Select Colorization in Photoshop

I have acquired a new skill – select colorization in Photoshop AKA the Pleasantville Effect. Each of the pictures below were created in under 10 minutes. I found the images on Flickr searching for Creative Commons images with a World Cup theme (since I am currently addicted to World Cup watching).

Image from Dekuwa on Flickr

Image from er24ems on Flickr


  • Open -> Select Picture
  • Layer -> Duplicate Layer
  • On the duplicate layer     Image -> Adjustments -> Destaturate (give the image black/white/grey hues)
  • Pick the object you want to colorize
  • Use the ‘Magic Wand’ AKA Quick Select Tool or the Eraser to show the colored picture below.
  • This requires patience and zoom.

My 3 favorite shortcuts:

  • ctrl + Z = undo
  • ctrl + D = deselect
  • F7 = show layers

Another useful tip, when you right click on anything in Photoshop it shows what layer that appears on. This is a serious time saver when you have 20+ levels.

I have enjoyed (maybe not initially) exploring Photoshop. However, I am not seeing frequent application for Photoshop in my Spanish class. It will continue to liven up my Facebook photos, at least until the university license runs out.

Photoshop is making me really appreciate the ease and practicality of the ActivInspire software for a Promethean interactive whiteboard board. I will never complain about trying to create visually appealing flipcharts again.

About Lisa Butler

Middle school geography teacher, tech trainer, Flocabulary MC, Nearpod PioNear, and Edcamp Hershey Founder. I have embraced the power of purposeful technology and am creative with their application. If I am not doing something with ed or tech, I am probably reading children's books, baking with a toddler sidekick, running around, or dreaming of traveling.
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