How to Colorize an Old Black & White Photograph

In this tutorial, I’ll show you how to colorize a black and white photo into the above image.

Here I have a photograph of my grandmother taken when she was 16. It has a sepia cast which I’ll need to get rid of to do a proper colorization of this photo:

The first thing I’ll do is turn this photograph black & white. I’ll go to Image, Adjustments, Black & White:

The Black & White dialog box will open up. Since the photo is sepia, most of the sliders will do nothing. Just the red and yellow will make a difference. I’ll move the sliders to the right to lighten the photo just a little, then click OK:

The next thing I’ll do is make a new layer. This is the layer I’ll use to paint on. I’ll name this layer “Overalls” and I’ll make sure that I change the mode from Normal to Color:

Now I’ll pick a color from the color picker palette. I’ll choose a blue color for the overalls:

The next thing I’ll do is add a mask to the “Overalls” layer. I’ll click on the mask icon at the bottom of the layers palette:

I used the mask to clean all around the overalls. Remember black reveals and white conceals when you’re painting with the mask:

Here’s the photograph so far:

I decided to lower the opacity of the blue overalls; this is how the layers palette looks at this point:

Now it’s time to add some skin color. This can be tricky and it’s a matter of taste. I’ll make a new layer like I did for the overalls and I’ll label it “Skin Color”. I’ll remember to change the mode from Normal to Color. I’ll pick a light brown color, and when I’m finished painting the skin I’ll just lower the opacity to give it a more realistic look:

Using the same method as above, I’ll make the hat and scarf yellow. Here’s what the layers palette should look like. It’s hard to see anything in the hat and skin layers because the colors are light. But they are there:

Here’s the finished photograph:

This post is dedicated to Katie. I hope this helps you.

Surrealism – Bringing Fruit to Life

Above is the result of this tutorial.

Here I have a photo of a red pepper. I think it needs a little life. I’ll take it and drop it into Photoshop:

What I need to do is get a photo of eyes and a photo of a mouth. Here I have a photo of eyes that I’ll start with. Family members are good victims for this:

I’ll try to make this as easy as possible. For this project I’ll use the clone tool. So, the first thing I’ll do is select the clone tool from the tool box:

Before I start to do any cloning, I’ll make a new layer to put the cloned eye onto. Click the new layer icon at the bottom of the layers palette:

I’ll rename the layer to “Left Eye”. To do this I’ll just double click on the word “layer” and type in the words “Left Eye”:

Then I’ll click on the eye photo to make it active. I’ll place the clone brush over the left eye, hold down the ATL key on the keyboard to make the selection. One click should do it. Then I’ll click on the pepper photo and start cloning in the eye:

The next thing I’ll need to do is to add a mask to the “Left Eye” layer. To do this I’ll click on the mask icon at the bottom of the layers palette:

Now I’ll start painting back the pepper around the eye using the paint brush. It’s important to know the when you’re painting using the mask. Black reveals and white conceals:

Here I painted back the red pepper around the eye using low opacity. I used an opacity of 45% and I left the mode to normal:

Now I’ll follow the same steps to do the right eye:

Here I have a photo of a family member’s mouth. I’ll follow the same steps for the mouth as for each of the eyes:

Here is what the layer palette should look like at this point, and here is the happy pepper. I’m not quite finished yet though:

The next thing I’ll do is combine the layers. To do this without flattening the image, hit CTRL-ALT-SHIFT-E at the same time on your keyboard to create a “composite” layer. This will merge the layers together into a copy of the combined layers, leaving the original layers untouched. I’ll name this layer “Merged Layers”:

The next thing I like to do is put the photo into the liquify filter to make the eyes bigger. I’ll make sure that I’m on the “Merged Layers” layer:

Here is the Liquify dialog box:

Once I’m in the Liquify dialog box, I’ll use the bloat tool to puff up the eyes:

I’ll just click on the tool and then hover over the eye. At this point I’ll click on the center of the eye and I’ll be able to see the eye puff up. I just want to puff it up a little, not too much. See the difference between the left eye that I bloated and the untouched right eye. When I’m finished I’ll click OK:

Here is the finished “Happy Pepper” photo:

It’s not over till it’s over. There’s still a lot of things I can do to this image to enhance it. It’s fun to play with filters and other tools to see what more could be done.

