While reading different articles and opinions about selective coloring in photography sites and forums, this super famous song came to my mind, “It’s a sin” by Pet Shop Boys. Is selective coloring a ‘photographic sin’? Then I’m definitely a ‘sinner’, since I’ve used it many times in the past and I will use it again in the future!
If you take a small survey on the internet, you will find two main categories; the one that presents stunning examples of this effect, trying to convince us optically how amazing is to use selective color editing. And, the second category that considers selective color a cheap cliché, explaining why ‘real photographs’ never use these embarrassing for their skills method. What do you think? In which of the two categories are you matched?
Selective color is a post-process technique, where most of the photo is converted in black and white, and some parts of it are left in color. How this technique has turned today to mean something artless and bad is in question, especially if you remember the movies Schindler’s list and Sin City.
Both of these movies made a huge success in public and critics and had used this method in their photography. Schindler’s list was nominated many awards, including seven Academy Awards, seven BAFTA’s and three Golden Globes. And, Sin City won the Technical Grand Prize at 2005 Cannes Film Festival.
The main argument of the naysayers is that selective color draws the attention of the viewer with fake effects and in specific spots with no apparent reason, but only to be pompous and over-dramatic. Moreover, it is so overused that became a cliché. Nowadays, it is amateurs’ gimmick to save their crappy pictures.
On the contrary, for the selective color enthousiasts this technique is a useful tool that any photographer should experiment. Some times it serves the composition so well and its result satisfies anyone. It can also be used in a less obvious way to correct and enhance tones.
In the short list below you can read more articles with different approaches of this technique.
• Selective Color – Possibly the best tool for photographers on fstoppers.com
• Why You Should Never Use Spot Color on expertphotography.com
• When to Use Selective Coloring on digital-photo-secret.com
All the photos are my original copyrighted work © All Rights Reserved by Ioanna Papanikolaou.