Selective Coloring Why All the Hate? What's your take on it?

Discussion in 'Image Processing' started by Orbmiser, Jan 8, 2018.

  1. Orbmiser

    Orbmiser Mu-43 Veteran

    255
    Nov 15, 2017
    Portland,Or.
    Wondering as seen a image thread on Selective Color images.
    Made a couple of myself tho not in a habit of doing a lot of this type.
    And find some interesting and compelling to look at.

    But time and time again see photographers commenting negatively about it.
    Many calling it a gimmick or crutch? and other terms akin to the HDR hate.
    Tho seen some HDR especially natural looking that I liked as well.

    And of course can be applied wrongly or over the top like some HDR.
    But it isn't a valid expression of a photographers vision?
    Or that is just the impression I get. So could just be my off-kilter perceptions.

    Just wondering others take on this?
    .
     
  2. gryphon1911

    gryphon1911 Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Mar 13, 2014
    Central Ohio, USA
    Andrew
    Photography is an art, and art is a subjective thing both from the creator perspective as well as the viewer perspective.

    As a professional photographer, you must decide if something is worth doing for the paycheck. For me, if the style or kind shoot that a client wants is something I can do and I want to do it, I will. If not, I politely tell then that is not me...but we understand that before any services are rendered. I used to allow a lot more latitude in what I would do for a wedding. I stopped doing that, and stick with my photojournalistic style. Had brides that wanted every "cliche" image in instagram and Pinterest. That is just not me.

    I think the same can be said for HDR, selective color, solarization, various monochrome treatments, merged photos, hyperlapse...on and on.

    As for why the hate? Pick your poison. Could be jealousy, could be lack of understanding, too much/not enough fiber in their diet, a crazy ex that turned them sour on it....whatever.

    I shoot for me, what I like and to hell with everyone else and their thoughts about it unless you have some cash in hand...enough might be able to persuade me. :hide:

    My take. For what its worth.
     
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  3. gnarlydog australia

    gnarlydog australia Mu-43 Hall of Famer Subscribing Member

    Feb 23, 2015
    Brisbane, Australia
    Damiano Visocnik
    Personally I dislike the style and I rarely see an image that fits it
    But, in the end gryphone1911 said it best: if you like it there is nobody else that can tell you different.
    Unless of course they are afflicted by the reasons mentioned :rolleyes:
     
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  4. Carbonman

    Carbonman Mu-43 All-Pro Subscribing Member

    Jul 10, 2014
    Vancouver BC
    Graham
    Selective color, posterization, key line, dramatic tone, false color, monochrome etc. all have their place in the artistic photography tool kit. It becomes a problem when any technique is used excessively or on images that the technique is not suited for. I only have a small handfull of images that I consider effective with selective color, a few monochrome etc.
     
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  5. pake

    pake Mu-43 All-Pro Subscribing Member

    Oct 14, 2010
    Finland
    Teemu
    Too much is too much - whatever the genre. I have a few selective color photos but I don't think I've created any new since 2014 or 2015. They can be great when "properly" used but watching an album with selective colors only would make me lose interest in a few seconds.

    But hey, it's just MY opinion and you all know what they say about opinions... :biggrin:
     
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  6. wjiang

    wjiang Mu-43 Hall of Famer Subscribing Member

    I've tried it a couple of times but have never really liked it.

    My take on it is that it's pretty much like the super shallow DoF fad - often overused as a crude way to isolate the subject when choosing a better background would have yielded better results. There's no need to desaturate the background when the background is itself darker, an even and complementary colour, or has fewer defined features to make the subject pop in comparison.

    The gripe I have with it is that it's an undecided cross between B/W (which to me is primarily about tonal definition) and colour (which to me is primarily about hue definition). My eye wanders backwards and forwards looking for such definition and feels unsatisfied when it switches.
     
  7. exakta

    exakta Mu-43 Veteran

    274
    Jun 2, 2015
    Photographers are going to use the tools they have.

    When we were printing B&W we would dodge, burn in, use different contrast papers, etc. to get the best looking print. No different than today's HDR shots. As far as colors, we used filters when shooting and for totally crazy effects used infrared film.

    So no big deal to me...if it looks good, it is good.
     
