Selective Coloring

If you’re like most people I know, you either love it or hate it. No fence-sitting on this one.

I remember when I first saw it years ago. It was a black-and-white, rainy street scene with a single red umbrella rising above the crowd. I just stared and it and asked, “How did he do that?” And then I immediately said to myself, “I want to learn how to do it!”

That must be why I copied the idea several years later in Melk, Austria, but with snow:

© Ginnie Hart

© Ginnie Hart

How or when I did learn, I don’t remember. But I was on a mission to figure it out and couldn’t believe how easy it was: Convert your color image to black-and-white, even sepia, select the spot where you want the color restored, choose the “erase” tool (I use Photoshop), start coloring…and Voilà:

© Ginnie Hart

© Ginnie Hart

It still doesn’t make sense that you erase to restore color, but that’s what happens. I think of it as erasing the black and white and then opening up my crayon box:

© Ginnie Hart

© Ginnie Hart

I’ve often said I never had a childhood. It’s a long story and mostly true. With 8 kids in our preacher’s family, we shared our toys and activities. Those are fond memories for me, if rare, but my childhood was complicated: non-paralytic polio at age 9 and struggles with being different on many levels (like being too smart when girls weren’t supposed to be, and gay when it was considered a Christian oxymoron). I was just too serious to be a Child:

© Ginnie Hart

© Ginnie Hart

That’s why (I’m sure of it) I can’t get enough of selective coloring now. It’s like a tiny voice inside is reaching out to me saying, “Can you come out and play?” And I say, “YES!”

It doesn’t happen with every image, of course, but when it does, BINGO. I swing the door wide open, she comes out, and we have a heyday:

© Ginnie Hart

© Ginnie Hart



The women of f/4 Studio welcome guest contributor, Ginnie Hart.  We made the acquaintance of Ginnie through Vision and Verb, a blog that featured women ‘of a certain age’ from around the globe.  On her web site “In Soul,” Ginnie says:  Over time, if we shoot authentically, follow the leanings of our heart, our body of work will become a silent testimony to who we are and what we care about. (Jan Phillips). And so it is that as you follow my journey here, you will be “in soul” with what makes me tick.

Welcome, Ginnie.  Thanks for giving us insight into your unique photographic vision.

4 thoughts on “Selective Coloring

  1. astridpicturit

    I can see why Ginnie is fascinated by the selective colouring. She did a great job with the selective colouring in her pictures. They are all good, the blue glasses are my favorite.


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