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Photoshop Tutorial – Bleach Bypass Effect

The bleach bypass effect seems to be all the rage at the moment. The effect is very popular in movies, and is an effect achieved on film by skipping the bleaching while processing color film, leaving the silver on the negative. The end result is an image with high contrast, graininess, and reduced saturation.

I’d like to thank Gracey over at the Pull Apart Art Group for letting me use the image below in this tutorial. I’ve added a comparison image below so you can see the end result, and below that is the start image. The adjustments used here are relevant to this image only, but it is all about personal taste as well and the image you are using.



Duplicate the b/ground and change the blend mode of the duplicated layer to Overlay. Open up a Hue/Sat adjustment layer and take the saturation down to -65. You should end up with the image below.


Open a levels adjustment layer and pull the black slider in till it reads 20 and move the middle slider to the left till it reads 1.30


Open a curves adjustment layer, I used the Linear Contrast preset, the image below will show you that if you have an earlier version of Photoshop.


At this point I did another Hue/Sat adjustment and increased the saturation on the reds +50, greens +30, yellows +65 and cyans +15 – totally optional part of this tutorial. the image below will give you an idea of where the image is at.


Ctrl + Alt + Shift + E to stamp visible and then duplicate the layer by pressing Ctrl + J on the keyboard. Go to Filer>Noise>Add Noise and on this image I used a very small setting – 2%, Uniform, Monochromatic and took the layer opacity down to 50%. Duplicate the layer by pressing Ctrl + J on the keyboard, change the blend mode to Overlay and then take the layer opacity down to about 25%. That final step is optional. Below is the final image. Have fun!



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