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Colorize Black and White Photos Manually & Automatically


   Posted by Nicole

2020-06-04 23:26:12


Summary: Colorizing black and white photos is fun and can give new life to those old photos. The most amazing part is that you can colorize old photos automatically not just manually. If you are now wondering how it is to be done, then you can read this article. And we have prepared some best photo colorizers to help you colorize a photo manually and automatically.

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In recent years, colorizing black and white photos has become something of a trend. People love colorizing old photos because it is the best way to bring that history alive in modern times and we can appreciate them in a better way. I’m pretty sure that you have run into some b&w (black and white) photos in your family album that you want to colorize. Then here comes the question you concern which is how to colorize a black and white photo. Below we have prepared some photo colorizers for you, both manually and automatically. 



Section One: Colorize black and white photos through manual works


Photoshop: the most professional photo colorizer software

Whenever it comes to photo editing, lots of people tend to consider Photoshop. One of the most important thing should be noted for you is that Photoshop is a mechanical tool, so many steps are involved to colorize photos with it.


How to colorize a black and white photo with Photoshop?

Step 1: Cleaning the photo

Open a black and white photo in Photoshop, then right-click to open the Smart Object and go to Filter > Noise > Dust and scratches. Next, you need to set the radius to 1-2 pixels and adjust the threshold to 20-30 levels.

This step aims to remove the scratches and dust.


Step 2: Adjusting the photo tones and contrast

If you are dealing with a sepia photo, then you can add a Black & White adjustment layer to neutralize the tones. Another thing you can do it adding the Levels adjustment layer to adjust the contrast. And maybe you need to darken the shadows many times.


Step 3: Converting the photo to CMYK

Click image> Mode> CMYK Color when you feel satisfied with the photo. If your photo is sepia, these steps make its original tones less.


Step 4: Colorizing the photo

This is the last and also the most complicated step. Here are the things you need to do.

First, adding a new Solid Color adjustment layer in the approximate hue of the area you’re working on.

Second, pick up the layer mask next to the Solid Color adjustment layer and fill it with black to clear the color overlay.

Third, switch to the Brush Tool and adjust the hardness and size, depending on the area you’re working on.

Fourth, repeat the process to add color to all the left areas when you are done with skin.

Ultimately, you can make some tweaks to improve the image further. For example, add a Color/Saturation adjustment layer on top of the layer stack, to add some vibrancy to the image.



Very professional on colorizing photos

Offer many effects



Not friendly for the novices

Take a long time to colorize one photo


No denying that it is a professional for colorizing photos, however, as you can tell using Photoshop to colorize a black and white photo is no small task largely because it is too professional to be used for those novices. You have to make some adjustments yourself.

If you tend to colorize your grayscale photos through manual works, yet feel Photoshop too professional to operate, here is another one for you.


Colorize Photo: website photo colorizer

This is a website where you have to colorize a photo manually which can take a long time to color a single photo. You will have to put a reference photo and then choose colors from it to add colors to each element in your desired images with customization tools.


Step 1: Open this photo colorization website

As soon as you open it, you will see its main interface presented as the screenshot shows.


Step 2: Import your own photo

To import your own photo, you can click the “Open” tab on the upper-side left corner.


Step 3: Colorize your black and white photos manually

It may take some time for you to figure out how to colorize photos with it. And here are two main settings - color and brightness - offered to make old photos more colorful.


Step 4: Save the colorized photo

Like always, the last step is to click on the “Save” button to get the colorized photo on your computer.



Online platform for colorizing black and white photos without charge

Output images in the same size of the input



Colorize old photos via manual work

Require expert knowledge to utilize it



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Besides photo colorizing, it also has been a trendy thing to upscale video quality for a better viewing experience. DVDFab Enlarger AI is the best choice.


1. Upscale old videos quality and resolution to bring them back to life

2. Enlarge video by 300% with AI-powered, enhance clarity exponentially

3. AI upscaling of video image great details, present true colors

Available on:

Windows 10/8.1/8/7 (64 bit)



Section Two: Colorize black and white photos automatically


If you are a beginner and hope to automatically colorize your black and white photos, then just keep reading this article because we have prepared many other efficient tools, online platforms, and software, to help you achieve photo colorization automatically.



