50 Outstanding Examples of Selective Color Photography

Selective color is a post-processing technique where most of a photo is converted to black and white, but some parts are left in color. This is usually achieved by using layers and masks in photo editing software. Black and white photography can give very powerful meaning to a photo, but sometimes a bit of color makes it truly outstanding.

The selective color technique emphasizes parts of the photo and draws more attention to the subject. It can turn your plain photo into a real work of art. Here are 50 outstanding examples of such photographies. Enjoy!

Mary Poppins Selective Coloring

Mary Poppins Selective Coloring
author: SDG-Pictures

Tora Selective Colouring

Tora Selective Colouring
author: smurfie_77

Selective Color HDR

Selective Color HDR
author: linse_lus

Yellow City

Fall Selective Color

Fall Selective Color
author: Brandon Godfrey

Sunset After the Rain Selective Colour

Sunset After the Rain Selective Colour
author: felixspencer2

Zebra Butterfly Selective Color

Zebra Butterfly Selective Color
author: tazman61

Molly Selective Colouring

Molly Selective Colouring
author: smurfie_77

Two-Face Flower

Two-Face Flower
author: delco714

Angel Selective Colour

Angel Selective Colour
author: Venvierra

Selective Colour Monks

Selective Colour Monks
author: Andrew _ B

Tulips VIII

Tulips VIII
author: YuriPanda

Yellow Flower

Yellow Flower
author: gramola2three

Flower – Selective Color

Flower - Selective Color
author: benono06

Selective Color-Duck

Selective Color-Duck
author: abbybatchelder

Peacock

Candy Cane

Koenigsegg CCX

Koenigsegg CCX
author: T_hijs

Eagle Close-Up

Eagle Close-Up
author: Nikon66

Dewy Pine Leaf Uncurling

Dewy Pine Leaf Uncurling
author: DrWurm

Fall: Selective Coloring

Fall: Selective Coloring
author: kelly ann t

Selective Color

Selective Color
author: Een fotograaf

Telephone in Selective Colour

Telephone in Selective Colour
author: Mylkinut

Selective Color Stanley Steamer

Selective Color Stanley Steamer
author: HuTDoG83

Alice

Alice
author: chris_florio

Selective Color Bug

Selective Color Bug
author: AirBrontosaurus

Experiment in Selective Color

Experiment in Selective Color
author: syntheticpanda

Chondro Selective Color

Chondro Selective Color
author: kondro86

One of the Pups

One of the Pups
author: Ryryc181

Selective Colour Flowers

Surrounded by Roses

Trapped in Mime Town

Trapped in Mime Town
author: Bssnst06

Girl in Pink

Selective Colour 2

Selective Colour 2
author: Victoria

Pride and Joy

Pride and Joy
author: Nigel Allinson

The Game

The Game
author: ThePatchwork

Tom

Tom
author: szb78

My Belly with the Flower

My Belly with the Flower
author: edflint

The Boat and The Castle

Knight Rider

The Boat Shed

Fargo

Fargo
author: phil404

Goodbye

Goodbye
author: Ssukel

Another Flower?

Another Flower?
author: k5683

The Bleeding Plant

The Bleeding Plant
author: ReapRevenge

Beautiful Flower

Beautiful Flower
author: loopyluv

Blue Bells

Blue Bells
author: Draco

Just Take My Soul

Just Take My Soul
author: emeraldiris

Broken Promise

Broken Promise
author: NotforyousweetE

KJ Wedding XI

KJ Wedding XI
author: YuriPanda

Author: Giulia

Giulia is a 25 year old girl from Romania. She runs a blog dedicated to cute animals on furrytalk.com. She's also an amateur photographer and has a passion for Photoshop.

28 thoughts on “50 Outstanding Examples of Selective Color Photography”

  1. Wow, these are a beautiful collection of photographs. And it appears to me , our photographic capabilities are only governed by our imaginations.
    Thank you Giulia for putting this magical collection together.

