20 Stunning Photos Using Selective Color Technique

June 8, 2010 · 33 comments

in Inspiration

Last time we ran a Photoshop tutorial on how to apply a selective color effect to a photo. This time, we want to showcase some great photos that have actually applied the selective color technique.

Hopefully this photos will will give you some fun, unique and refreshing ideas for your next photo project. If you have any other great examples to show us, simply post up a link in the comment box. We go through all the comments (good and bad) daily and try to respond to all of them.

Happy Crayons, Selective Color by Patrick Powers


Dewy Pine Leaf Uncurling
by DrWurm


Vespa
by melanieburger


Hide n’ Seek
by Socceraholic


Selective Colors
by Fr Antunes


Butterfly
by dModer101


Experiment with sepia and color
by Lisa’s {names}aka.Santacrewsgirl


Tiger Lily
by jblaha


698 Alien
by Voyageur Solitaire-mladjenovic_n


Selective colour Manchester City Centre
by settme3


Selective color bonnets
by Mike D’Angelo


Transparent Butterfly
by thefost


Light/Dark
by FranUlloa


Supersonic Tram
by mescon


Secret Lemonade Drinker
by Compound Eye


Jacobs Field-The View Through Kevin’s Sunglasses
by laffy4k


Converse
by JKim1


Neus a la Seu de Lleida
by · 7


Taxi!
by roger.moffatt

You don’t need Photoshop to produce this effect. A lot of digital cameras these days have a selective color setting you can use. The below photo is shot by Taispy using her Canon IXUS point-and-shoot camera, no post-processing has been applied.

Article by

1 part ad agency. 2 parts freelancer. An avid urban photographer, traveler, and streetwear lover. Geeky curator of all things awesome. Sustains on Vegemite, meat pies and lamingtons. Follow me on Twitter or Flickr.

Yi has written 69 awesome articles for us at Photoble

  • Rebecca

    I love it!! I have long been a fan of selective color and use it frequently for reds.. this makes me want to branch out to additional colors! Thanks for the pictorial.

  • Rebecca

    I love it!! I have long been a fan of selective color and use it frequently for reds.. this makes me want to branch out to additional colors! Thanks for the pictorial.

  • http://hitormiss.yolasite.com/hit-or-miss.php Trixie

    Very nice technique, thanks for sharing.

  • http://hitormiss.yolasite.com/hit-or-miss.php Trixie

    Very nice technique, thanks for sharing.

  • http://www.twitter.com/yiiee Yi

    Glad you like the post!

  • http://www.twitter.com/yiiee Yi

    Thanks Rebecca! If you have any examples, do post up the link. Hope you have fun trying this technique out! :)

  • http://www.twitter.com/yiiee Yiie

    Glad you like the post!

  • http://www.twitter.com/yiiee Yiie

    Thanks Rebecca! If you have any examples, do post up the link. Hope you have fun trying this technique out! :)

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  • spRas:)

    Photography has become nothing more than a gimmick.

  • spRas:)

    Photography has become nothing more than a gimmick.

  • http://twitter.com/Qhrahlea Qhrahlea

    Awesome! Thanks for sharing.

  • http://www.scottcorgan.com Scott Corgan

    Consider me stunned…

  • http://twitter.com/Qhrahlea Qhrahlea

    Awesome! Thanks for sharing.

  • http://www.scottcorgan.com Scott Corgan

    Consider me stunned…

  • Compound Eye

    Typical miserable troll – ready to shoot down everyone else’s work but unable to produce anything of merit themself…

  • Compound Eye

    Typical miserable troll – ready to shoot down everyone else's work but unable to produce anything of merit themself…

  • http://twitter.com/avrashow austin avrashow

    Gr8 fx. just watching b&w silent movie Battleship Potemkin. they added color in one scene, akin to Speilberg adding color in Schindler’s List.

  • http://twitter.com/avrashow austin avrashow

    Gr8 fx. just watching b&w silent movie Battleship Potemkin. they added color in one scene, akin to Speilberg adding color in Schindler's List.

