Add Color to Old Black and White Photos with Photoshop

In this tutorial, you are going to learn how to add some color to your old black and white photos in Photoshop. You will see how easy it is to turn your old photos into colorful images very easily.

To start out, I just want to say that you need to know how to get around Photoshop and use the various tools within. This tutorial may be a little hard for the beginner to follow along.

Ok, let’s get started with this wonderful tutorial. You are going to have some fun with this one.

Step One. First, you need to scan in an old black and white photo into Photoshop. If you already have one on your computer, just open it up with Photoshop.

Step Two. The first tool that you are going to use to add color to you black and white photo is the Lasso Tool. I just want to note that you do not need to make precise selections in this tutorial because we are going to use layer masks to fix any area that we did not get with the lasso tool.

Step Three. With the lasso tool, select the first area that you want to add color to. In my photo, I am choosing a dress that is a woman. The picture that I have has some skin area within my selection, but that is okay. We will fix that in a minute.

Step Four. Now that you have selected your first area to colorize, go over the layers palette, and make a new adjustment layer (Hue/Saturation). When the window opens for the Hue/Saturation layer, place a check mark in the Colorize box. You will notice that a color goes inside of the area that you have selected.

Step Five. Adjust your Hue and Saturation until you get a color that you like for that selected area. Don’t worry if the color is outside of the area that you want to be colored. After you have the color that you want, click OK to close the Hue/Saturation window.

Step Six. Next, to fix anything that is colored that you don’t want colored, click on the mask part of your new layer, and make sure that Black is set to for your foreground color. Now, with the brush tool, brush over any area that you do not want to be colored. To add the same color to another area, use White as your foreground color.

Step Seven. Now you need to repeat those steps for each area that you want to add color to on your black and white photo. I find that the hardest to colorize is the skin colors. I usually keep the saturation pretty low on my colors because it is an old photo and I like to keep that effect. With a little time, you will be able to color an entirely black and white photo and make it look great.

I hope that you have found this tutorial helpful to be able to add color or old black and white photos with Photoshop.