How Amazing Colorization Of Black And White Photos Are Done

How Amazing Colorization Of Black And White Photos Are Done

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 while he gets his website set up!

[Via Reddit]

Log in or register to post comments
Jason Lei's picture

Thoroughly impressed. Would really like to see how they colourise black and white films.

Sean Broadbent's picture

The special edition for "Holiday Inn" has a special feature on how they took the movie from b/w to color. It's like the above process but married to a) outsourcing to India and b) computer programming. ;)

Dan Howard's picture

amazed that he managed it on a windows machine too! bravo!

Tulaga Whitcombe's picture

wait... people still own those?

Ralph Leo Bennett's picture

 Someone of us thrive on them ;)

Ralph Leo Bennett's picture

*Some - don't know how I didn't spot that :)

Adam Cross's picture

yeah... because people have never experienced problems with macs ever, right? *sigh*

Ralph Hightower's picture

Friends of ours that switched to Apple are thinking about switching back to Windows. She is not happy.

Ralph Leo Bennett's picture

 My mother actually did the same.

Micah Carey's picture

Well that comment made Zero sense. I've achieved even better results than this on Windows.

Eskild E. Fors's picture

I had to try this myself! This is first attempt at restoring an old film photograph to it's former glory: =)

Johnny Milkovich's picture

nice work @twitter-388311844:disqus 

Eskild E. Fors's picture

- Thank you very much for the positive feedback! I really appreciate it =)

Pratik Naik's picture

Well done here!

Albert Zablit's picture

Very painterly, good work!

Eskild E. Fors's picture

*EDIT: Somehow my comment got postet twice, and I can't delete it. Sorry.

Attila Hajdu's picture

must do this soon

Reez Halim's picture

Thats simply amazing. This is my attempt with the same technique. :)

Maan Jatinder's picture


Maan Jatinder's picture