Selective color is high up on the list of most hated photo editing techniques. The idea is thought of as cliché, and the results amateurish. Whether it’s the black and white photograph with the brightly colored dress and burning eyes, or the single color-drenched flower, you’re just not supposed to do it.

But rules are made to be broken, and other people’s opinions are just that: opinions.

If you want to do selective color photography, we say go for it! But when you do, follow the 15 examples below and do it right. Like the “selective focus” effect, selective color knows no middle ground—your results will either be awesome, or amateurish.

These 15 500px photographers landed squarely on awesome:

Each of the photographers above handled selective color a little bit differently, but the touch of color—sometimes subtle, sometimes almost garish—adds to each image instead without overwhelming the composition.

Of course, some will still see selective color as a “never-do” technique, and that’s fine. But if you’ve been wondering whether it can be done right, the photos above are the answer.

To see more of the top selective color photographs on 500px, click here.