Selective color is a post-processing technique where most of a photo is converted to black and white, but some parts are left in color. This is usually achieved by using layers and masks in photo editing software (Photoshop, SilverFast, Adobe Fireworks or The GIMP for example).
A common application for selective color is portraiture, to keep the eyes and sometimes the lips in color, against an otherwise black-and-white photograph. Small regions of color in an otherwise monochrome image immediately draw the viewer's eye.
Landscape photography is another common application for this technique. Colorful leaves in an otherwise drab scene can breathe life into a photo. Of course the technique can be applied to any genre, but portraits and landscapes are the usual beneficiaries.
See also 
- Sepia tone
- Digital darkroom
- Hand-colouring ( The same effect using the opposite technique. )
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|Wikimedia Commons has media related to: Selective color|
- An article by LandscapePhoto.us on how to create Selective Color photos.
- A tutorial on how to do selective color using GIMP.
- Selective Coloring Showcase at DPShots - Many Examples
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