How to Use the Selective Color Filter on Your Nikon D3200

The Retouch menu on the Nikon D3200 offers the Selective Color filter which enables you to desaturate (remove color from) parts of a photo while leaving specific colors intact. For example, in the following figure, everything is desaturated except the yellows and peaches in the rose. The result lends additional drama to your subject because the eye goes first to the areas of color, and distracting background colors are eliminated.

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To experiment with this filter, display your photo in single-image playback mode, press OK to display the Retouch menu, and then choose Selective Color and press OK. You then see a screen similar to the one on the left in the following figure. Here you can select up to three colors to retain and specify how much a color can vary from the selected one and still be retained. Make your wishes known as follows:

To select a color you want to keep, move the yellow box over it and press the AE-L/AF-L button.
To select a color you want to keep, move the yellow box over it and press the AE-L/AF-L button.
  • Select the first color to be retained: Using the Multi Selector, move the yellow highlight box over the color. Then press the AE-L/AF-L button to tag that color, which appears in the left color swatch at the top of the screen, as shown on the right in the preceding figure.

  • Set the range of the selected color: Rotate the Command dial to display a preview of the desaturated image and highlight the number box to the right of the color swatch, as shown on the left in the following figure. Then press the Multi Selector up or down to choose a value from 1 to 7. The higher the number, the more a pixel can vary in color from the selected hue and still be retained. At a low value, only pixels that are very similar to the one you selected are retained. The display updates to show you the impact of the setting; for example, lowering the value to 1 turned some of the rose petals to gray, as shown on the right in the following figure.

    Rotate the Command dial to display a preview and activate the range value box (left); press the Mul
    Rotate the Command dial to display a preview and activate the range value box (left); press the Multi Selector up and down to adjust the range of affected colors (right).
  • Choose one or two additional colors: Rotate the Command dial to highlight the second color swatch box. Then repeat the selection process: Move the yellow highlight box over the color and press the AE-L/AF-L button to select that color. Rotate the Command dial to display the preview and activate the range value box; press the Multi Selector up and down to set the range. To choose a third color, lather, rinse, and repeat.

  • Fine-tune your settings: You can keep rotating the Command dial to cycle through the color swatch boxes and range values, adjusting each as necessary.

  • Reset a color swatch box: To empty a selected swatch box, press the Delete button. You can then move the yellow highlight box over a new color and press the AE-L/AF-L button to select it.

    To reset all the swatch boxes, hold down the Delete button until you see a message asking whether you want to get rid of all selected colors. Highlight Yes and press OK.

  • Save a copy of the image with the effect applied: Press OK.

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