    Allen Sentance Fisherman

  2. Wonderful post! What we don’t see in real life, we can see in photos… It’s a chance we have to pay attention in details we usually let aside in everyday-life!

  3. You people are beating photography to death with technology, selective coloring is an insult to photography. Essentially what you’re saying about the photograph is “this is not good enough in black and white or color but if I use a combination of the two maybe this little girl in pink at a beach will now be photography,”. Thank you for further deteriorating the art of photography.

  4. I love love LOVE these. They are absolutely beautiful. You’ve taken photos that are beautiful and made them POP even more. I would like to learn how to do this. What software do I need?

  5. I absolutely agree with “filmphotography”, selective color like this is nothing, i say NOTHING, but tacky! it looks cheap, and it IS cheap! It’s a cheap trick to make an uninteresting picture appealing to those who don’t truly understand photography.

    The effect becomes more important than the composition and expression of the photograph. We have an expression for that in Swedish: “hötorgskonst”. “Art” that’s more or less “industrially” produced to be easy to sell. There’s no really thought from the “artist” about the composition or expression, as long as it looks good and sells.

    As a photographer, partially colored black and whites is a phase you go through in the early beginning of your photography, nowadays. Then you move on and realize that it does look kind of cheap, and that the effect gets the attention from the expression. If a picture isn’t good enough in full color or b/w, it sure as hell isn’t going to get any better by splatting some color over it!

  6. Thank you Guilia.
    I am a big fan of black and white. But with selective coloring, and really emphasize the meaning of the picture itself.
    Nice collections and thank you for sharing with us!
    Keep it coming.

  7. Some of the pictures were ok, but as a whole these are unimaginative, badly composed without an idea behind them. Selective color is rather a cheap trick than a usable technique.

  8. filmphotography & Christoffer Wallstenius couldn’t be any more wrong. You have an opinion and thats about it. You don’t like her expression of her Art and you go on as if she is Blaspheming the name of the Lord!!

    Next your going to say HDR Photography is crap and that nobody should do it. As a professional photographer There are pictures that I have done for people with the exact same affect.They look good and they love it.

    I look at these pictures and they look beautiful. They could pass in either Color or B&W but she choose to change the pics up. If there is anybody that is a Noob in Photography that would be you two. Adding different effects to the pics is an Art and this should be expressed. I doubt you two have any sort of Caliber of talent and lack the good taste of photography that is needed to produce amazing pictures.

    Christoffer I click on your web site and I see 3 over contrast garbage pics. You are the last person to bash or give any sort of comments at all. Unplug your internet and read a book or something.

    Keep creating and expressing your Art Giulia and never mind any fools who may be Jealous because they lack the creative eye that is needed nowadays.

  9. Paul:

    First of all, yes of course I’m expressing my opinion. What else could I do? Same goes for You, Paul anonymous. You have the guts to call my pictures “garbage pics” (one of them have won two prizes and is also featured in a few online galleries, so everyone doesn’t agree with You), but You lack the guts to be unanonymous and show your own fantastic art. My opinion about the three pictures of mine that you have seen means nothing to me, of course. Why would I care about what some anonymous dude on the net says? Give me a reason to take your words serious, show me your photos!

    So You call your self pro? Without any kind of evidence (i.e. You not being gutless and showing your amazing pictures), I take your words as if they come from a complete noob. Besides, being pro is i no way a guarantee for either good taste or good pictures. Being pro only means that you are good at marketing yourself. I know many extremely skilled photographers, way more skilled than I am (I’ve only been photographing for about 9 years), that have tried to go pro but failed. Not because their pictures look bad, because they certainly don’t, but because they lack the courage to demand what the pictures are work, and the skill to promote themselves.

    I do not call my self a pro, I do however get paid for photography from time to time. Again, obviously not everyone agree with your opinion about my skill as a photographer.

