Colour Splash


  • Colour is one of the most important Elements of Design
  • Restoring colour to one part of a photograph can make it much more interesting
  • The use of layers in Photoshop makes this technique very easy to master


  • Take 3 photos in colour, each one featuring a different colourful object

  • Use Photoshop to achieve the "Colour Splash" effect


  • #1 - Eraser Method

    • Duplicate background layer
    • Image / Adjustments / Desaturate
    • Choose the eraser tool
    • Adjust the hardness - try 60% to start
    • Erase the areas that you want in colour
    • Hide the top layer to check your work
    • Merge Layers when done
  • #2 - Hue/Saturation Method
    • Image / Adjustments / Hue/Saturation
    • Reduce the saturation for all colours except the colour of your subject
    • This only works in some images
    • If it's not perfect, select the coloured section with the lasso tool
    • Select / Inverse
    • Image / Adjustments / Desaturate
    • Command-D to de-select
  • #3 - Layer Mask Method
    • Duplicate background layer
    • Image / Adjustments / Desaturate
    • Click on the "Add Layer Mask" icon at the bottom of the layers pallette (3rd icon over)
    • Select the brush tool
    • Change foreground colour to black
    • Adjust the hardness - try 60% to start
    • Paint the areas that you want in black for colour and white for no colour
    • If you make a mistake then choose white as your foreground colour and paint over the area you want in black & white
    • Merge Layers when done



1) Correct Content

Have you chosen interesting and colourful subjects? Have you effectively drawn attention to these subjects? Is the coloured subject the natural point of attention?

2) Creativity / Originality- 30 marks

Your photos should not look like snapshots. Try to create images that are like paintings; make specific decisions about what to include, what not to include, what angle to shoot from, what's in the background, what colours are in the image, and how the photo is lit. The use of Elements and Principles is part of this mark as well.

3) Professionalism

Professionalism is based on the attention paid to the accurate and careful presentation of the final project. Marks will be deducted from your skills/technical if your work is not submitted by the due date.

  • 3 electronically submitted photographs
  • images must be in colour
  • images must be re-sized: longest side = 9.5 inches before framing
  • images must be 180 dpi
  • images must be in maximum quality JPG format
  • Images must have a black and white frame.
  • Add a title outside the frame: lower center
  • Add a date outside the frame: lower right
  • Add a your name outside the frame: lower left

Name your photos in the following way :

  • username_colour1.jpg
  • username_colour2.jpg
  • username_colour3.jpg

4) Journal Entry

Before - Describe 5 images in detail that you'd like to create for this assignment. Write one short paragraph about each image (at least 3 sentences). Possible things to write about include:

  • Object and its colour
  • Perspective (worm's eye, bird's eye, looking up or down, angled)
  • Zoom
  • Depth of field (shallow, all in focus, foreground, etc)
  • Use of the Rule of Thirds
  • Use of the Elements and Principles of Design
  • What story are you telling? Examples - Friendship, love, loneliness, joy, winning a game, strength, jealousy, a crush, trust, admiration, innocence, changing seasons, etc.

After - Write a three-paragraph entry:

  • What subjects did you choose and why?
  • Did you manage to impress yourself?
  • How did you make your images interesting and attractive? (Depth of Field, Frozen Motion, Elements, Principles, Rule of Thirds, etc)
  • What did you find challenging about this assignment?
  • What did you learn?