Monday, April 6, 2015

Photoshop Tutorial: How to Color Black & White Images

Here's something interesting for today: Add color to your black and white photos. Whether these are some really old photos of your grandparents, or images you took with black & white film, this procedure is something you might find useful. It's really simple, too - at least in its conception; depending on the image in question, some detailed brushing might be involved. The quality of the results is directly proportional to the time you're willing to spend on it.

Step 1
Open your Image. To show the procedure I picked an extremely simple image, to which I will add only a few colors

Step 2
Add a New Layer and choose "Color" as its blending mode.

Step 3
Pick a soft brush, select your desired color, then simply begin to paint over the area you want to color. If the color appears too intense, pick a color with less saturation. For large even areas (e.g. sky) you can even use selections. Repeat for other colors/areas. Generally speaking, tint variation is not necessary, as the luminance information from the underneath layer (that is, your original image) creates the adjustment required. Of course, feel free to experiment. As I said, the more time you spend on it, the better it will look.

Step 4
When you are done, you may want to apply a Gaussian Blur with low values (e.g. 7-10) on the layer you colored, so that the transition appears even smoother.

It's really very simple. For simple shapes/surfaces such as this example, you need only a few minutes. More complex scenes will, of course, require more detailed work.

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