How to Colorize Black and White Photos in Photoshop?

Adobe launched Adobe Photoshop 22.0 and the Colorize beta neural filter in October 2020. Editors can colorize photos in Photoshop and convert black-and-white images into colored ones. In addition, graphic designers can choose approximate colors, and AI algorithms automatically add them based on the selected values.

colorize black and white photos in photoshop

You can bring life back, which happens when you colorize black and white photos in Photoshop. This enables you to view a photograph of your ancestors, for example, from a new angle that would not otherwise be possible.

Part 1: What is the colorization of images?

Image colorization is the technique of adding color to a black-and-white image to make it more visually attractive and perceptually significant. It is acknowledged that these are complex jobs that frequently necessitate prior knowledge of image content and manual changes to attain artifact-free quality. Furthermore, because objects can have different colors, there are numerous ways to assign colors to pixels in an image.

Traditional methods of colorization of images include:

  • Depended heavily on human engagement & annotation
  • Produced desaturated colorization

Image colorization is typically done by hand in Photoshop nowadays. Many historical institutions use image colorization services to assign colors to grayscale images. There is also an image in the documentation for colorization purposes.

Part 2: Photoshop: Introduction

Photoshop is a program for editing photos and making raster graphics. It lets users design, edit, and change graphics and digital art. It also allows you to make raster images with multiple layers, edit them, and import them in different file formats. Adobe Systems makes Photoshop for both Windows and Mac OS.

adobe photoshop

RASTER is a pixel combination. Raster graphics are made up of a group of pixels. Raster Graphics come in a variety of formats -

  • JPEG stands for Joint Photographic Experts Group
  • PNG stands for Portable Network Graphics
  • GIF stands for Graphics Interchange Format

Features Of Adobe Photoshop

Photoshop has several features that improve your ability to process images for the web. You can quickly and effectively reduce sophisticated graphics using Photoshop and image-ready.

Below are some of the most common features, effects, fonts, and brush or pen tools:

  1. Brushes are one of Photoshop's most popular tools. They can achieve various effects, such as compositing, erasing, painting, and retouching images.
  2. With the History Brush, you can change an image to how it looked. This is helpful if you make any mistake or want to return to a point in your workflow where the image looks good.
  3. The Clone Stamp feature is used to copy pixels from one region of an image and paste them into other regions. This can be used to repair damaged or corrupt images.
  4. The Healing Brush works similarly to the Clone Stamp, but it blends the copied pixels with the surrounding pixels for a more natural appearance.
  5. When you use blur, the pixels in an image become less clear. This can make your face look soft and dreamy or hide wrinkles and other flaws.
  6. Sharpen works in the opposite direction of Blur, making pixels more distinct. This can make an image more transparent or create a more dramatic effect.
  7. The Sponge tool can absorb color from an image or release it. This is useful for correcting overly light or dark colors.
  8. Dodge and Burn make parts of an image lighter or darker. These are often used when retouching photos to make the subject stand out more.

photoshop tools and functions

Advantages Of Using Adobe Photoshop

  • It is a wonderful, limitless application.
  • It can create beautiful artwork.
  • It is widely utilized to build presentations and creative projects.

Part 3: How To Colorize Black And White Photos In Photoshop?

Step 1: Clear Your Image to Begin With a Smooth Canvas.

Launch Photoshop and open your image. If it's an old photograph, it's probably covered in dust and scratches. If it's a new image, it may still have blemishes that will complicate the coloring process. These can be easily removed with the Patch tool. You can do this separately by creating a new background layer, but this is optional.

Choose the Patch tool, making sure that the Source (rather than the Destination) option is selected at the top of the screen. Draw a circle around a blemish and drag it to a clean area. This will remove the blemish and replace it with the part you dragged it to.

clear image with the patch tool

If you don't choose an area that's similar to the one you chose, you'll end up with results that look too rough. To remove flaws, you can also use alternatives such as the Clone Stamp.

Step 2: Make the Image Attractive By Increasing Contrast.

increase contrast to make image attractive

This step is very easy and only needs a few tools that you choose. To make your photo look as striking as possible, just up the contrast or make other changes.

Click on the adjustment layer icon that is at the bottom of the Layers box to do this. You can choose from a number of tools, but Curves or Levels are some of the best among others. If the results are too harsh, turn down the adjustment layer's opacity.

