Using Selective Color

Discussion in 'Abstract' started by michaellinder, Sep 14, 2018.

  1. Thanks, Luis. I had hoped to see other images besides mine.
  2. I wonder if it’s your use of the phrase “selective color” which may have confused people.

    I always took “selective color” in photography to mean a black and white photo in which a single element or distinct portion is in color, as so effectively used by Steven Spielberg in the black and white Schindler’s List where the girl’s red coat was left in color in one of the more horrifying and moving scenes.

    50 Outstanding Examples of Selective Color Photography – Photoshop and photography galleries

    I’m not advocating it’s use, by any means, because I find it mostly a hideous effect, but the above article spells out what I think of as selective color and gives examples (which mostly make me want to hide my eyes).

    I didn’t, and maybe others didn’t, understand how you meant it in this thread.
    Last edited: Sep 16, 2018
  3. Gary, I'm most grateful for your remarks. I understand that the "traditional" use selective color is as you described; and I did look at some of the examples. It might help you if I describe part of the process by which I created the image I posted here. It started off as b&w (i.e., converted as such from a color original). With software, I added several colors to selected areas. If you look again, you will note that there still are b&w areas as well.

    Hope this helps.
  4. Thanks. I did look closely at your photo and had already noticed exactly what you’ve described. I’d describe it as “colorized,” not “selective color.” I wonder if “colorized” would be better understood and get you more of a response.
  5. Gary, to me, the terms "colorized" and "selective color" are synonymous. From a process point of view, however, I think you're correct.
  6. Another image, using Gary's understanding of "selective color" fullsizeoutput_4ba5copy_edited-1.jpg
    mikehegarty01 and luis triguez like this.
  7. Thanks for posting a new example of selective color. I wasn’t going to come back to say more, but since you referred to it as “Gary’s understanding” of selective color, I feel the need to respond. It is THE common understanding of selective color. You may decide for yourself that you want to understand it differently, and I have no quarrel with that, but it doesn’t change the common understanding of a word.

    See another link on the subject here:

    15 Examples of Selective Color Photography Done Right

    You say that “selective color” and “colorization” are synonymous at least on some levels. That again, is your own extraordinary understanding of things.

    It’s really quite simple. Colorization is what Ted Turner did to many old black and white classics, applying color to them, not selectively, but so they looked like they were simply color movies. Selective color, on the other hand, is what Spielberg did in Schindler’s list, by SELECTIVELY leaving the red jacket in color in a black and white,film.

    I did not create these terms and don’t understand them esoterically. I understand them as they’re nearly universally used.
  8. 0072abs Mujer Oriental Haciéndose un Selfie Paraguas Fuente Bernini Plaza Navona-FujiXF23.jpg
    Fuji XF 23 on Fuji X-E2​
  9. Gary, Turner's movies were colorized in their entirety. I guess my first image was partially colorized. So what's the difference between selective color and partially colorized. To me, it's a difference in degree.
  10. When I hear/see the phrase "selective color" I too automatically think of a photograph where most of the image has been made B&W but part has been left in color.

    Probably 10 years ago, I saw-IMO-entirely too much of this effect and most of the time it was overdone and not effective. For a long time, it seemed like a staple of almost every wedding album was a black and white photo of the bride holding a bouquet in color. That's just one example of where I think the effect was done to exhaustion.
  11. Gary and Ben:

    There is a philosophical distinction between meaning and common use or understanding. If the meaning of a term or phrase depended entirely on common use or understanding, compiling a dictionary would be impossible, or at least much more difficult. Such a task would require taking a poll of language users, and the resulting dictionary would have to disclose the percentage of users polled.

    My original image incorporated how I understanding the meaning of "selective color." I must state that my understanding may be broader than yours, since It also incorporates how both of you understand it. Finally I grant that most photographers understand it that way. Gary, I do apologize if my second image (the 2 logs) upset you.
  12. Michael, your saying this was "Gary's understanding" of the term was what I responded to, not your photo.

    I was originally merely trying to answer your question about why, at that point, there was so little response to this thread. When I first saw your original photo, I was confused by what the thread was supposed to be about, since it was called "selective color" but didn't seem an example of selective color to me. I though it might confuse others as well, who may have hesitated to post as a result. That was really my point.
    Last edited: Sep 20, 2018
  13. Thanks, Gary. I'm glad we now can put this behind us.

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