extract hair from dark (matching) background


I wish to extract hair from a dark and matching background. Here is the picture:

I got rid of some of it but that's because the top part of it was light and a big contrast from the people.

I have Photoshop Elements. I do not have Photoshop CS. Perhaps, one day I'll get it.

I can do masking in Elements so I'm thinking of somehow masking it but I can seem to get it to work. I also browsed on google and found tutorials but nothing with a "matching and dark background".

You'll notice the hair is brown and the couch is brown too (albeit dark brown).

Thank you,
Victor KimuraSEO, Web DeveloperAsked:
Who is Participating?
I wear a lot of hats...

"The solutions and answers provided on Experts Exchange have been extremely helpful to me over the last few years. I wear a lot of hats - Developer, Database Administrator, Help Desk, etc., so I know a lot of things but not a lot about one thing. Experts Exchange gives me answers from people who do know a lot about one thing, in a easy to use platform." -Todd S.

"brown", but not the same color.  Look at the different channels, which are R, G, B.

Red channel shows grey on grey.
Green channel shows better contrast between target & background.
Blue channel shows best contrast between target & background.

You can copy that channel and multiply it by itself.  That should give you a grey target on a near-black background.

Cut the mask by hand, or copy that channel and pull curves to make the quartertones & lighther = white.  Then 3/4 tones and darker = black.

If that's too technical, let us know if you need to see a couple of steps.
This is the blue channel with a curve to brighten 1/4 tones & darken 3/4 tones.  More contrast will let you isolate the background better.

Experts Exchange Solution brought to you by

Your issues matter to us.

Facing a tech roadblock? Get the help and guidance you need from experienced professionals who care. Ask your question anytime, anywhere, with no hassle.

Start your 7-day free trial
Victor KimuraSEO, Web DeveloperAuthor Commented:
Hi aleghart,

Sorry for the tardy response. Got a bit busy.

I'm wondering if you know how to get to the channels in Photoshop Elements. I believe I came across it before but by accident but I'm not certain.

Thank you,
I don't have Elements.  You should be able to bring it up in the same floating window as Layers.
It's more than this solution.Get answers and train to solve all your tech problems - anytime, anywhere.Try it for free Edge Out The Competitionfor your dream job with proven skills and certifications.Get started today Stand Outas the employee with proven skills.Start learning today for free Move Your Career Forwardwith certification training in the latest technologies.Start your trial today
Web Development

From novice to tech pro — start learning today.