This is a fairly simple way to apply a “Metal Skin” effect to a photograph.
Settings for this tutorial are based on a 20 mega-pixel original image. Your adjustments may vary slightly depending on the size of your original image file.
Step One – Turn Your Image To Monochrome
Open your image and duplicate the Background layer. On the duplicate layer, go to Image>Adjustments>Black & White. From the Preset drop-down menu, select Maximum Black and hit OK to apply to your image. Go to Image> Adjustments>Brightness/Contrast and pull the Brightness up slightly to 10.
Step Two – Add a High-Pass Layer
Duplicate your Black & White adjusted layer, and then run the High Pass filter (Filter> Other>High Pass). You need to tweak the Radius slider to a point that brings out the most detail for your image. We needed a Radius of 40 for this image. Hit OK and then set the whole layer to Overlay blending mode.
High Pass Layer
Step Three – Blur & Finish
Duplicate your High Pass adjusted layer and run a Gaussian Blur. Adjust the Radius slider to get a nice halo of white around the details to add to the effect – we used a Radius of 10. Make sure that this layer is also set to Overlay and lower the Opacity to 50%. Add a Curves adjustment layer and push the curve up to bring out the silvery tones.
Step Four (Optional Add Tone for Depth)
Add a Color Balance adjustment layer and adjust the color sliders to introduce a color tone to your image.