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  8. Orbmiser

    Orbmiser Mu-43 Veteran

    255
    Nov 15, 2017
    Portland,Or.
    Yep I guess it just comes down to personal aesthetics and preferences and nothing about validity in itself.
    I like and enjoy Classical,Jazz,R&B,Electronic,Celtic,Pop,Classical Rock,Acoustical,Soul & World and yes even Country music.
    But can't abide with Rap,Hip-Hop,Heavy Metal,Acid Rock and resistant to give it a valid label of Music.
    It is Music no matter if I say it Is or Is Not!
    .
     
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  9. rloewy

    rloewy Mu-43 Hall of Famer Subscribing Member

    May 5, 2014
    Ron
    First of all, rap and hip hop can be delightful (try Fort Minor for example - Kenji is one of the best songs ever imho) - it can be awful, just like any other kind of music.

    As for selective color images - I think there are places where it can make for amazing images. More often than not, however, it comes as a gimmick. It's a bit like a Holga lens - or a Lensbaby lens. There are some images that you can not create with any other tool and are amazing - but there are tons of images that are just meh when done with it (ask me how I know, I have tons of Holga and Lensbaby images that are not worth anything to get to that handful of amazing ones)
     
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  10. Will Focus

    Will Focus Mu-43 Veteran

    The only selective color application that stands out for me was it's use in Schindler's List. It had power and it has stuck with me now for years. All of the other examples I've seen since are a simply blurred into my memory.
     
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  11. tkbslc

    tkbslc Mu-43 Legend

    Just like HDR, when it is done bad, it looks REALLY bad. And it's almost always done bad... :)

    I have seen some I do like, though, it's just rare.
     
  12. DynaSport

    DynaSport Mu-43 All-Pro

    Jan 5, 2013
    Dan
    Tastes change. I like it sometimes. Even if can be cliche.
     
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  13. JensM

    JensM Mu-43 Veteran Subscribing Member

    339
    Mar 6, 2016
    Oslo(ish), Norway
    As screename
    I suspect you have boiled it down to the core, read the tread earlier today and thought "it is probably something about credibility". I think it can be so simple, the masses are deemed to like it, hence no love from the ones that has some perceived understanding of what photography "should" be about.

    Much like Justin Beiber or other chart tops has no value in the "guild of music lovers", it is not delightfully obscure, nor has it any hidden understanding of the codes involved.
     
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  14. Wisertime

    Wisertime Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Aug 6, 2013
    Philly
    Steve
    I like it sometimes. It can be overdone I suppose or just not done with the right subject/photo/reason/effect. It has it's place.
     
  15. runner girl

    runner girl Mu-43 Veteran Subscribing Member

    284
    Nov 26, 2011
    So often these techniques are used to make a mediocre shot a little better. I would say the same about much HDR, heavy vignette, white vignette, etc. That said, if you love the effect on a particular shot, do it - who are you trying to impress after all?
     
  16. D7k1

    D7k1 Mu-43 All-Pro Subscribing Member

    Nov 18, 2013
    If you think of photography, especially those that are done with special processing, as art then I don't see how anything thing can be totally dismissed at "Bad". Everyone can have his/her opinion but art is very subjective (remember the Polaroid craze in gallery's?). Perhaps the way the western world judges art (whose gallery do you hang in, what collectors buy your work, and what museum shows your work, and how much it commands when sold) using a monetary standard is the "rational way" to judge art, but again how many artists died before the value of their art was recognized.
     
    Last edited: Jan 11, 2018
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  17. John M Flores

    John M Flores Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Jan 7, 2011
    Somerville, NJ
    It's a creative bullhorn. It says, "look at this one thing in this image!" I prefer photographs that have some visual complexity.

    I try to use composition, lighting, DOF, and other, more nuanced techniques to achieve a hierarchy of importance in an image. I will selectively saturate and desaturate, but I don't like effects to become more important than the subject itself.

    That, I think, is what irks me - when people discuss a selective color image, 99% of the time they seem to discuss the technique of it rather than the subject.
     
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  18. Massimo

    Massimo Mu-43 Regular

    172
    Jul 10, 2016
    Yeah for gryphon1911. We all like different things.
     
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  19. agentlossing

    agentlossing Mu-43 Hall of Famer Subscribing Member

    Jun 26, 2013
    Andrew Lossing
    I've seen plenty of HDR that I liked (along with plenty I didn't like) but I personally feel selective color is too distracting, and has a novice feel to it.

    It can work for some purposes, like greeting cards and advertising, but I wouldn't consider using it for photographic projects.
     
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