So, take photos of apples, pears, bananas or whatever fruit you like and have fun with it. Enjoy!

Creating a 3D Pop-Out Effect Using Photoshop

Above is the effect I’m going to teach you how to do in this tutorial.

The first thing I’ll do is open my photo into Photoshop. Here’s the photo I’ve selected for this project. This kind of effect works great with action shots. Boats traveling fast across the water or cars speeding past you, or even people running or jumping:

The next thing I’ll do is make a selection around the main subject. I’ll use the Quick Selection tool to make my selection:

Once the selection is made, I’ll hit CTRL-J on my keyboard. This will put the selection onto its own layer:

In the next step I’ll click on the background layer to make it active. Then I’ll use the Rectangular Marquee Tool to make a rectangular selection around the part of the photo I want to keep. I’ll make sure not to select the front part of the boat. This is the part that I plan on having pop out of the photo. After I make the selection with the Marquee tool, I’ll again hit CTRL-J to put this selection on its own layer.

So far this is what the Layers palette looks like:

Next I’ll click on the rectangular photo layer, still labeled “Layer 2″. Here I’m going to put a stroke around this layer to make a border/frame around it. At the bottom of the Layers palette there is an FX icon. This is the layer style icon:

I’ll click on the FX icon to open the layer style menu. Then I’ll click on Stroke at the bottom of the list:

Here the Layer Style dialog box opens:

The first thing I like to do is change the color of the stroke, so I’ll click on the color red that shows as the default color. When I click on the red box, the color picker opens up. Here I’ll choose the color white. I’ll do this by dragging the circle in the box to the top left corner where the red color fades to white. I’ll then click in the white area. Then I’ll click OK:

Now that the color of the stroke is chosen, it’s time to decide how thick to make the stroke. I think 35 is a good thickness and that’s what I’ll use for this project. Where it says “position,” I’ll change the default of “outside” to “inside”. This will get rid of the rounded edges of the stroke. I’ll leave the opacity to 100%. Here are the setting I used in the Stroke dialog box:

The next thing I’ll do is choose the Outer Glow option in the Layer Style dialog box. It’s the third one down on the left. Make sure to click on the words “outer glow” to see the options for this feature. Here I’ll change the Blend Mode from Screen to Multiply. I’ll bring the Opacity to 60 and then I’ll click on the black box to change the color to black. Clicking on the black box will bring up the Color Picker dialog box. I’ll just click on the black part of the box then click OK. In the Elements section of the box I left the Technique set to Softer, Spread 30 and Size 40. The Quality section at the bottom of the box I’ll just leave at the defaults. Then I’ll click OK. Play around with the sliders and see which arrangements suit your photo.

Here is the setting I used in this box for the Outer Glow style:

Now I’m going to add a little drop shadow to the man on the ski boat. Here I’ll go to “Layer 1″ and just double click on the layer to bring up the layer style dialog box.

In the Drop Shadow dialog box I’ll select Multiply as the blend mode. I’ll put the Angle at 176 so that the shadow is in front of the boat. I’ll set the Distance to 24, the Spread to 34, and I’ll choose 27 for the Size. I’ll leave Quality at the defaults. Then I’ll click OK.

Here are the settings:

I need to get rid of the shadow inside of the box. I want the shadow outside the box to give the man on the ski boat the appearance of jumping out. I’ll save this step for last.

To get rid of the distractions in the background behind the box and the man on the ski boat, I’ll click on the background layer and fill it with white. To do this, I’ll press D to set the background color to white, then I’ll hit CTRL-BACKSPACE to fill the background with white.

