Wednesday, May 27, 2009
Here is the newest free CoffeeShop action, CoffeeShop Selective Color. I already have a selective color action which just leaves the blue in the image (CoffeeShop Denim), but people have requested an action that would work on other colors. So I wrote this little action for you guys! It turns your image B&W and then opens a levels adjustment layer so that you can tweak your B&W contrast to taste. Then the action applies an automatic vignette (you can turn this off after the action runs, or change the blending mode to multiply or soft light, or even adjust its opacity). Finally the action selects your brush tool and then clicks to select the B&W layer mask. Adjust your brush's opacity and softness to taste and simply paint over areas you want color, and then flatten your image. This action also works great if you want a nice B&W conversion.
There is much "controversy" over selective color and some photographers will tell you it is outdated and overused (where they found this information I am not sure, perhaps Wikipedia under "How to be Too Cool for School, or How to Come off as a Real Professional Photographer Who Knows it All"?). ;-) I have found personally that many many people ("people" as in regular people who don't agonize every minute about aperture and film speed and lighting and eye pops and worry more about capturing a moment) out there completely love this effect and will specially request it, especially in children and wedding photography editing.
I love to use Selective Color in some of my images, such as the baby photo above, but I will be the first to tell you I never worry about what is "cool", but follow my own path which often leads through the bug and snake-infested weeds directly to a barbed-wire fence covered in prickly blackberry vines. When color film first came out I imagine everyone thought B&W was outdated too... ;-)
I always tell people photography is art and art is subjective and what is trendy today might not be tomorrow, so just have fun and create what YOU like! Now I am stepping off my soap box so that I can enjoy a nice cup of coffee while my boys nap and dream about having a cool Mom who will feed them unlimited Ding Dongs and let them drink Cherry Kool-Aid on the carpet while playing video games and cuddling with their pet boa constrictor.
Download the CoffeeShop Selective Color PS/PSE Action HERE!