photoshop creative

Eye-catching photo effects in Elements

Posted in:
Tips & Tutorials, by Mark White
November 6, 2014

Mix monochrome with vibrant colour for stunning pictures!

1. Draw a rectangle

Hit U on the keyboard to activate the Rectangle tool. If there’s a different shape active, ensure that you change it to the rectangle. Now draw a rectangle inside your main image which will appear as a white box on a new layer called Shape 1.

2. Transform the shape

Chrl/right-click inside the rectangle and select Free Transform Shape, or hit Cmd/Ctrl+T on the keyboard, and adjust the orientation of the rectangle. There’s no right or wrong way to do this – the aim is simply to produce an appealing final effect.

3. Duplicate layer

Click back on the Background layer and Ctrl/right-click on it. This presents a pop-up menu where you can pick Duplicate Layer. A window will appear for you to rename this layer ‘Colour’. Drag this layer to the top of the Layers palette above Shape 1.

4. Convert the background

Click back on the background layer and navigate to Enhance>Convert to Black and White or hit Cmd/Ctrl+Opt/Alt+B. A separate dialog box will appear that enables you to convert the Background layer to black and white. Simply adjust the four sliders until you are happy with the effect.

5. Link the layers

Place the cursor between the Shape 1 layer and the Colour layer, hold down the Opt/Alt on your keyboard and a little symbol will appear. Clicking now will link these layers so that the colour image will only be visible inside the confines of the rectangle.

6. Create a selection

Return to the Shape 1 layer and Ctrl/right-click inside the rectangle, which now contains the original colour version of your image. Select Make Selection from the pop-up window and you will see marching ants appear around the perimeter of the rectangle.

7. Add a Stroke

Return to the Colour layer and go to Edit>Stroke (Outline) Selection. In the dialog box that appears, change the colour to white by clicking inside the small box and change the Width of the Stroke to 25px. Ensure that the Location is set to Inside.

8. Insert some shadow

Select the Shape 1 layer, go to Layer>Layer Style>Style Settings and check the Drop Shadow box. Adjust the Lighting Angle, as well as the Size, Distance and Opacity sliders to add the effect, making the colour photo appear 3D.