Semi B & W to Downplay Bright Areas

In portraits, I strive to do two things. First, I like to hold the viewer's eye for awhile, and two, I like to orchestrate what areas of the image will grab the viewer's eye. Let's examine this color portrait of my friend Anne:

The problem here is that my eyes jump to those bright lampshades, instead of Anne, which is where I want the viewer's attention to go. Here is an interesting way of dealing with this situation. First, I added a Photo Filter adjustment layer and chose Cooling Filter (82) and set the Density to 100%, and the layer opacity to 50%:

Next I added a second Photo Filter, Deep Blue, with the Density left at 25% and the layer opacity was also set at 50%:

This was followed by a Curves adjustment layer set to the layer blend mode of Multiply to darken everything. A 0% hard, large black brush was used to paint on the layer mask over Anne, thereby vignetting the edges:

Next I ran Nik's Analog Efex Pro 2, and used a preset from Flypaper Textures I absolutely love called One Penny:

Finally, I ran Nik's Silver Efex Pro 2 to get a black and white version that was pleasing to my eye, then I reduced the layer opacity to 40% to let a hint of the colored layer below to show through. Here is the final result:

Now those eye-catching bright lamps have a softer, almost creamy look to them. They still add a lot of interest to the scene, but now the viewer's eye can concentrate more on the model.