Selective Color

Usually (like always) I am against selective color….but when I saw these images on Orange Beautiful’s Blog showing Brown Sparrow Nest’s knitted scarfs, I thought it was well done and fitting.

It is because it is showcasing a specific product? The way it was photographed?

What are your thoughts? Yay or nay on letting selective color slide this one time?

(And can I please have at least 5 of these scarfs? Wish I had the patience to knit.)


10 thoughts on “Selective Color

  1. I think it works, for the reasons you stated. It is about attention, not deception. If the colors of the scarves were aggressively pushed, then it would probably be tacky.


  2. I hear a lot of photographers say they are against selective color and one thing I don’t understand is why. Is it because it’s an amateur thing to do or out dated or not the current trend? At times I think it works when used subtly. I have been contemplating using it or not. I guess when I understand more of why it’s not used then will make a decision.

    The examples you have shown are nicely done in the sense that they do display the product in bringing a lot of attention to it. So from an advertising perspective I like what they have done.

    Great post. Thanks for sharing. Curious to hear your thoughts on why you are against selective color.


  3. I say yay. Winter is known for being dreary, drab and gray. I think in this case the selective color slide symbolizes that despite outside conditions we can always have color, life and warmth.


  4. Rachel, I’m with you on the selective color. I don’t have a great answer as to why I don’t like it other than the fact that it just looks cheesy to me. Except for these photos! I think the simple compositions make it work, and the similar posing of the models. It strikes me as more classic than cheesy. Plus, you REALLY look at the scarves.

    Also, although I love these scarves in theory, the thought of having all that bulk around my neck kind of makes me uncomfortable — like I’m choking. They look so beautiful, though, so maybe I should find a friend who has something similar and give it a test drive…


  5. i’m just not a fan of selective color. while i agree the execution and purpose here is better than most, i’d still argue that there is another, better way to isolate and highlight the product.


  6. i’m just not a fan of selective color. while i agree the execution and purpose here is better than most, i’d still argue that there is another, better way to isolate and highlight the product. the only place that it worked for me was in Schindler’s List and that probably had more to do with the subject matter, so i gave it a pass.


  7. My opinion is not coming from a place of knowledge…just my gut! I don’t love it! It looks unfinished and is not the way we see things for REAL! I love color! Show me that colorful face and that scarf as well…NOW, that would get my attention!…Babby


  8. I guess the reasons I’ve never liked selective color are: I think it distracts from the image as a whole, It’s unrealistic (and I like to shoot real stuff) and for me it just seems you needed to make the image more interesting and thought it might help. Also the image is already edited so many times before it is printed/published…through lots of decisions that lead to the final creation. Why dilute it even more? These are just my opinions!! You have to decide for yourself. But I do think when it comes to some editorial or advertising images it can work and does in the above least for me. I surprised myself by liking them.

    Thanks for the great conversation everyone!


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