Images Life: detail family photos friends and family Grayscale grayscale photo layer New Photoshop tool
I have worked with Photoshop and its effects on a regular basis for over eight years, swiftly becoming the “go-to” expert for friends and family with retouching, enhancement, or other graphics needs. Over the years used a great deal of different Photoshop effects for different purposes, and have found ways to make utilizing the effects easier and more enjoyable for both the average and the advanced Photoshop user.
One really popular effect in Photoshop is to add color to a grayscale photo. Don’t mistake this for the effect of taking color from a and just putting elements back; that’s something different entirely. This article focuses on applying color to a picture that was gray to with. This effect works well in making certain family photos or other scenes more dramatic.
While the steps to colorizing a grayscale picture are fairly simple, the biggest issue people face with the process is accidentally removing the detail by the time they are done. The truth is it’s actually quite possible to add color and keep the detail in any of your photos.
(Disclaimer: I’ve had people ask me complex questions about getting into the professional photography business. While I have friends in the profession and know that Photoshop is a necessary tool for the modern photographer, not in the business, so I can’t answer related questions; I just have a knack for retouching the photos of friends and family and am familiar with the workings of the program.)
First step is to ensure you are working on the in color, not grayscale, mode. It sounds like a silly thing to say, but if you forget this step you’re going to a brick wall pretty fast. Click on Image/Mode and have the document set on RGB (unless you plan to print the photo professionally, in which case you choose CMYK.)
Next, make a new layer by pressing “New Layer” on the Layers Palette. Now your work will be on a separate canvas, so your original photo won’t be touched (yet.). The blending mode on your layer should be at “Overlay”, to let the photo’s detail peek through rather than having the paint color be opaque.
Click on the “Brush” tool, then click on the foreground color (located near the bottom of your Toolbar.) Let’s assume you want a nice, soft color for your picture, such as peach or view blue. Choose the closest color and click “OK”.
It might be a good idea at this point to zoom in on the photo. Click Window/New Window for (whatever you have named your photo). Now we can see the close-up details on our photo, while still being able to see the normal size. Whatever you do to the in the close-up view will also occur in the other view, giving you a real-time update. Hit Ctrl + to zoom in, Ctrl – to go back. You may also realize that hitting the spacebar in your close-up view will let you drag your picture with your mouse.
Don’t fret if you make a mistake-that’s why we made the layer. Click on the “Eraser” tool and brush it over the mistake, then just begin over.
So slaved over your photo for hours and you are happy with its progress, but then decide you wanted a different color. Now what? No, put the scissors down. This problem, unlike many in life, is easy to fix. Make an “adjustment layer” by clicking the circle (it should be half black and half white) on your Layers Palette, then click on Hue/Saturation. Drag the slidebar to the right and watch the painted area of your photo change colors. Pretty easy, right? If your new color seems a outlandish on the completed product, go back to the same menu and bring down the Saturation a bit.
And there you have it. this tutorial explained how to color your grayscale pictures with a brush, it’s far from the only method. Are you trying to colorize line art instead of a photo? The Wand tool will be of much use to you to fill in the white areas. That’s just one other method; do not be afraid to experiment. The ideal part about colorizing a photo with Photoshop is that you can see how a color will look before changing the picture, thanks to the adjustment layer and your slidebar in the Hue/Saturation box. Enjoy, and have a fun with your colors!