Selective Colorization - 1st Attempt

My lazy Sunday afternoons are a constant quest to learn something new. This particular day it was about digital photographic post processing. More specifically, isolating a subject and making the rest of the photo black and white around it. In my case I have a picture of a girl with a slightly blurred tree in the background. To further isolate the model from the background, I've decided on this approach.

Original


Using Shutter priority mode on my Nikon D50, I blurred the tree as much as I could. The kit lens has a maximum aperture of 3.6. Unless I want to begin introducing camera shake I can't increase depth of field too much.

Selective Colorization


Aside from the color selection the eyes were enhanced. In the original the sharp sunlight washed them out. They were almost a dull brown in color when in fact they're a light green. The enhanced eyes are a little too strong, but the contrast works well enough against the black and white.

In the end, the color selection worked well, but you'll notice the hair has too much blue to it. This is from the original photo. It's due to the early morning sunlight and the automatic White Balance chosen. It's a shame I don't have the RAW file so I could fix this. If I could I'd blacken the hair to make it look more natural with the black and white background.
Another detail to change would be the collection of random strands of white hair. These few strands stick out from the rest and reflect white in the sunlight. Removing them from the photo completely would add a more polished look to it.

Tutorials Used
http://www.gimp.org/tutorials/Selective_Color/
http://gimps.de/en/tutorials/gimp/picture-photo-image/eye-color-change/index.htm