I recently read an article about shooting black and white photography in….colour. I understand the reasoning behind it. You can convert colour photos to black and white in just a jiffy in Photoshop, or any other photo processing software.  I have to say though, that I think shooting in black and white in camera helps you frame and think about your shots in a different way, and perhaps with better results. It also has to be said, however, that converting from black and white to colour is not quite so easy. So if you’ve shot in B&W, you’re probably stuck with B&W.

Unless you have a ton of time and patience. It is also fun. I also happened to come across another article showing just how to do that – you can read it by clicking here. A little while later I read about the photograph of the Royal Family at baby George’s christening. It was the first photo in 120 years featuring a monarch and three direct heirs. I would imagine it’s also only the second photo to feature a monarch and three direct heirs. The last was Queen Vic and her descendants. Was there even a properly functioning camera in existence the time before that snap? I have my doubts.

Just for fun, I thought I’d add some colour to that old photo. It’s a process I might put to more serious use with old black and white photos in the family album. I will pick the photos I process carefully. Shots with as much detail as this Royal photo are a lot of work. Which is why I’ve only gone so far – I’ve not added colour to everything. I have the utmost respect for people who turn whole videos from B&W into colour – I’m really looking forward to seeing this video from Warsaw in WW2 when it is released. If you didn’t like my colour version of the Royal photo, then here’s the original…



3 thoughts on “Colourise

  1. Kim G says:

    How did you add the color? I’ve “hand-colored” B&W photos in photoshop by using the paintbrush tool and selecting colors with low opacity. It can be surprisingly convincing, but as you note, it’s a lot of work.


    Kim G
    Boston, MA
    Where we output VERY little in B&W any more.


    • Kim G says:

      OK, I discovered the article link after I posted my comment. I’m not sure that hand coloring isn’t easier, but there are probably a zillion similar ways to skin that particular cat.


      • The easiest method? It depends which version of Photoshop you are using. I used the method in the article, plus the mask tool and paintbrush to select the areas. I made a horrible mess of the right hand side of here dress. But hey ho.


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