Fantastic Way to Give Your Photographs That Fine Touch

Fantastic Ways to Give Your Photographs That Fine Touch

Once I have transferred all the RAW files from my memory card to the computer, I just want to go play and open them in Adobe Lightroom.

photography | Fantastic Ways to Give Your Photographs That Fine Touch

For this project I decided to do a colour pop, with main subject in colour while the background is in black and white. These type of colour pop images can be done in Adobe Photoshop but I chose Lightroom for this project. The process is very simple and can be time consuming as with all editing projects, so lets explore how I completed this simple colour pop project. This technique is also called ‘Selective Colouring‘, some people use the name ‘Colour Pop‘ for short.

(EDITED: If you do not use RAW files, then you may need to use Photoshop for creating similar colour pop/selective colouring images. With RAW files, you maintain all of the colours detail and information from your DSLR; whereas with jpeg’s, they compress the colours and you loose a lot of editing capabilities.)

The two images below are one of the original photographs, the second one is of the edited version of the RAW files.



When choosing photographs for this type of editing, I usually find that the photographs which have a strong colour theme. These can photographs with reds, greens or yellows are the best; as you can reduce the saturation of the other colours in the photograph during the editing process. However, before you start, it is always a good idea to create a copy as you would in Photoshop (just incase you make a mistake, you always go back and start again). Right click the selected image and create a ‘Virtual Copy‘, this after you have altered light and contrast adjustments as shown in the ‘Initial Changes‘ screen shot.


All of these above images start off with the sliders, with the first image being the ‘Initial Changes‘ to the photograph.

The initial changes to the RAW file are displayed in the table below.

  Slider Name  Slider No#  Color Slider Name  Slider No#
  • Exposure
  • Contrast
  • Highlights
  • Shadows
  • Whites
  • Blacks
  • Vibrance
  • Saturation
  • +1.55
  • +26
  • -37
  • -17
  • -5
  • +40
  • +57
  • -25
  • Red
  • Orange
  • Yellow
  • Green
  • Aqua
  • Blue
  • Purple
  • Magenta
  • +36
  • +30
  • 0
  • -100
  • -100
  • -100
  • 0
  • 0

Although on the first image the sliders for Green, Aqua and Blue are set to zero; I did lower these all the way down as these help when brushing out all the other background colours.

As you can see with the images below, I have show how the editing has taken shape (The brush settings are listed  in the table below).

 Brush Settings Slider No#
  • Temp
  • Tint
  • Saturation
  • +6
  • +20
  • -100

So you can see where you are applying the brush, you will need to tick the Auto Mask, which is located below the ‘Brush Size Slider‘, ‘Feather Slider‘ and the ‘Flow Slider‘.

Each New Brush will show up as a grey dot. When you need to apply new layer for area’s of colour still showing on the base image. Go back to the top beneath the ‘Brush Panel‘ and Click ‘New‘. This will utilise the current brush and allow you apply new a brush without changing all the brush layers you have already created.


Final Touches: On the final touches screenshot, I have made the last of the adjustments to remove the last pieces of colour still showing through. The current Brush layer will show as a white border to a black dot. When you mouse over the dot, you can move the layer very slightly; however it best not to move the layer. This could cause your layer to show area’s of untouched colour, by over-lapping on to the area’s you are wanted to be touched.

The overall time frame for this project is about 20-40 minutes, give or take a few minutes. The Final Image as completed.

Final Edited Image | Fantastic Ways to Give Your Photographs That Fine Touch

All Photo’s were taken with a Nikon Camera

Camera: Nikon D5300

Lens: Sigma 70-300mm DG

Settings: ISO200 | 300mm | ƒ/5.6 | 1/250’s



  1. 6 September 2015 / 12:05 am

    What a great post, useful tips, thanks!
    Great photo too xx

    • JohnMilnes
      6 September 2015 / 12:22 am

      This is one project that I felt I need to explain how I achieved the end result. It took a little longer than 1 hour, but the result was worth it in the end.


  2. Mel
    6 September 2015 / 12:09 am

    Beautiful photo, made even more striking by your editing / the red of the flower against the grey background.

    • JohnMilnes
      6 September 2015 / 12:19 am

      Thank you. I wanted to explain how I achieved the end result.


  3. 6 September 2015 / 12:10 am

    That final photo is just stunning – love the colour pop of the red of the flower against the monochrome background.

    • JohnMilnes
      6 September 2015 / 12:20 am

      Thank you. It took a little longer than I hoped for, but the result was worth it in the end.


  4. Melody
    6 September 2015 / 12:23 am

    I love the outcome of how the colour popped. 🙂

    • JohnMilnes
      6 September 2015 / 12:31 am

      Thank you. I spent a little longer than 20 minutes but I achieved the desired effect.


