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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 Kimura
Victor Kimura
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1 Solution
"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.
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.
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