Photoshop Lesson 4 - Magic Wand Tool and Color Adjustments

Create a new folder for Lesson 4

We already used the quick select. The magic wand allows you to select pixels that are close in color. It works best when you have a solid color area that needs to be selected, but you can also use it to select out part of an image (like the quick select) - in this case it works from within the selected area.

Copy this photo into Photoshop. It is a bridge in Paris where people put a message or initials on lock, clip it to the bridge and throw away the key.

Here is a news article about the bridge: Paris Falls Out of Love With the Padlocks on its Bridges

I took this photo in the Spring of 2013 with my iPhone.

Select the Magic Wand Tool - if you look up at the top you will see a tolerance setting - this tells the magic wand how closely to match the exact shade of the pixels. I am using a 20 to get started.

Click in the middle of the lock - then keep clicking and the selection will continue to expand outward.
On a PC - you may need to hold Ctrl or Shift down at the same time to add to the selections

Don't forget to let go every so often so that a history step is saved - you can use the history to go back several steps if something goes wrong - this is much better than starting all over again and getting frustrated - to view your work history just go up to Window - and be sure the History option is checked


Not everything will be selected right away - it helps to zoom in (way in) to fix up the smaller pieces that may still be present. This is usually because the pixels near it are a different color...

  • Create a selection around the entire lock - then choose Edit - Copy (this will copy just the part of the image that is selected)

  • Create a New Layer (Layer - New - Layer) and paste the lock into it (Edit - Paste)

  • Go to the middle layer (the one that has the entire photo in it) (you can see below that when you are working with a particular layer it will be a slightly different color - so you know which one you are on)

  • Go to Image - Adjustments - Black & White to change the color (this will change that layer only to black & white)
    - the color comes from the layer above it which holds the selection you made earlier - this is just like putting a cutout on top of another photo

You should now see an image that looks more like this:




Assignment for Photoshop Lesson 4

  • Complete the practice from above and save the ending photo of the colored lock

  • Repeat the process 2 more times using photos of your own and save them

  • There should be three (3) images in your folder for Lesson 4

  • Remember to upload the folder in to your Dig LIt Folder so I can view your work