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Selective Colouring Tutorial

Discussion in 'Colour or Not' started by Dan Spratt Photography, Dec 22, 2012.

  1. Dan Spratt Photography

    Dan Spratt Photography Active Member

    I have recently made a tutorial video showing people how to do black and white photos with just a splash of one colour. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5sgYlk2aBvk
    I am sharing this in the hope it inspires some people to try it.
    If you dont have photoshop try using http://pixlr.com/its basically a free online photoshop!

    Please post examples here of black and white photos with a touch of colour.

    Here is mine from the video taken in Amsterdam.

  2. PhilW

    PhilW Well-Known Member

    But most people would prefer to have their eye's removed with rusty spoons than do colour popping!!!
  3. surf_digby

    surf_digby Well-Known Member

    Not a fan, Phil? :D

    Colour popping isn't about how to do it, it's all about when to do it and why you do it.

    The first time I did it, it was to demonstrate to a friend how naff it looked, but it ended up getting positive comments from a load of people, and I actually quite like the image now.


    I also did it on this one to distract from a) me clicking too early, with the train not far enough into the frame, and b) blowing out the clouds. Again though, people liked it, and someone requested a high-res version for printing and framing.


    I also added the frame as further means of distraction. =P

    More often than not, I'll use partial selective colour. This is where I'll reduce the saturation of an area or particular colour, to emphasise the vibrant colours of the key subject without resorting to unnatural levels of contrast or saturation, but not to the point of making it monochrome.
    For example, I did the classic shot down the aisle of the couple stood at the alter. Above them was a wonderful stained glass window. To bring out the best of this, I reduced the saturation of the stone walls (which was also an easy way of getting rid of the colour castes from the mixed lighting) and adjusted the levels to bring out the gritty texture. This left the window (pretty much untouched by me) rich in colour by comparison, but not at unnatural level.

    I've used this semi-colour popping effect plenty of times to emphasise a particular object or colour within an image, but without taking it to an extreme where upon it becomes gimmicky.
  4. Chris Cool

    Chris Cool Retired

    I was colour popping in 1983. I expect they were doing it in 1903. As each generation finds out about it, so they start appearing. I think the subject has to be very good before one picks out a certain area to be coloured. A good example I've seen is a poppy field with just one poppy coloured.

    Like most things. You have to be very careful how you use it and of course, it's so easily achieved with a couple of layers...

    Mod note: your file size is good but please remember that image sizes must be no more than 800 pixels on the the longest edge - further info can be found in the How to Post Images & Links sticky at the top of this forum - thanks!
  5. Zou

    Zou Well-Known Member

    Wow, a picture thread where the avatars "win"... ;)
  6. surf_digby

    surf_digby Well-Known Member

    A green chinese symbol, on a monochrome background?
  7. Dan Spratt Photography

    Dan Spratt Photography Active Member

    "But most people would prefer to have their eye's removed with rusty spoons than do colour popping!!!"

    I completely disagree. I agree that it can look awful, but if done in moderation and well it can look great.

    This photo in full colour and in black and white looks no where near as good as when it is black and white just the taxis in colour.

  8. daft_biker

    daft_biker Action Man!

    Aye but if you're going to be shooting scheemie brides it's probably going to be asked for a lot:eek:
  9. PeteRob

    PeteRob Well-Known Member

    i am sure I have seen this taxi picture before somewhere.
  10. PhilW

    PhilW Well-Known Member

    The thing is. Moderation in this case goes like this:

    The first time you see it - oh that's quite cool
    The second time - hmm that's ok, but I have seen it before
    The third time - oh no not that again
    The fourth and subsequent times - oh my god that is soooo old, what a cliche

    It worked really well in Schindler's list....


    .....Was resurrected in Sin City to reasonable effect.

    But now, anyone reading this thread has exceeded the maximum number of colour popped images that one can see and still think it's cool!

    The snag is (as Andy has said) many brides do not see as many pictures as we do and don't realize how passé it is, and ask photographers to shoot in this style for them.

    Photographers with their clients interests at heart should explain that having their wedding shot this way is the photographic equivalent of buying the dress at Primark, and dissuade them from the style.
  11. NosamLuap

    NosamLuap Rebmem Roines

    I just sprayed coffee on my phone! Brilliant quote!
  12. Dan Spratt Photography

    Dan Spratt Photography Active Member

    It has quite a few views on flickr, maybe there?

    If not I haven't got a clue where you would of seen it.
  13. PeteRob

    PeteRob Well-Known Member

    Must have been one like it then. There has been a copyright ruling on colour popping a london bus in front of the houses of parliament - AP ran the story.
  14. daft_biker

    daft_biker Action Man!

    Only problem there is Primark is possibly their favourite store and you're sitting with them in a room filled with tacky objects. Sometimes it's easier just to bump the price up than offend and go hungry;)
  15. Chris Cool

    Chris Cool Retired

    Yellow taxis

    There was one similar by Baz94 Clicky
  16. PeteRob

    PeteRob Well-Known Member

    Thanks Chris - probably was. I do incline to the see once - fab - see twice interesting see three times oh no. More art than photography in my book.
  17. RogerMac

    RogerMac Well-Known Member

    It might be a good idea to avoid images of red London busses when using this technique

    Edit - I missed the other post above about this story, sorry for the double posting

    Last edited: Dec 31, 2012
  18. El_Sid

    El_Sid Well-Known Member

    The trick with with colour popping effectively is generally to be quite subtle. The image below actually is colour popped as I wanted to present only the car in colour and there were a few other distracting brightly coloured objects in what was essentially a naturally monochrome scene...


    I did try a version with the car converted to red but it just didn't work as well - far too obvious...
    Last edited: Jan 8, 2013
  19. ianwaite

    ianwaite Well-Known Member

    Mee too I've definitely seen thhat taxi pic before!

    I too have had enough of selective colour it's soooo old hat! I have had odd goes but doesn't do much for me. I think it should have died with Schindlers list, sorry no pun intended there.

    this was one of my efforts

    Last edited: Apr 19, 2013

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