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  1. Destructive Editing Method
  2. Nondestructive Editing Method
  3. Conclusion
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Nondestructive Editing Method

The alternate approach is a nondestructive, extremely flexible method that often takes a couple of extra steps to complete, but saves precious time if you need to make changes later. Here's how it works in this example:

  1. Press the letter M to use the Rectangular Marquee tool to make a rectangular selection of the area that you want to be in color.
  2. Angle the selection by choosing Select > Transform Selection and grab the corners to rotate it.
  3. Click on the Create New Adjustment Layer icon in the Layers palette and fill the selection with any color other than white.
  4. From the Layers palette, use the Layer Style pop-up menu to add a Stroke. Enter 12 points for the Width and change the Position to Inside. While still in that dialog box, add a Drop Shadow.
  5. In the Layers palette, lower the Fill percentage to 0. (This will keep the layer effects visible but remove the fill color—that's why the color was unimportant.)
  6. Hold down Command (PC: Control) and click on the layer thumbnail to load the original selection. From the Create New Adjustment Layer pop-up menu, choose Hue/Saturation.
  7. In the Hue/Saturation dialog box, lower the saturation to –100 and change the lightness to around 16 (it will vary with the image). Click OK. Initially, the image will be the opposite of what you want—the snapshot will be black and white and the remainder will be color—but you'll fix that next.
  8. Press Command-I (PC: Control-I) to invert the layer mask and make the effects of the adjustment layer affect only the areas outside the "snapshot."
  9. Hold down Shift and select both the Frame layer and the Adjustment layer. Using the Move tool, reposition the two layers while preserving the effect.

    You can even use Free Transform (Command-T [PC: Control-T]) to rotate or scale the original frame to change the effect.

    Now, compare this Layers palette with the first method: This time, the Background layer is untouched, and the other layers offer as much flexibility as we will ever need. In this example, we took advantage of the following methods:

    • Used layer effects to add the stroke (rather than using Edit > Stroke).
    • Lowered the Fill percentage to allow only the layer effects to show.
    • Added an Adjustment layer to "temporarily" change the look of the photo.

    By using these effects, we can do the following:

    • Decide to abandon the whole idea because the Background was left untouched.
    • Adjust the angle, location, or size of the snapshot.
    • Change the size or color of the stroke and the look of the drop shadow.
    • Alter the look of the image. For example, giving it a slight amount of color as opposed to completely gray.
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