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Splash the Colour – Ladybird Tear (#ds106)

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Another Visual Assigment, this time Splash the Colour. The aim is to take an image, desaturate it but highlight a detail by reinstating the colour. Here’s my attempt:


It’s not my image. You can see the original one here. It’s by Pierre LaScott and is available on Flickr under a CC BY-NC license.

I chose it from a range of labybird pictures as it was one that captured a particular moment and told a simple story.


Gimp again, and again another frustrating experience. I’m obvioulsy more indoctrinated into PS than I thought!

Plan A – I started by trying to layer 2 instances of the image together, destaurate the top one then use the eraser tool to “punch through” to the colour version below. I disn’t manage to get the alpha background to the top layer sorted so it just ended up as a white splodge on the kid’s cheek.

Plan B – just using one layer this time. I renamed the layer from “Background” to open it up for editing, then used the lasso tool to highlight the insect. I zoomed in to 400% to get as close to the edges as I could – didn’t want any colour bleeding over the edge.

Then I inverted the selection to pick everything but the ladybird and used the desaturate tool in the colour menu to removed the colour, leaving the ladybird as a blood red tear on the child’s face.

I also cheated a little by doing a bit of “tidying”. There were some natural blemishes (snot, scratches etc) on the face and I used the Healing Tool to smooth them over.

I’m not proud of myself.


It looks OK in the end, although it does have the quality of looking like it’s composited from a few different sources. Not sure how I would have sorted that one out.


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