Co-ordinate to some photographers, black and white photography is the purest expression of light, shadow, and form. While some part of me agrees with that, that attitude is based in a globe where nosotros have easy access to color photography, and they make the option to shoot black and white.
Many photographers never got to come across the advent of color photography at all, and that has given the world a strangely distorted view of the 1800s and early on 1900s when blackness and white photography was all that was available.
Thanks to the power of GIMP, you can determine what images take color and which don’t!
Typically in these tutorial posts, I prove a quick method for users who just demand a scrap of guidance and then go into more than detail subsequently, only there isn’t really a ‘quick’ way to practice this kind of editing task. At least not until someone teaches an AI how to work with image data…
Instead, I’m going to show you lot 2 different methods for colorizing black and white photos, only to encompass all the options. I’ll show yous how to give a black and white photograph a single colour tint, like you’ll notice in old sepia-toned photos (although you can use any color tint y’all want), and also how to plow black and white photos into total color.
Personally, I find that blackness and white photos that have been colorized are never really satisfying because the person who does the colorizing is making their own individual choices about what they remember the colors were supposed to be – but that should probably be the field of study of another mail service 😉
How to Color Tint a Black and White Photo in GIMP
If you just desire to add a unmarried color tint to a blackness and white photo to recreate the advent of the popular sepia-tone and cyanotype looks, it’s a very simple process.
Open your black and white image in GIMP, and check to make sure the epitome is set to the RGB colour manner. The Grayscale color infinite is used by some black and white images, and information technology’southward obviously not designed to let the use of color.
Most images will already be set to RGB, but brand sure by opening the
menu, selecting the
submenu, and clicking
(if information technology’southward not already agile).
Next, open the
menu and select
Colorize. GIMP will open the
dialog window shown below, assuasive y’all to customize the final tint using the
Don’t exist dislocated by the
setting beneath the sliders, however, as information technology only provides a dissimilar mode of selecting your chosen tint color. When you update the
setting displays the changes, and the sliders volition update to show any changes made using the visual color picker.
You’ll see the preview of your image update in existent-time so that you tin tweak the results until you lot’re satisfied. Click the
push button to finalize the aligning, and you’re washed!
How to Colour Pigment a Blackness and White Photo in GIMP
If you want to convert a black and white photo into a total-color copy, the process is a bit more complicated, but non by much. The more colors y’all want to incorporate, the more time it will take, simply the same general principle applies to any color that you want to add.
With your black and white photograph open in GIMP, brand sure that your prototype is ready to utilise the RGB color infinite. With that done, it’s time to showtime painting in color.
To recreate the effect of colors in the black and white photo, we’ll use layers and layer blend modes. Blend modes are a very powerful tool, simply they’re oftentimes confusing to new image editors. They command the way the different pixel layers are combined into your last paradigm.
In this example, I’thousand going to plough the trillium flower into a color variety never found in nature, only yous can use the exact same steps to create any color tint you desire.
Every time y’all create a new layer, apply the New Layer dialog box to make sure the
option is set to
Multiply, and the
selection is gear up to
Make sure that y’all get into the habit of naming each new layer yous create descriptively considering trying to sort through 16 different layers named ‘Green’ to find the one you need could go confusing really rapidly!
Switch to the
tool using the toolbox or the keyboard shortcut
P. Customize your castor tip characteristics to match the edges of the department you’re painting and select the color you want to utilize for tinting that specific department of the image.
Then it’south fourth dimension to paint!
This instance is a bit rough, but information technology illustrates the result fairly well. You may desire to experiment with unlike blend modes, although the Multiply mode is commonly the most effective.
Screen and Overlay are also worth testing out, but the all-time mode will depend on the color you choose to paint with, the subject area itself, and the final effect you want to create.
If you’ve never seen a colorized black and white photo before, you lot may be expecting a bit more than the technology can evangelize.
Part of the reason this manner has never appealed to me is that it always seems a flake underwhelming: the saturation and contrast are never quite correct, and the colour masking is never detailed enough to create a truly conceivable result (even when yous’re not actively trying to make something surreal, like the above instance).
That existence said, in that location tin can be a surprisingly humanizing issue created by adding color to historical black and white images. The addition of extra detail provides our brains with extra context clues, and that additional data can help u.s.a. process what we see in new and dissimilar ways.