Course info
Aug 3, 2017
1h 20m

When looking at an old black and white photograph, you may have imagined what it would be like to see that period of history in the glorious color that nature intended. With the power of digital retouching, you can now bring history to life. In this course, Colorizing Black and White Photographs, you'll learn how to take an old photo and convert it into an incredible colorized picture. First, you'll explore basic color theory, how to understand the relationship between color and greyscale, and how to find pictures to colorize. Next, you'll discover how to utilize advanced layers, such as gradient map, photographic toning, and 50% grey. Finally, you'll learn the approaches you can take towards different skin tones and environments. By the end of this course, you'll have the necessary skills and knowledge to create a realistic color conversion. Software required: Photoshop CS6 or above.

About the author
About the author

James was born and raised in England where he studied film and media at A Level, then promptly gave it all up and moved to Los Angeles as a young man to dip his toes into the world of movie making.

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Section Introduction Transcripts
Section Introduction Transcripts

Course Overview
Hi everyone. My name is James Trory, and welcome to my course, Colorizing Black and White Photographs. I'm a freelance retoucher based in New York City. Colorizing is the process used to turn old black and white photos into stunning color versions, all within Photoshop. In this course, you will learn how to use solid color layers and some more advanced techniques to bring history to life. Some of the major topics that we will cover include basic color theory and the approach to converting grayscale to color, how to find images to colorize and how to research colors for historical accuracy, the use of advanced layers such as gradient map, photographic toning, and 50% gray, and the approaches you can take towards different skin tones and environments. By the end of this course, you'll know how to take any black and white photograph, old or new, and create a realistic and believable color version. Before beginning the course, you should be familiar with Photoshop CS6 or above, how to use a pen tablet, and some basic retouching methods. I hope you'll join me on this journey to learning colorizing with the Colorizing Black and White Photographs course, at Pluralsight.

Introduction to Colorizing
Hi, and welcome to Colorizing Black and White Photographs. My name is James. I'm a retoucher based in New York City, and I'll be your instructor for this course. Colorizing, simply put, is the process of turning a black and white image into a color one. You might have a number of reasons for wanting to do this, but the main one should be that it's fun to do. I personally find turning old black and white photographs into color ones particularly rewarding because it really breathes new life into them, but you can also take more contemporary images and do exactly the same thing to them. The real trick to this technique is to make the colorizing as believable as possible. We will not be finishing entire images as we learn colorizing. I will leave that up to you in your own time. Instead, the course will be broken up into the most important elements of colorizing. Module 1 will be an introduction to colorizing; module 2, preparing your image in Photoshop; module 3, skin and hair; module 4, clothing and background; and finally module 5, finishing touches. By the end of the course, you will comfortable with every step of the colorizing process so that you will be able to take any black and white image and turn it into a color image in a subtle and beautiful way. What you'll need for this course is a copy of Photoshop CS6 or above and an intermediate knowledge of the program. I highly recommend also using a Wacom tablet or similar device. Practice images are available, but if you would like to jump straight into colorizing an image of your own, you shouldn't find that too difficult. Follow along with me, and apply what I do to your image. Thanks again for joining me on this course. I'm looking forward to teaching as much as I hope you're looking forward to learning. Let's get started in preparing our images.

Preparing Your Image in Photoshop
Images come in all forms of shapes, and more importantly, sizes. Without getting too technical, well the bigger the image, the better. With James_Garfield. psd open, the first real check is to have a look at 100%. So with the Zoom Tool selected, click the 100% button. It looks big enough for colorizing, but what does big enough mean? Go up to Image and select Image Size. This box shows us all we need to know. Make sure you're set to pixels, and we can see that the image is 2500 pixels on the widest edge, in this case, the height of the picture. It's also 72 dpi. Now very quickly about dpi, the general rule is that for web or monitor display, 72 dpi is acceptable. So this image is just fine for presenting on the web. If you wanted to print this, however, you're going to have some difficulty, because to print, we would need to be around 240 dpi or higher, and there is no good way to increase a 72 dpi image to 240 without drastically reducing the quality of the image. However, doing the opposite, reducing a 240 dpi image to 72 dpi, is perfectly fine. So just bear in mind when you're looking for images to colorize that if you want to print them, then native image dpi should be 240. Like I said, the bigger the image, the better.