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.
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.