Algorithmia is an online platform that is capable of easily adding colors to your black and white photos. It is an algorithm-based system with the help of deep learning to automatically bring your grayscale photos back to life.


How to colorize a black and white photo with it?

Developed as an online-based platform, this old photo colorization tool is super easy to use. Only a single click is required to restore your old photos.

Step 1: Upload an old photo

You can upload your old photo from the computer or via its URL. Both ways work well.


Step 2: Colorize the photo

When the old photo is uploaded, you can move your mouse cursor to that “COLORIZE IT” button. Then a moment later, you will get your old photos colorized.



Colorize black and white photos automatically

Simple and easy to use

An online site




Take longer to colorize



ColouriseSG uses a deep learning colorizer prototype specifically for old Singapore photos. Before using this online photo colorization tool, you are required to verify the captcha first. Only after the checking, you can upload your old black and white photos.


How to use this black and white image converter?

Step 1: Upload a grayscale image

It is slightly different from other online platforms when it comes to uploading images. That is, ColouriseSG only supports to load images from computer without supporting URL uploading. Click on the “Select Photo” button to upload a black and white photo.


Step 2: Download the result

Once your photo is uploaded, this online tool will automatically colorize it. When the result comes out, you can save it on your local file. Or, you can also download comparison or go to colorize a new one.



Fast and easy



Not support URL

Need to verify captcha frequently



Different from other online tools, Lunapic restores old photos by using a gradient filter instead of an automatic or manual function. Below are the stops to colorize a black and white photo with it.


Step 1: Add your photos

You can click on the “Upload” button to upload your black and white photos via a photo URL. Alternatively, you can go to the “File” tab and select the “Upload Image” option to add your photos from the computer


Step 2: Customize your photo

In addition to coloring, you can also apply some effects on the old photos if needed.


Step 3: Save the edited photo

When finishing the colorization process, you can decide whether to save it on your own local file or share it on some social websites.



No watermark

Allow users to add text on photos, rotate photos, etc

Share the edited photos on Facebook, Twitter, and other platforms



A little confused to use it

Can not colorize black and white photos in a realism way

Set limitations on the type of pictures

Many insert ads on its page

Takes a long time to upload your image


Image Colorization API

Image Colorization API uses a deep learning model that has been trained to add color to grayscale images with amazing quality to colorize black and white images or videos. This online-based colorization tool can also be considered when you need to add color to old family photos or bring an old film back to life with colorization.


How to colorize black and white photos with it?

This online platform is a one-click solution for old photo colorization. To use it, you just need to upload one of your old images from your computer or via an URL. Then after a few seconds of processing, you will see the colorized photo.



Fast colorization speed

Impressive result



Shrink image larger than 1200px

Not support saving


Color Surprise AI Pixbim

The above mentioned old photo colorizers are all online platforms, but ColorSurprise AI Pixbim is a black and white image converter software based on advanced artificial intelligence and is trained to colorize black and white photos.

Before downloading and installing this black and white image converter software on your PC, you are required to input your email address first to get access to the downloading process.


How to colorize old photos with it?

Being a very easy-to-use software, the Color Surprise AI Pixbim only asks 3 simple steps to colorize pictures and only takes a few seconds to colorize a photo without manual work.


Step 1: Open this application

Open this application through a double-click.


Step 2: Add an old B&W photo

Click on the File tab, then select the Open option to load an image from your PC.


Step 3: Wait for the photo colorizing

This black and white image converter will automatically generate a preview and show the photo comparison side by side a short time later.

Note: This software offers a “Color Factor” slider designed with low position and high position that determines how much time the software will take to finish the photo colorization process.


Step 4: Save the colorized photo

The last step is to click on the “Start-Process Full Image and Save” button to save the colored version on your PC.



Offer a free version

No manual work involved

Provide impressive results



Have to use your email account

Only available after downloading





Now, you have known all the pros and cons of those photo colorizers and also figured out how to colorize black and white photos with them. The next thing to do is selecting the right one to meet your needs due to each black and white photo converter has its own strengths and weakness. In addition to old photo colorizing, image upscaling has also been a hot thing to do. And if you know nothing about image enhancement, you can click here.

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