The last thing left to do is to get rid of the shadow inside the box. To do this I’ll go to “Layer 1″. In “Layer 1″ I’ll right click on the FX icon on the right side of the layer:

From the menu I’ll choose Create Layer. This flattens the layer so we can now erase the inner shadow. When I’m ready to erase I’ll make sure I’m on the “Layer 1” “Drop Shadow”:

Here is the finished photo:

Experiment and have fun!

How to Give a Photograph a Painterly Look Using Photoshop

Above is a photograph of a car that I recently took at a car show in Westchester. I’d like to give it a painterly look, so here’s how I’m going to do it.

The first thing I do is open the photo in Photoshop. Then I’ll go to Shadow/Highlight. The reason I do this is to open up the shadows, which helps create the painterly look:

Here are the settings I use. I’ll bring up the Shadow amount to 20 and the Highlight to 5. Then I’ll click OK:

The next thing I’ll do is go to Filter/Noise/Dust & Scratches:

I’ll bring the Radius slider to 24 and the Threshold to 37. These are the settings that I think look good for this photo. A different photo might need a little more or a little less with each slider. Here you see that the photo has transformed into a painterly look already:

The next thing I’ll do is add some noise. So I’ll go to Filter/Noise/Add Noise:

Here I’ll set the amount to 14.0 and keep the distribution set to Uniform. I’ll also uncheck the Monochromatic box at the bottom of the Add Noise box. Then I’ll click OK:

In the next step I’ll equalize the photo. So, I’ll go to Image/Adjustments/Equalize:

Here you can see the photo come to life. What I’ll do next is set the history marker in the history palette to the step before “equalize”:

Then I’ll use the History Brush to go back one step and darken the background around the yellow car. The yellow car is the main subject and I want it to stand out:

I’ll use the History Brush at 100% Opacity, and a 40% feather on the brush. On the tool bar at the top of the page, I’ll click on the triangle that’s pointing down to open up the brush options:

Then I’ll be able to see all the brush options and the different selections of brushes. Here I have the brush hardness set to 40%. The Master Diameter is just the size of the brush:

Here are the before and after images:

Have fun and experiment with all the sliders. If you don’t want any noise in your photo, just leave out that step. If you want more of the painterly look, just increase the Radius slider in the Dust & Scratch menu.

How to Create Motion in an Image

Above is the finished product of this tutorial.

Here I have an image of some children playing soccer. I used a fast shutter speed while taking this image, to freeze the action. At this point I think I’d like to put some motion into the image:

The first thing I do is drop the image into Photoshop. I’ll make a selection around the boy who is ready to kick the ball. He’s the main focus of this image. To make the selection I’ll use the lasso tool in the tool bar:

When I make the selection around the boy, I’ll make sure to feather the selection so that the boy doesn’t look selected with a hard edge. To feather the selection, I go to Select / Modify / Feather:

For this image I think I’ll feather at 45 pixels. Then I click OK:

The next thing I need to do is to inverse the selection. Right now the boy is selected. I need to have everything around the boy selected. This is why I’m going to inverse the selection. I’ll go to Select / Inverse:

Then I’ll go to Filter / Blur / Motion Blur:

This is where you have to decide how much motion blur you want. For this image I think I’ll use a motion blur of 171 pixels and keep the “Angle” at 0. I make sure the preview box is checked in the Motion Blur dialog box. Then I click OK:

On my keyboard, I hit the keys CTRL-D to deselect the selection. For any reason you see something else in the image that you wish you didn’t blur, you can always go to the history brush and bring it back.

Here I decided to bring back the ball, but not 100%. I’ll go to the history brush and I’ll also make sure the history is marked off (the little paintbrush next to the Open step in the image, below) in the History Palette to the point I want to go back:


Here I’m going to bring the opacity of the history brush to 35%. I brush the ball to see how I like how it comes out. If I want to see more of the soccer ball, then I just brush over it again:

Here’s the finished image:

Have fun!