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Turn B&W Photos to Color with Just One Click in Photoshop

Photo of Thomas Edison

Last month, we told you about a new filter in Photoshop that lets you easily colorize old black-and-white photos. While that neural filter, called Photo Restoration, was still in beta at the time, there’s actually a way to do the same thing in Photoshop even if you have an older version of the program.

In the below tutorial from PSDESIRE, they show you how to “easily convert old vintage photographs into realistic color photos with just one click” in Photoshop. For the demonstration in the video at the bottom of this post, PSDESIRE uses a classic, black-and-white photo of Thomas Edison from 1920 to show you how easy it is to colorize the image.

After you’ve opened the B&W image you want to colorize, navigate to the neural filter panel in Photoshop. In the neural filters list, find the colorize filter and turn on to auto color your photo. The catch is sometimes auto color is effective and sometimes it needs help. In the demo, the Edison image still needed work.

“The result was not great,” PSDESIRE admits. “But don’t worry, I will show you a tip to get amazing and realistic results.”

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The trick is to select the option to edit focal points. Click on the subject where you need to change color to set the focal points. The color picker will pop up and then select the color you want to add.

In the case of the Edison photo, adding brown color to his coat was necessary to make the image look consistent. Just add focal points to the image where you want to apply the color and voila!

To take it one step further, PSDESIRE changes the background of the image to green. The result is an old-timey image that’s now in color. If you want to pop the colors further, you can add color lookup as a final step in Photoshop.

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