How to turn Black and White pictures to Color in Photoshop?
Do not get deceived by what you see on your computer. Today, the machine can turn an ugly duckling into a beautiful swan, thanks to Photoshop and all its capabilities. A Photoshop application can achieve anything under the sun to make a visual impact.
How about converting your old vintage photos into new, refreshing and colorful ones? A lot of purists may not like the idea. But the ability to see a black and white image in real life-like colors is such a wonderful thing. Here is a brief explanation on how to turn black and white pictures into colorful images using Photoshop.
Black and White pictures to Color in Photoshop?
Know your color mode
Not all black and white images are in grayscale mode. Hence check the color mode first up. Go to Image option and choose Mode and then RGB. Photoshop will convert any color mode (like grayscale) into RGB.
Add color using Blending modes
The easiest way to colorize a black and white image is to use Blending Modes. But instead of using the usual multiple layer concepts, here you can create a single layer with a group of blending modes.
Here are few simple keyboard shortcuts to do it.
Hit the Ctrl + Shift + N key to make a new layer. These new layers can be grouped using the shortcut keys Ctrl + Shift +G.
After making the new layer group, set the blending mode to color.
The blending Mode, available in the pull down tab (above the layers panel); set it to color. Now reselect the layer and plan the right colors to your image.
Adding colors without actually painting
Add color to any layer in the layer group. Here, the Lasso tool comes into play. The pen tool in Photoshop is more or less similar to the Lasso tool, is used for drawing and outlining shapes. The ‘bucket fill’ later can be used later on to fill in the foreground color. This is done by selecting Edit and Fill. This is the fastest method used in turning a black and white image to color although the results may not be very refined.
Using the Brush tool to make colored photographs
Set the blending mode to color. Make a blank layer and select the brush tool. Hit the ‘B’ key to select the Brush tool. Right click on the image and activate the brush tool. Click on the foreground colored area of the toolbar and get the color picker. Stick to colors that are duller than the output image you want. Take your mouse over all the areas you want to be colored. The eraser tool can help you adjust your paintings.
Other contrast adjustments can be made in many different ways.
By lowering the opacity, reduce the intensity of colors making them look more natural.
Use the Ctrl + Shift +N option to add new layers before making changes in the colors. Individual and independent layers for every change you make will give you better control. By zooming each part of the image, you can adjust even the minute things in the best possible manner.
Saturation / Hue Tool
You may have chosen the most appropriate color that seems be the best possible shade too. But there could be small differences when you see the output. It may look too garish, bright and sometimes ugly.
Here is the way out.
Find the sample of the shade you want to use.
Ctrl + U is the shortcut key for the saturation/ hue tool.
Make adjustments on the lightness, saturation and hue values till the shade or color matches with your image.
After completing your work you can have a look at the final product by hiding other layers or swapping all layers into one. This can be done by clicking the Eye picture on the layer panel.
The latest versions of Photoshop have more support and plug-ins to make your work easy. This application is such a lovely one to use when you want to play with your images.