    As a pro, if you really are what you claim, you should really know that an effect should not be used for the sake of the effect. It should be used when it’s called for.

    About HDR: Yes, I dislike when _tone mapping_ is overused. There are _plenty_ of pictures out there that looks nothing but crap because of the extreme tone mapping effect, that would otherwise be really good pictures. But there are undoubtedly some that look really good. And that is when the effect really suits the subject, and when the tone mapping have been done with taste and carefulness by the photographer. Unfortunately, there’s a lot out there who just drag the sliders around a bit without really knowing, or caring for, what they are doing.

    Also, who are YOU to judge who gets to comment stuff on the internet or not? Do you have a god-complex, or what’s your issue? That kind of argumentation techniques (“Christoffer I click on your web site and I see 3 over contrast garbage pics. You are the last person to bash or give any sort of comments at all. Unplug your internet and read a book or something.”) are usually used when people run out of arguments, or simply by people who lack the intelligence needed to have a mature argument.

    Last but not least, I want to apologize to Giulia! I didn’t realize that I were commenting on your own pictures, I came to this post via StumbleUpon, and I thought it was another one of those blogs that just collect pictures from all over the internet. If I would have realized that is was your own work, I would not have been as harsh in my previous comment!

    I do however stand by my point, that I think that the effect of partially coloring pictures seldom add anything. Sometimes it really does add something, and it’s _then_ it should be used. By overusing effects (doesn’t matter what kind of effect really), the really outstanding pictures drown in all the others. The effect “grow old”, becomes passé.

    /Christoffer

  10. I think that selective colouring, like any easily accessible effect, is overused. However, that doesn’t mean it’s absolutely useless. I don’t think that photoshopping has killed photography anymore than Magic Bullet has killed the film industry. When you look at a photograph you can tell when someone has used selective colour as an integral part of the story they’re telling or if they’ve just put whacked it on to make a shitty photo look ‘arty’.

    After all, selective colour was good enough for Spielberg.

  11. i have chose to do selective colour in my A-level work and i i have used some of these as example of good work i write about these also because thay involve in my artist research

  12. Wow I can’t believe one of my photos is among these fantastic images, thanks! It was my first attempt at selective colour. I have the original photo on flickr too – http://www.flickr.com/photos/venvierra/509481400/
    I am an amateur though I do have a couple of photos up on websites and had one in the local newspaper which I am still amazed at. I love things like selective colouring, find it more of an art form along with the likes of HDR and abit of fun to play around with to see what kind of look I can get with a photo. Majority of the time I don’t do that to a photo. Its just a matter of personal preference I think when it comes to this stuff

  13. Christoffer Wallstenius

    First off, would u like a cookie and a hug for letting us know you’ve won some award for your photos? Just bc you don’t like “selective coloring” doesn’t mean you can come in here and say what’s good or not. Who are you to say what’s good or not? Everyone has their own way of editing. Just bc you won some award for your photos doesn’t give you the right to judge what style or techniques you like or dislike. Start you’re own blog or website and voice your opinions there not here. I’m not a photographer but I love viewing all types of photography. There’s no one techniques I like or dislike over the others. Sorry if not everyone is as gifted as you are.

    I’m sure your photography skills are exceptional and your work is beautiful. I’m sure you’re a great photographer but when pros like you start voicing what’s techniques are in or out, that’s when I say you keep that opinion to yourself. Who cares if they want to color in a few spots on her BW’s. If you like it give some props , if you don’t keep your opinions to yourself and leave the site. Old, new or trendy photographic styles fit and suits certain people, if everyone like one type (traditional– what I shoot is what you see no editing or minor post processing) its kind of boring to see the same style over and over…wouldn’t you agree? Now a days with digital photography you as a pro should push your creativity to the brink for us viewers to see and be in awe. Personally I love the HDR styles but I also admire traditional ones too.

  14. Those photos are really amazing. I specially like the one of the nyc cabs … we are so used to the yellow that we dont even realize how good they look together….

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