Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Colouring Black and White Photos

We recently got some family photos taken.  Choosing the beautiful colours of autumn as the backdrop and coordinating our wardrobe appropriately should be a fairly logical and easy task, I assumed. 

Wrong again, Mom. While my closet might be a fall palette, such is not the case, I soon learned, with everyone. Those prone to fashion hues of  black, white and navy were hard pressed to come up with the crimsons, golds and browns that would blend with the hues in our backyard.

As a result, what I had hoped would be a beautiful melding of vibrant tones looked more like a box of melted crayons. Ultimately, many of the portraits are simply more aesthetically appealing in black and white.

Which, of course, is a fairly common practice in photography these days — perhaps in keeping with the adage "Everything old is new again.". 

But, the reverse is also true. Adding colour to  black and whites can produce some interesting results. I first saw this a few years ago, when a niece began playing with Photoshop and used the technique to spot colour grayscale images. The effect in this case, a muted red flower on a little girl's hat, was charming.

Here are some links with tips on how to add colour as well as some awesome examples:

tutsplus Colouring a Black and White From Scratch with Photoshop

speckyboy 50 B&W Photos with Partial Colour Effects

DPS Photoshop Tutorial Mono With a Dash of Colour

How-To Geek Colourize Vintage Photos in Photoshop

PetaPixel Famous Black and Whites With Colour
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