Color Emphasis in Photography

Little Girl in Red Coat, “Schindler’s List,” 1993, Steven Spielberg

Color emphasis is one of the many techniques that photographers, and filmographers, use to create imagery that is impactful and attract attention to certain objects and details. One of the most famous examples, despite it being from a film, is the Girl in the Red Coat from Steven Spielberg’s 1993 film “Schindler’s List.” She was shown four times in the film and each time her red coat was the only glimpse of color in the film until the end which signifed the modern time the movie ended in. Her coat is debated on meaning, but it is obvious that was significant to the point that the fictional girl’s final color imagery was shown as she laid dead on a cart with her red coat mangled in the bodies of the victims from the Holocaust. It is no doubt that this techinque can be achieved to obtain certain reactions from audience for either a impactful moment or to bring the audience’s attention to something specific within the photography. For my honors enrichment during my Digital Photography class, my professor and I agreed on taking color photos and converting them to black and white with only have some color details to show emphasis on the subjects. Conversions were done in Photoshop and the quick selection tool was my best friend in selecting the different subjects and details to leave the color on.

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