There’s this little trend in photography that’s been going on for a while now – selective coloring – and I keep hoping that it will die a decent death and quit appearing. In a nutshell, selective coloring is adding a color to one portion of a monochrome photograph. Supposedly this brings attention to the colored bit – usually the subject’s eyes, or a lone vase or something.
I’ll admit, I’m a snob. I hate selective coloring.
Used well, it can be effective. Used poorly or too often and it’s corny or cliché. I guess I put selective coloring in the same category as excessive borders, overcooked HDR images, and super high contrast monochrome: it’s not a professional look. In my opinion, it’s not professional because it takes a trick to do what the image should do by itself (i.e. draw attention to the subject by framing and composition.)
More specifically, it’s a fad. 20 years down the road it will date your images. Not good if you want timeless memories or some other tired phrase that wedding photographers use a lot. It used to be that you could only add color to a black and white image if you had the skills to basically paint on the image. It wasn’t done often, and it was usually pretty subtle. Today, thanks to digital, it’s easily done. And it’s used a lot.
So it’s pretty ironic that I like this shot (revisited the plums before they got all wrinkled and eaten) even though it looks, superficially, like a selective color image. It’s not. It’s a piece of fruit shot on a black backdrop: my oh-so-impressive setup of window light and a piece of black paper. Go figure.