Specifically, I have a bunch of photographic crayon images. I would like to remove the color from one to produce a neutral image that I can load into an iPhone app that I'm writing and dynamically color. The crayon images have dark regions (shadows) and light regions (shine) which I would like to preserve. I will be dynamically coloring it with many different colors, ranging from white to rainbow colors to black.
My first inclination is to turn the image into a grayscale image and then somehow turn the color channel into an alpha channel, and change the color of all pixels to black. Then I could use it as a mask. However, this would only preserve the shadows, and I would lose all the highlights.