Variation on Photoshop Theme

I took this iPhone shot yesterday of a poster in a local restaurant. I like the effect, and realized that I had just read a great article on how to create a similar effect by the mucho talented (in Photoshop and on bass guitar) Felix Neslon in the April/May 2011 issue of Photoshop User magazine, where Felix is the Creative Director.

Before going on, here is a Photoshop joke:
Q: How many Photoshop instructors does it take to change a light bulb?
A: One, and 99 others to show you his or her own way.

Well, Felix offers one very cool method for creating the effect in the magazine. Following is another method – using a few alternate steps, resulting in a slightly different end-result. Still, giving credit where credit is due, it's based on the concepts conveyed by Felix.

Above is a cropped area of a full-frame shot I took of a model.

Above is my end-result image.

Here are the steps in Photoshop:
1) Duplicate your layer. Layer > Duplicate Layer.

2) Desaturate the top layer. Image > Adjustment > Saturation, and then move the Saturation slider all the way to the left.

3) On the top layer, play with the Levels sliders until most of the facial features disappear – except for the eyes, eyebrows, nose and mouth. See below for the before-and-after Levels adjustment screen grabs. The position of the sliders will vary along with your image.


4) Select white as a foreground color (in the Color Picker at the bottom of the Tool Bar). Use a soft-edge brush and paint away any remaining features that you don't want in your final image. Tip: when you are working around the eyes, nose and mouth, reduce the Opacity of the brush so you can paint out details at a slower, more controlled rate.

5) Selected the Color Replacement tool on the Tool Bar. Pick a color (in the Color Picker) for the eyes and lips and paint over the eyes and lips.

Thank you Felix for the idea. You're the man now dog – in Photoshop and on electric bass.

Explore the light,