Select pixels brighter than X in a BW photo in Photoshop


I would like to select areas which are brighter than X (X is determined visually).

Select -> Color range -> Highlights selects very bright areas, but it has no adjustments and it doesn't include some brighter midtones.

Select -> Color range -> Sampled Colors doesn't work on black and white photo at all.

Is there another method?

3/6/2016 6:37:00 PM

Accepted Answer

One idea:

  1. Select your photo. Copy it on the clipboard.

  2. Make a new layer, can be the photo itself or a pure color, that depends on what you need that for.

  3. Make a layer mask and paste the same photo.

  4. Modify the curves of the mask. Use the white point droplet and black point droplet. Depending on how close the values are you will have a more contrasted selection.

  5. Done. That mask has the values you need.

3/6/2016 7:07:00 PM

  1. Duplicate the layer where you want to select values greater than X, a safety precaution
  2. Turn off the layers below the new layer
  3. Double-Click on the new layer icon which will bring up the layer style window (see image below)
  4. On the Blend If sliders find "This Layer", move the dark triangle slider on the left towards the right until you reach the cut off value, read the number above the slider (see image below)
  5. Click OK

Now you have the pixels above the cut off value remaining. If you like you can also adjust the light triangle downward to exclude values above a certain point.

Original Photograph

Layer Style window

Remaining parts of the image