In the past, we've featured some amazing colorization of black and white photos. The results and impact of the photos were quite impressive and well receive by most people. No matter if you prefer the colored photos or the originals, you can't deny that the technique itself is pretty great. If you've ever wondered how they are done in Photoshop, we have a great look into the process.
Reddit user, I_COLORED_IT_FOR_YOU, is a professional who specializes in colorizing black and white photos. He does a great job in his execution and is mindful of realistic color detail.
Fortunately, he's been gracious enough to give the public a look into how he does it through his youtube channel. Although it's a timelapse that gives us an over the shoulder look at the technique, you can figure out the general process from looking at the video.
You can see that his main method is first starting off with the black and white image as a base and stacking color balance adjustment layers. Each adjustment layer corresponds to the area he is working on. It takes many of them to make the final product but the results are worth it.
The interesting thing to note is he erases away at each black mask to reveal the color he has set. His opacity and flow are both set to 100% so it's an instant reveal. The artistry comes in where he doesn't use a reference to set a color for each area, he judges it by eye. For instance, after painting in the face, he fine tunes the color so it's closer to what the actual tone would look like. If you don't have a defined visual color palette, it can start looking very cartoonish. It's also trickier than it looks to actually reveal the colors without making a mess.
He does a fantastic job and it's amazing to see it done. You can see more of his videos on his channel here:
If you'd like to reach out to him, he's also available for hire as well. Send him a note at firstname.lastname@example.org while he gets his website set up!