

Let’s start this discussion by seeing how to create black and white photos with colorful detail on PC using some photo editing programs useful for the purpose.

Photoshop (Windows / macOS)

If on your computer you have installed Photoshop, the very famous professional photo editing program developed by Adobe, know that this integrates very powerful tools, thanks to which it is not only possible to highlight a particular color in a photo, but also to create very suggestive photomontages. Let me tell you how to use it for this purpose.

After starting Photoshopgo to the menu File> Open and choose the photo to retouch. Then open the menu Layer> New Adjustment Layer> Hue / Saturation and click the button OKin order to apply a new adjustment layer to the image.

Once this is done, desaturate the photo by moving the cursor attached to the adjustment bar Saturationsetting the black how primary color in the color palette.

Desaturate with Photoshop

Now select it Brush tool from the toolbar on the left, set the size of the latter according to your needs using the menu at the top of the window and “pass” the brush over the area you want to preserve the colors.

In doing this, be as precise as possible, perhaps combining the use of the Brush tool with the Lasso tool or at Magnetic Lasso tool, so as to create a selection before moving on to the area of ​​your interest. After making your selection, remember to click on the button Refine Edge (top right), so as to improve it and avoid inaccuracies.

Coloring with Photoshop

When you are satisfied with the result, go to the menu File> Save As and save the output photo in the desired location and format.

GIMP (Windows / macOS / Linux)


Would you like to highlight the color of a photo by trying less expensive solutions than Photoshop? Well, then try GIMP, a popular free and open source program that is available for Windows, macOS and Linux. Although it is a free resource, GIMP offers a vast set of tools that, among other things, allow you to create black and white photos with colored details.

After installing GIMP on your computer and starting it, click on the entry You open from the menu File and select the photo in which you want to highlight a particular color. Then duplicate the photo layer by clicking on the item Duplicate Layer from the menu Level and desaturate the image (thus transforming it into a black and white photo) by clicking on the item Saturation from the menu Colorsby moving the cursor attached to the wording to the left Stairs and then clicking on the button OK.

Desaturate with GIMP

Now, click on the menu Levelselect the item Transparency and, from the menu that opens, click on the item Add alpha channel. Then click on Eraser tool (the symbol of eraser) located in the tool panel on the left and, trying to be as precise as possible, pass the eraser in the area of ​​the photo whose color you want to highlight.

Coloring with GIMP

If you make a mistake, undo the last operation performed by pressing the key combination Ctrl + Z (on Windows) or cmd + z (on macOS). As soon as you are satisfied with the result, save the photo you edited by clicking on the item Export as from the menu File and choose one of the available formats.

How to create black and white photos with a colorful detail online

If you want it is possible create black and white photos with a colorful detail onlinetaking advantage of Web applications working directly from the browser.



An online solution useful for this purpose is Fotor. This is a free web service, it could be the solution for you. In fact, it can be used without having to register and, above all, without installing any additional plugins in the browser.

Before explaining how it works, I would like to tell you that, to eliminate the advertising present on the pages of Fotor (not too invasive) and to use some advanced effects and features, it is necessary to subscribe to the Pro subscription to the service, which starts from 3 , 42 euros per month.

Having made this necessary premise, let’s take action. To use Fotor, connect to the Web page related to the function Color Splash (the one that allows you to highlight the colors in the images) and click on the button Get started to access the service editor. Then click on (x) to close the box that promotes the paid version of the service and then click on the button (+) Open image located at the top, so you can upload a photo from your computer, the Web or a cloud service among those supported.

Once you’ve uploaded the photo you want to work on, select one of the preset among those available (eg. Natural) to use the shade of gray you prefer the most, adjust the size and intensity of the image saturation tool by moving, respectively, the sliders next to the items Size And Intensity and then act on the photo to color and highlight a particular.

As soon as you are satisfied with the result, click on the button Download (top right), select the format in which to save the edited photo (ex. PNG or JPG) and, to conclude, click on the button Download. Easier than that ?!

Other online solutions to create black and white photos with a colorful detail


There are other online solutions that can be useful for you to complete thebusiness technology today. At least take a look at it, please!

  • Photopea – is a very famous online tool to retouch photos that has a user interface very similar to that of the “classic” photo editing programs. It’s free and works without registration (you can take out the $ 3.33 / month subscription to unlock all its features and eliminate ads). More info here.
  • Pixlr E – another service belonging to the category in question which is free (with optional subscription of 4.90 euros / month to access all its functions and remove advertising), easy to use and which integrates various useful tools for creating images in black and white with colored details. More info here.
  • Photoshop on the web – is the online transposition of Photoshop, available to all those who already have a subscription to Adobe Creative Cloud. More info here.

How to create black and white photos with a colored detail on smartphones and tablets

Do you want to highlight the color of a photo directly from your smartphone or tablet? Well then take a look at the following app to create black and white photos with a colorful detail: surely you will find someone who can do for you.

Fotor (Android / iOS / iPadOS)


One of the best apps for this purpose is Fotorthe mobile transposition of the online service I told you about a few lines further up. It is available for Android (also on alternative stores, for devices without Google services) and for iOS / iPadOS which, like its Web counterpart, is basically free, but for access to all its functions and the elimination of advertising, you need to subscribe, which starts at 3.42 euros / month.

After installing and starting Fotor on your device, browse the explanatory sheets that describe its operation, tap on the (x) to remove the banner promoting the paid version of the app and press on the tab Color Splash (in the section AI recognition). Then, click on the button Choose a Photo and Start and grant the app the permissions it needs to work.

At this point you don’t have to do anything, except check that the app algorithm has actually managed to make the photo black and white with the colored subject. In any case, know that you can intervene manually by tapping on the symbol oflittle man (bottom right) and using functions Eraser And Restore to, respectively, delete areas to be colored or restore them. When you are ready to do it, save the local output photo by pressing the appropriate wording (top right).

Other apps to create photos with a colorful detail

Coloring photos

I conclude the article by listing you other useful apps to highlight colored details in black and white photos. I hope they can be to your liking.

  • Color Touch Effects (Android) – this free app offers the possibility to selectively color black and white photos highlighting only some details. Access to all its functions, however, requires in-app purchases starting from € 1.44.
  • Edit Photo Color Retouch (Android/iOS / iPadOS) – are you looking for an easy-to-use app that allows you to create black and white photos with a colorful detail in just a few taps? Edit Photo Color Retouch could be for you, since it is characterized by a “clean” interface that makes it easy to use. It can be downloaded for free, but to remove the advertising and watermark applied to your works, you need to make in-app purchases starting from € 3.49.
  • Photoshop for iPad (iPadOS) – is the most faithful mobile transposition of Photoshop to the famous desktop program, of which I told you in the previous lines.