How to Convert White Products to Black Products with Ease in Photoshop | Brian Rodgers Jr. South Bend Commercial Photographer/Digital Artist

Your Photoshop Questions Answered: How to convert a white product into a black product with ease in Photoshop

I had a question come in from Google+ and wanted to answer it in this in this Photoshop tutorial. In this example, I’m using a stock image to demonstrate how to take an object that is completely white, and convert it to black while still retaining all of the original detail. I will also demonstrate how to do the opposite; turning black to white. This technique is very helpful in commercial retouching.

I would also like to add that while this technique works great, every image will react a little differently. I recommend using 16bit high resolution files within ProPhoto RGB color space, in other words you want the widest tonal range possible. Lastly, keep in mind that when you convert white to black, there are characteristics and qualities of light that you need to keep an eye on. White is additive light, black is subtractive light. In the stock image example in the tutorial, the teacher has a white shirt. That white shirt is adding and reflecting light on his skin. So when you convert it to black, his skin seems a little out of place, because a black shirt would create subtractive light from the subject. My advice would be to burn down the areas of skin (using a dodge and burn technique of your choice) near the black shirt. This would create a more believable conversion. I opposite would go for a black shirt being converted to white. I would take the darker areas of the skin, and dodge them a bit to match the quality of light.

I hope this helps, and if you would like to see more Photoshop tutorials, please leave a comment below and subscribe to my youtube channel. 

Brian Rodgers Jr.

Brian Rodgers Jr. is a commercial advertising photographer based in South Bend Indiana. Brian has a wealth of commercial photography experience photographing everything from commercial portraits, RVs, large commercial vehicles, product and food photography, to multi-million dollar mansions. Furthermore, he has created brand images for national companies and his work has been published in various national and international publications including Photoshop User Magazine, Dentaltown Magazine, Incisal Edge Magazine, and the popular web based show "Photography Tips & Tricks" produced by Kelby Media Group to name a few. Brian’s overall body of work demonstrates a real cultivation of skills behind the lens as well as a wide array of cutting edge post production techniques. He provides his clients with exceptional images and ensures customer satisfaction through his relentless work ethic. Brian is not just a photographer, he is an artist. Retouching his own work allows him to deliver a product that reflects his vision as an artist. And his clients are never disappointed in his abilities to produce consistent, compelling images. Fun Fact: He shot his own portrait