The other day I signed up for a month-long class on Shuttercal, “Absence of Color” with teacher Roberto Ojeda. The class is about desaturation techniques that go beyond just black and white. In general, Roberto’s subjects are more urban than mine, but the effects that he has applied in his photos are stunning.

When I realized this weekend that I had taken yet another sunflower-with-bee photo, I started to think – what can I do to make this picture more interesting? So, in anticipation of the class, I started playing with selective color (only allowing one color to show in the picture) and split toning.

Behind a sunflower

Behind a sunflower. f/5.6, 1/800, ISO 640

This was accomplished by masking the bee in Photoshop and desaturating everything else, then using the split tone controls in Lightroom (split toning can also be accomplished in Photoshop and in GIMP):

Split tone settings

Split tone settings

I’m looking forward to finding out some new techniques in the September class. Registration is still open, if you want to join me!



  1. The picture and the process are way too cool Barbara. I finally bought Lightroom 4.1 so I’m going to start playing.

    Thanks for all your inspriration.


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