Somebody recently tweeted the article link above, and I cringed when I first read it,as I indeed use several of the techniques listed, in my own photography!
This post is intended to re-dress the balance, at least in relation to one of the techniques listed:
Selective colour popping: If used with restraint, on the right photograph, this can subtly enhance an image.
I was passing a lane near my house and was drawn to the dirty grey textures on the crumbling wall, and the way the brightly coloured door popped out with its vivid jade green shade. When I opened the image in Photoshop, the brickwork was almost monotone already. It wasn’t a huge change to bring the saturation down a wee bit, which made the door contrast even more with its surroundings.
It’s all about going back to what you ‘feel’ about the image….what makes you actually frame that particular area, and finally click the shutter. All about trying to express that feeling in your photo. In this case, a very grey, crumbling setting with an incongruously brightly coloured door, which is what I was initially drew me in.
Here’s another. I felt the colour image was just too busy, and I simply wanted to make the telephone box the main focus. It’s such an iconic symbol, and de-saturating the background makes it even more so. More exciting somehow.
Here’s another..a bright eyed puss. Ok, I did crank the saturation up in this as well, so two horrible tricks in one!
I suspect the article linked to above is very much tongue in cheek, and it certainly doesn’t put me off using selective colouring. On the right image, it’s good.
I just think photographers should be aware (and resist) the temptation to apply to anything and everything, when caught up in the excitement of learning a new technique. (There are plenty examples of bad selective colouring!)
If you want to experiment with the technique, there are a couple of helpful links below. The thing is, there are many different ways you can achieve this effect, and each photograph may suit a different approach.
Here’s a link to a discussion from the Flickr guys about the subject:
And another really easy mini-tutorial on selective colour:
p.s. I’m guilty of a couple of other ‘tricks’ in the list, but I’ll keep that for another post!