  • theboringkid

    I agree with spRas:), and I shoot weddings, editorial and other outlets as well. Selective color is tired, cheap, and not much more than a crutch these days. Even if it is successfully applied from time to time, why wasn’t the photo good enough to stand alone, without such a degree of manipulation? If the photo requires the use of selective color in order to make it interesting, it probably wasn’t interesting to start with. Either re-frame, shoot again, and see what happens, or look through the rest of your pictures and try something else.

  • http://www.twitter.com/yiiee Yi

    With your viewpoint, it’s easy to say that photo manipulation is nothing more than cheap techniques to mask a badly shot photograph.

    If you look through the examples, the photos are great as a standalone. It wasn’t like they were horribly shot as the photos have taken into account of lighting, positioning and of course, colors.

    I agree that selective coloring can be tacky, such as the cliched b&w wedding photo with the red roses. However, I do think that you’re missing the point to this post. I was hoping these examples would provide some creative inspiration to our readers and offer them another platform to express his/her photos.

    Sure this technique isn’t for everyone, but it’s unfair for you to comment on these photos as tired and cheap. By applying the selective coloring technique, photos like Secret Lemonade Drinker and Taxi definitely brings on a different outlook and evokes a thought that wouldn’t be otherwise achieved.

    Sorry for the long-winded response, but I thought the least I can do is to stick up for these photographers who have produced some great shots.

    Cheers

    Yi

  • theboringkid

    I agree with spRas:), and I shoot weddings, editorial and other outlets as well. Selective color is tired, cheap, and not much more than a crutch these days. Even if it is successfully applied from time to time, why wasn't the photo good enough to stand alone, without such a degree of manipulation? If the photo requires the use of selective color in order to make it interesting, it probably wasn't interesting to start with. Either re-frame, shoot again, and see what happens, or look through the rest of your pictures and try something else.

  • http://www.twitter.com/yiiee Yiie

    With your viewpoint, it's easy to say that photo manipulation is nothing more than cheap techniques to mask a badly shot photograph.

    If you look through the examples, the photos are great as a standalone. It wasn't like they were horribly shot as the photos have taken into account of lighting, positioning and of course, colors.

    I agree that selective coloring can be tacky, such as the cliched b&w wedding photo with the red roses. However, I do think that you're missing the point to this post. I was hoping these examples would provide some creative inspiration to our readers and offer them another platform to express his/her photos.

    Sure this technique isn't for everyone, but it's unfair for you to comment on these photos as tired and cheap. By applying the selective coloring technique, photos like Secret Lemonade Drinker and Taxi definitely brings on a different outlook and evokes a thought that wouldn't be otherwise achieved.

    Sorry for the long-winded response, but I thought the least I can do is to stick up for these photographers who have produced some great shots.

    Cheers

    Yi

  • Laplinp

    Schindler’s List, the girl in the red dress. I think that is enough said to justify this technique.

  • theboringkid

    I agree it can be executed successfully, but I think it’s overused and been cheapened by how often it’s displayed. HDR isn’t much different, and has also become a gimmick cheapened with every use. The best photos are simple and stand on their own without the need for a tired technique.

  • Laplinp

    Schindler's List, the girl in the red dress. I think that is enough said to justify this technique.

  • theboringkid

    I agree it can be executed successfully, but I think it's overused and been cheapened by how often it's displayed. HDR isn't much different, and has also become a gimmick cheapened with every use. The best photos are simple and stand on their own without the need for a tired technique.

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  • MROBLEZ

    HOW CAN I LEARN TO DO THIS….AND DO U KNOW OF ANY CAMERAS THAT HAVE THESE OPTIONS/TOOLS

  • Chelsie

    Well, great collection!
    I am a photographer, and sometimes using selective colouring as well.
    If you are a Mac owner, I recommend you using Color Splash Studio app, kinda easy to use and not expensive.

  • Bob

    Selective color is an abomination.

  • Alejandra Melendez

    Some of these are good and some of these are just crap.

  • http://graphicexpertsbd.com Brian Dean

    This is what I
    have been searching in many websites and I finally found it here. Amazing
    article. I am so impressed. Could never think of such a thing is possible
    with it…I think you have a great knowledge especially while dealings with
    such subjects.

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