Post-Processing: Selective Color

Solitary Saunter
Solitary Saunter Upon The Trestle

A beautiful image captured on a summer night. Taken on my Samsung Galaxy s8 the 12mp rear-facing camera is a powerful beast if one knows how to use it. The operating system lets the user take full control of the camera via the “pro” mode. This allows complete control of the camera’s ISO, Aperture, depth of field, and exposure. I put the ISO on 800, with an aperture of 9. I under-exposed the image in order to bring out the deep blue and iris of the setting sun beyond the tree.

When someone claims that they need to use a professional camera to take “good pictures” that, to me, is an opening for you to educate them on the ability of modern-day cameras.  It is not today’s cameras that are the problem with individuals lack of skills, but the individuals lack of understanding of basic photography.  I have covered the essentials to photography here, The Fundamentals For Good Photography, and in the article I go into great detail about how to make sure the image is well planned out. Once you have captured the best picture you can in your skill sets; then going to the post-processing part is the next step.

I also covered the essentials of basic post-processing here, Post-Processing: The Beginning. So, if you would take the time to read those articles before continuing it would be much helpful for you.  In this article I am going to go over the basics of selective color post-processing. Full disclosure: I am not being paid to market the software I utilize, and these are as follows: Adobe Photoshop, Adobe Lightroom CC, Snapseed, and Perfectly Clear.

I am a big proponent of free software and Snapseed and the Adobes are both free. Adobe offers a monthly subscription of $10 for their basic package and Perfectly Clear offers a one-time purchase of $10 for either their IOS or Android operating systems. Many professional photographers love to use Adobe for its extensive image manipulation software, and there has been many books, articles, and video tutorials made in support of the software. The same goes with Snapseed as well, and Perfectly Clear has a website.

Okay, now on to the fun part! Rule number one when beginning any post-processing is simply remember you’re an artist! Be authentic and remember your niche and stay within it.  Now, the first thing I did with this picture was I put it through Adobe Photoshop and manipulated it from 2D to 3D with their software. I did not darken or brighten any part of the edit, but saved it, and moved onto Adobe Lightroom CC. While in that system I corrected the lens, geometry, exposure, clarity, and de-hazed the image.

After saving the image as the highest quality available, I moved onto Snapseed. In Snapseed my editing was much more extensive. The first thing that I did was went to my “adjust tool”. There I adjusted: brightness, contrast, ambiance, and warmth. I saved the edit, and went to black and white and chose the “bright” option. I saved the image, and went into “view edits”

I dropped down my edits, and it brought up a list of my edits: recent to latest. I tapped on the black and white edit, and the software brought up another toolbox with three options. I chose the “stacked brush” option, the one that looks like a paintbrush. There I went through the picture and selectively re-colored the areas I wanted to bring back from black and white.

Afterwards, I  added tonal contrast to the picture, and selectively brought out the boardwalk, and the sky. I added some glow, and a vignette to the picture, and saved it. I then placed the picture through Perfectly Clear and fixed the image noise, haze, and sharpness. The end result is an image that appears colorized yet has a grungy feel to it. A feeling as if the past was reappearing into the present.

In conclusion, I wanted this picture to appear to grasp my audience and pull them in. That is the reason I prefer my black and whites with selective re-colorization. By coloring areas where your eyes will naturally be drawn to, the still pops out quickly. I would suggest playing around with your black and whites in order to gain more experience in editing.

God bless,


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