W.D. Minihan

Catch me in the NARRATIVE, jackin’ your MECHANISMS

Splash the Color -3.5 Stars-

This assignment is cunning in its simplicity. Just remove the color from all but one object in a photo. This idea is a stylization and edit I have seen many times over the years, so I wanted it to be special. I decided that I wanted to use this on an image where many bright colors are the essence of the image. After frittering around a bit I decided that something from Walter Van Beirendonck’s SS22 collection “Neon Shadow” would be perfect. The attitude of the collection combined with his surrealist style made me think of a party for Sirens (like the ocean kind) or some hypnotic peacock spirits that go wild when no one is around to see it.

The original image. Source

Walking to your car in an almost-empty parking garage late at night, you hear an engine like a buzz saw close in on your location. The closer it gets, the more distinct the pulsing kick drum that emits from its source. As the purple sports car pull up next to your own, the butterfly doors crack open before the thing even settles from braking. The thumping kick and dissonant synth lead are released into the air, along with the smell of hot plastic and excessive cologne. A figure stares at you silently, with judgement and expectancy. Their red stripes for eyes lock you in, like the fire engine lights you just can’t help but stare at as they go by. The rest of the garish neon in your vision slowly desaturates over the course of what feels like minutes. And just like that, they leave as quickly as they show up. As the vehicle zooms away you notice the sound of more sports cars climbing down the parking garage ramps. You realize you shouldn’t be here at this hour.

The finished alteration.

Tutorial Time

Once again we are working in Photoshop.

1: Load up your image.
2: Duplicate your layer and get a selection of what you want to keep colored.
3: Make a layer mask out of your duplicate.
4: Clean up the excess junk with your eraser tool.
5: Do some edge tightening and smoothing with your layer mask. Settings on the right.
6: There is still some purple and stuff from the glow and reflections of the original image. We don’t want that, so pick a sample of the red from a pixel close to the purple tinges.
7: Much better. You can also take this time to cover an other off-color pixels.
8: Now we can go back and select our original image layer. Then open up the saturation adjustment tool.
9: Set that saturation to 0.
10: Make sure your layer mask is above the original layer and have them both set to visible. You’re done.