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Focal B&W Photos

One of the things I love to do is take photographs.
Of my kids,  my rooms, flowers ;), nature, vignettes, etc...
When I am inspired ~ I love to capture that inspiration with pictures.
I am often asked how I get my photos to have the color in just one little spot
 and the rest of it in black and white.
I know a lot of you already know all about this fun tool-it's right there
in the photo editing software but when I discovered it-
 I was trying it on all kinds of photos!

I am by no means a photography expert-I am learning as I go.
  I actually have had a few  conversations recently with two absolutely
AMAZING accomplished  photographers who have given me some huge tips
and even walked me through setting my camera for the best setting.
Thank you so much to you both! I can't thank you enough for your help!

One of them told me that when she first started taking photos-
 she would ask for help from established photographers and they would not share any tips
 or help her at all and she remembered how frustrating it was for her to try and learn everything on her own.
So she made it a point to help people learn when someone asks how to do something.
I love that attitude of giving back and helping others.

I am super appreciative of the help they have given me

So... though I am just learning more about taking great photographs and editing-
  I can share how to use some of the editing tools in picasa

 I add a watermark and then do any basic tools that I want to apply
 and then I send them over to my computer and use my Iphoto software.
I have found that as simple as Iphoto is- 
some of the tools are much better  than what I have used at Picasa.

So here are a few examples of some of the focal photos I have done recently.
This one was taken in the Petite Cottage Bathroom Makeover. 
The flowers were so vibrant and such a pop of color- they were gorgeous. 
The stood out even more with the rest of colors muted.

This one- the background is actually a more taupey brown color- and the chair is weathered silver.
This one kind of looked like it already had a focal edit- but I did edit to color just the roses.

Just the peonies...
 love them.

Okay- so here's a photo before focal b&w editing 
I actually really like how the lighting and the room looks in full color. 
But for fun- I wanted to make those roses pop even more.

Here it is after the B&W photo editing tool did it's work.
The roses also came out a bit softer- I did not use the glow tool on this one.

Here's another example.
This photo has NO editing.  Yikes... it's bad! Sooo dark!! 
(I have since learned a bit more about those camera settings! ;)
This was an early evening photo~ notice the blue cast coming in the window.
 I ran out to grab just a few more pictures before settling in to edit and create a post. 

 Here it is after adjusting

Ahhh... Soooo much better!!

So to find this tool in Picasa- 
When you are there- click on one of your photos which will bring it up larger.
There will be 3 tabs you can work with:

Basic fixes

there is the B&W Focal tool.

Just click on it and the tool will show up on your photo
Move it to hover over the area you would like to show color and adjust the size if you would like
to show more or less of the photo colorized.

That's it!

Hope that helps answer some questions!!
Happy Editing!!


  1. Thanks for the info. I have not used
    these techniques before. They are wonderful.
    I'll have to give it a try.
    Have a great day!

  2. What great information and those photos are fantastic. I'll give this a try for sure.

  3. I have never anything but the basic fixes on picasa. Thanks!

  4. Roses and peonies - how I love them!! something must be wrong with me because I like the shadowy photo best! I think it shows depth and is more interesting than the brightened up one... Love your photos.


  5. LOVE

    I'm so "in love" with your blog.


  6. Such beautiful photos! On my bucket list is a wish to do an extensive photography course!

  7. Your photos are always so beautiful. Thank you for sharing. Sharing and helping others always brings success, respect and prosperity to the one who shares! It will come back to you in many ways!

  8. Beautiful work! Congratulations! I just love all the help (even though I am not a photographer - I think it would be nice to add interest to my blog) Thanks for sharing... Enjoy your Monday. xoxo Jalon

  9. Courtney,
    Love all those photos.Thanks for sharing your tips.

  10. Thanks Courtney~next time you see a pic on my blog like this, you can pat yourself on the back! I am def gonna try this tool out as I already use Picasa, but didn't explore enuf apparently. Your images are so improved, love looking at your blog pics!

  11. Great tip, Courtney! Picasa is even better now with the latest updates so overall it's a pretty powerful photo enhancing tool!

    I used to use Picnik quite a bit but now they they will be gone in a few weeks I'll be trying out It's still in the construction stages but is created by some of the same people who worked on Picnik. So far I like it even better! The site is mucy more modern and organized. My main photo processor is PSE 10 but I like the easier alternatives too.

    Always lovely images here : )


  12. Thanks for the tutorial! I've always wondered how to get those shots. I really need to check out all of the tools in my photoediting software.

