Selective colorization

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Before After

Photographers have long used selective colorization to draw attention to the subject within an image. In the analog era, this was normally done by hand-tinting the finished print in a tone that matched the original object. With the advent of digital photography, masking allowed the photographer to selectively paint away the black and white conversion to reveal the original color beneath the image. Now with Silver Efex Pro 2, you can use the patented U Point powered control points to quickly and easily bring the color of an object back into your image, all without complicated selections or layer masks.


The image’s tonality is adjusted using the Global Adjustment sliders. The Dynamic Brightness slider is used to brighten the image slightly while maintaining shadow detail. Then, the Soft Contrast slider is used to add a moody contrast to the image. Finally, the Midtone Structure slider is used to add a bit of additional texture to the midtone areas of the image, primarily adding detail to the lily pads.


A border is added to the image to give a nice framing effect. Adding an image border can help draw the eye into the center of the image frame while also adding an interesting frame around the image. Image Border Type 12 was used, with a normal Size, a slightly reduced Spread, and the Clean/Rough slider moved all the way to the left.


To enhance the color of the flower, a control point is first added to the flower. Then, the control point is expanded to display the full list of sliders. Next, the Selective Colorization slider is moved all the way to 100% to bring all of the color back.


As the entire flower is not completely covered by the first control point, additional control points are added to increase the coverage. To accomplish this, the first control point is selected and then the Duplicate button within the Selective Adjustments section is selected. This creates a new, identical control point that can be repositioned on another point of the flower. This is done again to create a nice coverage of the flower. Finally, all of the control points are added into a group by drawing a bounding box around all of the control points and selecting the Group button which can be found within the Selective Adjustments section.

Due to a shared similarity of the flower and the lily pads, a small amount of the lily pad is also now colored. To avoid this, new control points are added to the areas that should not have a color and grouped together just as in the previous step.

The end result is an image that draws the eye immediately into the image through the use of the image border and the selectively colored flower.


Image by Mélanie Martin on Unsplash

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