Thursday, April 16, 2009

Bleach Bypass Photoshop Tutorial

By request, here is a quick bleach bypass tutorial.

As a disclaimer, I should note that I do NOT actually do my bleach bypass in Photoshop. I do it in Aperture with one of two plug-ins (that also have versions for Lightroom and Photoshop): Nik Color Efex Pro 3.0 complete or Tiffen Dfx v2. I love both of those plug-ins because they save a lot of time without taking away user control. Nevertheless, at about $300 each, the plug-ins might not be your most affordable solution. So here is a quick tutorial (emphasis on quick—I will have a little less explanation/images than usual for the sake of time) for achieving a bleach bypass look in Photoshop:

1. Open your image and duplicate the layer (Mac: Command-J, PC: Ctrl-J). I will use the same photo you saw at the bottom of my last post. My bleach bypass in that post was done with Nik Color Efex Pro 3.0. But the end result here will come reasonably close.
Here's the pre-bleach image:
2. Set the blending mode of your top layer to "overlay."
3. Add a hue/saturation layer on top of your "overlay" layer. Use this adjustment layer to desaturate around -50 to -70 percent. I used -65.
At this point, your image will already look a lot more like bleach bypass.

4. Now add a levels layer on top of that. You could just as easily work with curves here, but that's just how Photoshop is—there are always multiple solutions. Use the far left slider to bring the black point more toward the center and slide the middle point more toward the left. Remember, all of these steps depend more on your preference than on a set formula. Experiment. Here's what my sliders looked like:
5. [opt.] If you need to tweak things a little more, add a curves layer. On this layer you can manipulate the green and blue channels for a cooler tone, or you can add a slight s-curve (which is what I did) for a little more contrast.
That's it.
Here is my final result:
Other than the fact that I didn't add any vignetting (as I had done in my previous post), I think the result is not bad.

93 comments:

Jacob Stanfield said...

Great tutorial! Thanks for this!

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Izzy said...

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I love the all the variation you can do with photoshop. There are websides which distort things how ever I found I side that presented a great houses and when visit the place I convenced me that was real. In fact I decided to approach the costa rica investment opportunities and buy a beautiful house there.

sandi miller mmphotography said...

Ahh, thank you! I've been playing with this effect lately (posted a few here today just for fun: http://millermillerphotography.blogspot.com/2010/07/for-sake-of-silly.html

Lightroom 3 comes with a very cool bleach bypass preset, but I don't always feel like switching from there to Ps, so it's nice to be able to do it straight in Ps.

Going to check out the rest of your blog now....

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Jane said...

Great tutorial, I think I will try it out myself. Great photo too:)

Photography said...
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Photography said...

Hello
I have followed all your tutorials and I think you're great.It is clear that you have a lot of talent.I am a 15 year old girl from Romania and I have bought a Nikon D3000 for 9 months.I love photography and I have been doing shootings since November.I thing they look good for a 18-55mm.But now I am saving money for another type of lenses, a better one.But I don't really know yet which one.I would be thankful if you could help me a little.I was thinking of a 55-200mm but I am not sure. Here is my e-mail if you have time to write me some advice:meda_sabina15@yahoo.com
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