  13. Love it! Thanks a lot for the tip! I have always love your photos!

  14. What great tips! Bookmarking this to refer to later! I LOVE your photos.
    XO Cindy

  15. Your photos are always so beautiful, Courtney. Thanks for the tips.

  16. Beautiful Pictures! Thanks for sharing. Love your blog. Have a good week!

  17. Beautiful photos! Thanks for passing along the tips!

  18. Here is my little photo tip for you.... you really should be framing your own work and putting them in your home as the works of art they are. They are beautiful.


  19. truly outstanding..thanks for letting us in on the how

  20. So, you use Picasa....
    you mentioned iPhoto, that you use that too...can you give some tips on iPhoto?
    I love the tips, please keep them coming...

  21. thanks for the info nancy, i also have been wanting to do this and stumbled onto your blog this morning..kudos and hugs to you! zanne

  22. Some beautiful images here. Thanks so much for the tips!

  23. you are a gem for sharing this, you have some of the most amazing photos in blogland - I don't use any editing (I know you can tell) and have to learn, but didn't Picasa go away? I was thinking it had or was soon going to - maybe I am wrong.

    I have much to learn, and you are so kind for "paying it forward" for us.

    I adore your blog, and you, thanks!

  24. What a great tutorial, and gorgeous pics too!
    I would love for you to come link this up tonight at the "Cowgirl Up!" linky party. Link up once, appear on 4 blogs!

  25. Your photos are gorgeous! I have not done the focal color editing for awhile - gonna have to do that again! Love those roses too, are they cabbage roses?

  26. IGNORE THE ABOVE COMMENT - I was thinking of Picnik, not Picasa - doh.

    I need to get with the program, haha.

  27. Courtney...thanks so mch for all the wonderful info:)


  28. Thanks for spilling all your secrets ;) I always love gazing at your pretty photos. Love the flowers, they just make the room and the pictures! So pretty.

  29. Your pictures are so pretty and you are so nice to share these tips, Courtney! I love the black and white with the bit of added pink. It really does make them stand out more!

  30. tfs:) the flowers are so darling!

  31. Hi Courtney!!

    Thank you for sharing these tips with us. I'm like you, if, what I know can help in any way...Why not share?

    Have a great week!!

  32. So so beautiful!!!
    Thanks for in info...
    Blessings being sent your way!!!

  33. These are great tips! With Picnik closing and my somewhat ancient camera I've been wondering what to do...Picasa sounds like a good option:)

  34. Thank you so much for the tutorial...All I can say is WOW!!..your photos are incredibly amazing!!

  35. I love everything about your blog but your photography is a huge part of it. Everytime I see flowers sitting on a chair I think of you! I think that is your signature. Yo make everything look pretty!

  36. THANK YOU so much for these fabulous tips, Courtney! No wonder your photos always look so beautifully professional! I've been using ipiccy for my everyday editing, and Picasa for my headers. I'll have to check out iphoto next! Thanks again, sweets!

    xoxo laurie

  37. Thanks for the tips! I realllllllly need to edit my photos more. Yours always look gorgeous.


  38. Forgot to ask iPhoto a free editing site, or one that must be purchased, Courtney?

    xoxo laurie

  39. My picasa just updated itself (again). I am absolutely thrilled with all the additional options! I played around with it a little on Sunday - will learn more this evening!

    I'm not sure I'd need another editing tool, it's so good.

  40. Courtney these pics are gorgeous!! I use picnik, not for much longer:( They have the same editing tools. I could play around all day with on there!

  41. I love how you used that technique with your roses and peonies! I use Picasa too and was looking through my images the other day trying to find some that would work well with the focal b&w, so this really caught my eye. You are so sweet to share and to provide such a great tutorial. Your images are stunning. ~Lili

  42. You're such a sweetie to share that...


  43. I love this post, great advice! I definitely agree with you about some photographers not wanting to give advice or help you out. I have just recently encountered this problem. There is a photographer I have been working with and all I do is just ask basic questions and he always seems so hesitant to give me advice, so I just decided to stop asking him and just figuring out things on my own. It's upsetting that it has to be this way b/c I am the type of person that loves when people ask for my advice or tips and am eager to share with them some pointers.

  44. Thank you for sharing. I am just going to purchase a DSLR camera and have a lot to learn. This is a great tip.

  45. Thanks for those tips! I love fooling around with photographs.

  46. Your photos are so beautiful Courtney, I love love the last one. :)

  47. STUNNING~~~~~ NO other words needed;)

  48. Hi Courtney...thanks so much for sharing these tips and for sharing these amazing photos!!
    Very inspiring!!

  49. Courtney, just stunning I love the pictures. Thanks for sharing these.

  50. Thank you for sharing that Courtney. Your pictures are always so beautiful!
    I had fun playing around with that.
    Let's Add Sprinkles

  51. Picasa has several new tools available. I didn't realize it until I started to use it after I had ran the update on it. Yeah, two new tabs full of new and exciting functions.