Nov
15

Creating a bleach bypass effect in Photoshop

by
Matt Bennett

We show you the Photoshop steps to take!

Before
Before
After
After

This process recreates, approximately, a traditional colour film processing effect.

The first step is to create a black and white adjustment layer in Photoshop:

Create a black and white adjustment layer
Create a black and white adjustment layer

This stage is semi-optional, but we think it works best if you tweak the sliders at this point to produce a strong, fairly high-contrast mono image:

Adjust the sliders
Adjust the sliders

The next step is to change the blend mode of your black and white adjustment to Soft Light:

Soft Light
Soft Light

Now you can flatten your layers (to save on memory and increase speed) and create a hue/saturation adjustment layer:

Create a hue/saturation adjustment layer
Create a hue/saturation adjustment layer

Now simply lower the saturation by dragging the relevant slider to the left to approximately -50:

Lower the saturation
Lower the saturation

Change the blend mode of the hue/saturation adjustment layer to ‘Saturation’:

Change blend mode
Change blend mode

Now flatten the layers again and duplicate the background layer:

Duplicate the background layer
Duplicate the background layer

In the ‘Background copy’ layer, quickly double-click just to the right of the thumbnail and the Layer Style dialogue will appear. At the top, change the blend mode to ‘Screen’ and then hold the ‘alt key’ on your keyboard and drag the second half of the black (left hand) ‘This Layer’ triangle all the way to the right, tucking it in behind the white (right hand) triangle. For the remaining half of the black triangle, move this somewhere towards the middle.

And there you have it!

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