Adding colour to old photographs

tips on how to improve your photographs

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westoelad
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Adding colour to old photographs

Post by westoelad » Sun Nov 07, 2010 8:50 pm

This is my first attempt to colorise an old black & white photograph.

I have kept the subject as simple as I could for my first one (not a lot of intricit detail to colour) but even then getting the colours to look corrrect for the sea and sky has proved difficult.

Here is a before and after, though I am still tinkering at the moment, not quite happy with the end result.

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Last edited by westoelad on Sat Jun 25, 2011 10:23 am, edited 1 time in total.

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danet
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Re: Adding colour to old photographs

Post by danet » Tue Nov 09, 2010 1:03 am

That is really quite good, and natural looking, who would ever have known it was an original b & w in the first place! I think it's marvelous that it is now available to be able to restore our own photos, or to add colour. It really brings the photo more to life, doesn't it :)

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sherri
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Re: Adding colour to old photographs

Post by sherri » Thu Nov 11, 2010 10:09 am

I think you have done a great job.
The only thing I feel with adding colour is that we don't really know what the natural colours were, so it could end up misleading, not that it matters a great deal.

What got me musing was I was looking at the black and white photo and thinking it looked like a sunny day (but I don't know the season or exact location) and it can be so hard to know what sea water looks like. For instance, in danet's signature photo, the sea behind her really was that shade of blue. Yet at other times the sea can look a deeper blue or even a greenish tinge.
So hard to know.

But I like both versions of the photo and I feel as if you have the deck looking right, and the clothing. Wish i could do that to photos!!

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Mr Smith
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Re: Adding colour to old photographs

Post by Mr Smith » Thu Nov 11, 2010 11:01 am

This was the very first one I coloured; quite some time
ago, I have only done one other since then. I reckon I
could do a lot better now as I know a lot more about it.
The photo is of my late sister in law taken about 1955.

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westoelad
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Re: Adding colour to old photographs

Post by westoelad » Fri Nov 12, 2010 9:55 pm

Unfortunately Mr. smith, your image was not showing up when I originaly posted - lovely photo looks good in colour very natural.

you are right Sheri, about trying to gage the correct colours, it can make the process a bit of a guessing game, so I have printed off the old BBC test card G to try and help when picking the colour to use but it is supprising which colours work and which ones don't.

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Last edited by westoelad on Sat Jun 25, 2011 10:28 am, edited 2 times in total.

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sherri
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Re: Adding colour to old photographs

Post by sherri » Fri Nov 12, 2010 11:24 pm

MrSmith, you have done a great job on the colours-hair and skin tones look so natural.
I can remember looking at some of my mother's wedding photos and commenting on the lips of the bridesmaids. They were this really gothic looking dark red. Mum said the photos had been hand coloured. The frocks looked close to the soft blue but the lips were a little dark, she said. :D

Love your photo too, westoelad. I like the way the people seem to stand out from the muted background.

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danet
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Re: Adding colour to old photographs

Post by danet » Sat Nov 13, 2010 3:42 am

Sherri, I have a desire to go back there, I just loved the positive effect the GBR and all the colours had.....that colour of the water just captivated me, I loved it, made me feel so alive and bright......I could not stop taking photos of 'the water' hehe

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westoelad
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Re: Adding colour to old photographs

Post by westoelad » Tue Jan 11, 2011 9:41 pm

I wish I had discovered this little gem a while ago :

http://www.recolored.com/

What a doddle, and it comes with basic examples and instructions - and thats all you need, it can take a fraction of the time it would take in Photoshop and the results are good :D
Last edited by westoelad on Wed Jan 12, 2011 10:26 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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danet
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Re: Adding colour to old photographs

Post by danet » Wed Jan 12, 2011 1:48 pm

Wow, that is something I will try in the next few days, after I download a trial of it. Thanks for sharing Westoelad 8)

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