How to Put Colors in Your Photograph

Wouldn’t it be nice to see your black and white photos in full color? Learning to create and edit old photos is fairly easy and very worthwhile. Digitally restored photos can be used to make digital scrapbooks, posted to Web sites, shared through email, and printed for gift-giving or display.

To achieve this effect, we will need to colorize using Paint Shop Pro. According to Bill Brewer, “colorizing is a feature built into PSP that keeps the luminance values (the bright and dark parts that make up the recognizable image) and colors the image with one color. The image to be colorized needs to have a color depth of 16.7 million colors, and it can be in full color to start with (reduction to grayscale is not required before colorizing). Using that command brings up a dialog box where you have control over the hue and saturation, with a preview. I suggest you DON’T use that menu item to colorize images. Instead use the more powerful HSL adjustments accessed with the Colors>Adjust>Hue/Saturation/Lightness… command. That way, you have complete control over the hue/saturation/lightness, and the color preview is much better than what you get with Colorize.”

To start off, get your photo ready. Begin by scanning your black and white photo into your PC. Make sure that your picture is straight and if not, use Paint Shop Pro’s Straighten tool to “uncrook” the image. Next then would be running the One Step Photo Fix by clicking the Enhance Photo button in the Photo toolbar atop the screen and choose One Step Photo Fix. Try to clean up whatever dirt or scratch that you may see in the picture.

Now, moving on to the next part. Working in layers. Choose the Layers, Duplicate tab to make a duplicate of the image you want to colorize. We can now make color changes to the top layer without affecting the original image underneath, letting us adjust the intensity of the colorization by playing with the layer’s opacity.

Now for the final part, you may choose to use either the Freehand Selection toll in Smart Edge mode or you may opt to use the Magic Wand. Set Feather to about 1 pixel, and select one of the faces. Once done, click on the Flood Fill tool and set the Blend Mode to Color in the toolbar at the top of the screen. For a typical Caucasian skin tone, set the Red, Green, and Blue levels to about 215, 190, and 150, respectively, then click OK. Now click Flood Fill to colorize the selected face. You can repeat this process for all of the skin in the image.

Then select the clothing and background and add color to as much or as little as you wish. When you’re done with the image, you might want to adjust the overall intensity of the colorization. To do that, make sure the Layer Palette is open (if it isn’t, choose View, Palettes, Layers) and then double-click on the Copy of Background layer–this is the one on top that we’ve been painting. Then you can use the Opacity slider in the layer’s dialog box to change the color effect. When you’re satisfied, click OK to keep your changes.

Above simple instructions from Dave Johnson is very easy to follow and is very helpful for the particular purpose.

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