    • JohnMilnes
      6 September 2015 / 12:32 am

      Thank you. Photoshop is good for so many things. I do use Adobe Lightroom more than photoshop these days.


  5. 6 September 2015 / 2:56 am

    Love the final effect, it was worth the effort! Loved seeing how you did it too.

    • JohnMilnes
      6 September 2015 / 8:24 am

      I realised that if I posted just an image, it would get comments, however I wanted to explain How I achieved the end result. I didn’t go too deep and the post got the reaction I hoped for.


  6. 6 September 2015 / 4:34 am

    Nice tutorial, I am going to bookmark this and return to it later. Very nice final image.

    • JohnMilnes
      6 September 2015 / 8:37 am

      Thank you, if nee any help, let me know.


  7. 6 September 2015 / 5:19 am

    This is fab, ive been looking for a more advanced photo editing software and have been a little scared of trying Lightroom but your tutorial really explains it well. #mysundayphoto

    • JohnMilnes
      6 September 2015 / 8:26 am

      Lightroom can look daunting at first, I just looked for tutorials on YouTube, that’s how I learned to crated this effect for the colour pop images.


  8. 6 September 2015 / 9:15 am

    I love creating photos using selective colouring. What a great post to talk through the process

    Thank you for linking up

    • JohnMilnes
      6 September 2015 / 9:19 am

      Thank you. Rather than using some big words. I used the colour pop than using the standard “Selective Colouring’ terminology. As my audience grows, I will also use more of the technical names for my tutorials.


  9. chickenruby
    6 September 2015 / 8:21 am

    wow that is fantastic, i’m going to save this page and see what i can come up with

    • JohnMilnes
      6 September 2015 / 8:28 am

      If you need help, let me know. Keep practicing and you get the same results.


  10. 6 September 2015 / 9:48 am

    Amazing photo! Always wanted to have lightroom but cant afford it at the moment! I am shooting with raw files & jpeg just so when I finally have lightroom I can play with old photos that I took as well. #mysundayphoto

    • JohnMilnes
      6 September 2015 / 2:00 pm

      Thank You.

      There is an adobe package for £8.45 per month. Word of advice, only shoot in RAW. If you shoot in both JPEG and RAW, you are taking up double the space on your SD Card.


  11. 6 September 2015 / 10:41 am

    I do like photos like this – they really do add to the effect of the flower. Great tips too. #mysundayphoto

    • JohnMilnes
      6 September 2015 / 2:02 pm

      Thank you. I wanted to do something for this weekend.


  12. Emma T
    6 September 2015 / 2:54 pm

    Great shot. But blimey that’s a lot of work for one photo.

    I’m naughty, I don’t shoot in RAW. I begrudge paying for storage, and my laptop is almost pull, my dropbox is full so needs clearing out, and with RAW I’d definitely need to pay for space. But I’d seriously have to cut down the number of photos I take for blog posts if I was to edit everything.

    What do you use for storage?

    • JohnMilnes
      6 September 2015 / 6:54 pm

      Thanks for you comments. We have a Network WD Cloud Drive.
      It has 4 TB or storage, although I do have a lot of photographs on there.
      I do need to through and either reduce what I don’t want or just delete.

      They are not cheap but they just sit behind your internet router and anyone in your home can access it.


  13. Mommy's Little Princesses
    6 September 2015 / 3:54 pm

    Yip this definitely does colour pop. Thanks for the useful information. Xx

    • JohnMilnes
      6 September 2015 / 7:05 pm

      Thank you. I hope you gained something from the information I provided.


    • JohnMilnes
      7 September 2015 / 12:52 am

      Lots of people have really like this photo and tutorial I did along side, explaining almost the step by step process.

      Thanks for commenting.


  14. 6 September 2015 / 9:34 pm

    It makes a real difference doesn’t it. I will have to read and inwardly digest this post! #MySundayPhoto

    • JohnMilnes
      7 September 2015 / 12:31 am

      Thank you ever so much. I am glad I have written something that lots of people can come back to, time and again.

      If you need any help, just let me know.


    • JohnMilnes
      7 September 2015 / 5:12 pm

      Thank you. After I uploaded the photograph for the world to see, I thought, why not explain how you did it. The response from those who left comments, just go show I did the right thing by turning it in to a ‘How To’ post.

      So I wrote how I did using Adobe Lightroom rather than Photoshop.


  15. 8 September 2015 / 8:43 pm

    What a fab post I hope I can remember even a tiny bit of it! Thasnk #pointshoot

    • JohnMilnes
      8 September 2015 / 9:06 pm

      Thank you. This post generated a lot of interest, more than I ever hoped for.

      Thanks for commenting.


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