Anna at Hank and Willie actually asked about this on the I Love Photography forums, so this is really her idea. She asked about how to desaturate a cool photo, which is essentially what they did in the movies “300”. She got a bunch of ideas from other photographers and I had to try it! It’s a different way to process them, but it’s fun to try different things (at least I think so!).
By the way, I love the movie “300” – the cinematography is so incredibly cool! I wouldn’t let the kids watch it for the violence and blood spray but it’s like an animated graphic novel…only with real people (with incredibley ripped abs!).
I would like to show you the original, but I was a bit looped when I when I wrote this tutorial and saved over it. You see the ladies just left after bunco and it’s midnight on Friday night. I hope you understand. 😉
Oh, wait…I could get the original back! Don’t mind me…just some live drunk blogging going on here…“hick!”
2. Adjustment Layer -> Hue/Saturation. Use the middle slider (-75) and desaturate the color in the photo. Flatten layers.
3. Burn the shadows. In this shot I avoided his eyes, since they were already shadowed. Select the burn tool (“O”) and change to shadows on the task bar, and set opacity under 20%.
4. Adjustment Layer -> Hue/Saturation (0,-25,0). Use the middle slider and desaturate the color in the photo a little more, as the burning brings out the color again. Flatten layers.
5. Duplicate layer (ctrl J). Select the top layer and go to Filter -> Distort -> Diffuse Glow. Lower the opacity of this layer until it looks good. An alternative is if you have the Virtual Photographer plugin. Use the “Halo” effect. Again, lower the opacity of this layer to around 15-20%. Flatten layers.
6. Using either curves or levels (41, 1.51, 205), move the sliders to bring the highlights out a bit. Flatten layers.
7. Sharpen and all done!
Here’s another example: