Adding Color to Life – B&W Photography with a Splash of Color

owl, eyes, colour

The Attraction

Those bird eyes may seem cliché but they catch your eye as no other bird would! A splash of color highlights a particular part of the otherwise black-and-white picture and draws your eyes to it. Is this a new thing that photo makers have thought of? No, it is most certainly not! Hand-colored daguerreotypes have been known since the 19th century. In fact, color was added to a black-and-white photograph afterwards, back in the old days.

Today, advertisers seem to fall in and out of love with this trick, but you might come across a sample every now and then. Modern photo editing software have transferred it from the hands of professional photographers within easy reach of any amateur interested in it.

Even though, color has always captured man’s attention, black and white photography can still hold on its own. One of the reasons this is so is because of the perceptual loop, resulting when you take away color from a picture. We start to focus on the texture, shading, and patterns that evade our senses in a colored photograph.

A splash of color in a black-and-white image is like the best of both worlds! You can savor the nuances that you normally would miss in an all-color picture while still held captive by the colorized subject, which becomes the focal point. Achieving this complicated effect is no feat with the variety of modern editing software parading around.

The Techniques

1. Open your colored photo in the editor and instead of converting it into black and white, apply a black-and-white filter.
2. The next step is using the editor’s selection tools and selecting a spot to color.
3. Now, to select the rest of your photo, invert your selection.
4. The final step is applying a black-and-white filter/effect that will preserve the colored area.
OR
1. Open the photo editor and click open the color adjustment window.
2. Pick a color and dial down its saturation level to 0. Repeat for all colors, except the one you want to keep.
Tip: Save As your photo, instead of using Save. That way, you will keep the colored photo as well.

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