Step 3: Convert to CMYK for More Vivid Colors.

Using CMYK mode will make all of your colors more vibrant and will make it easier to cover any black-and-white areas. Navigate to Image and then Mode option and then click on CMYK Color. A window will appear. Choose between Flatten and Merge.

use cmyk colors in photoshop

Step 4: Utilize Solid Colors to Accurately Color All Elements of Your Image.

It is now time to paint the image. Select Solid Color by clicking the adjustment layer icon again and selecting it. Select the color you wish to begin with.

Be sure to select the ideal color. Then, you can change it by double-clicking the color in the layer and adjusting its hue.

solid colors in photoshop

Change the mode of the layer to Soft Light. To invert the layer mask, select it (the white box next to the new layer) and press Command + I or Ctrl + I.

The layer mask can also be inverted using the following method.

invert option in photoshop

Step 5: Use the Brush Tool To Paint Over Every Part Of Your Image.

Choose the Brush tool and adjust its size and softness as desired. There is no definite rule for this step. A soft brush with an opacity of 100 percent can be used to cover the majority of the image.

You can begin with a rudimentary 'foundation,' so you don't have to worry about omitting any black-and-white areas.

Select the layer mask and change the foreground color to white. To toggle between black and white, press the X key on your keyboard.

brush tool to paint over every part of image

Create a new adjustment layer, select a different color, and repeat the steps outlined in step 4 once you've finished editing a specific area of the image.

To eliminate errors, press X to make black the foreground color and then paint over the problem areas. If something needs to be corrected, you can always adjust the hue or opacity of the layer.

Step 6: Experiment With Distinct Colors To Make the Image Realistic.

You can't just use three colors to paint your picture and expect it to look real. Try out different colors and tones, even ones you're not used to. You can make as many solid color adjustment layers as you want. For example, to keep skin from looking dull, you need to use blues, purples, and yellows, to name a few.

Make sure to lower the layer's opacity when using unusual colors so your photo doesn't look strange. Even small changes in color can have a big effect.

vibrant colors in photoshop

Step 7: Enhance the Beauty Of the Image With Other Tools.

If you wish to develop a certain color style, explore various editing application capabilities.

You can use the following common tools to enhance your image further:

  • Curves feature an area where you can modify the image's reds, blues, and greens. You can download premade curves to create a certain appearance.
  • Colour Balance performs exactly what its name implies. Certain color combinations can be used to make everything aesthetically appealing.
  • Selective Colour will give you an almost microscopic view of every hue in your image. In this part, you may quickly generate contrast and modify specific colors.
  • Hue/Saturation can help you adjust the hue, saturation, and brightness of each color in your image.

Part 4: More Tools to Colorize Black And White Photos Online Freely

Wondershare Repairit is a program that allows you to colorize photographs. It only provides photo colorization in premium options, which implies that you must pay to use the facility. All premium users can colorize up to 15 photographs per week. One can also fix damaged and old photos before colorization. With this tool, you can get multiple coloring outcomes. Another important feature is support for various file formats such as JPG/PNG/JPEG/WEBP/BMP/GIF.

Steps To Colorize Black-And-White Photos

To colorize black-and-white photos, you need to follow some steps in the Wondershare Repairit tool. The steps are mentioned below:

Step 1: Upload Black-And-White Photos.

Open the Wondershare Repairit tool, and an interface will appear asking you to upload old or scratched images one at a time. Click the Upload Image button and select the image from the source folder.

upload old or scratched photos

Step 2: Open Photo Colorize mode & begin the colorization process.

As soon as the uploading finishes, you'll see two options on your screen. It will ask you to select either the Old Photo Repair or Photo Colorize option. You need to select the latter option to colorize black-and-white images.

select photo colorize option

Now click on the Start button, and it will start the colorization process on a specific photo.

photo-colorizing process

Wait for a few seconds till the process gets completed.

Step 3: Preview & Download The Results.

Wondershare Repairit lets users preview results before downloading them. After the completion of the colorizing process, you will see results in three different colored options. Choose the one you like and click on the Download option.

preview and download colored images

Conclusion

You don't need a degree or years of experience to make black-and-white photos come to life. You can use this method to fix up old family photos, try out new color combinations, and change the way you think about color combinations for good. You must have now learned the strategy to colorize images in Photoshop. If you have any queries, you can reach out to us anytime.