The textures and tones used in the grass and vehicles hardly look like they were once black white
Automatically colorize black and white photos via algorithmia
Most cameras are able to take pictures in black and white mode however this type of black and white photograph is often drab washed out
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Spectrum Colorize Black And White Photos.

Look for Contrast, Shape and Texture. The complimentary and opposing colours that bring a colour image to life are all decreased to black and white or shades of grey in a monochrome image and you have to look for tonal contrast to make a shot stand out. In colour photography, for example, your eye would right away be drawn to a red object on a green background, but in monochrome photography these two areas are likely to have the same brightness, so the image looks flat and drab straight from the camera. providentially , it’s possible to work adjust the brightness of these two colours separately to introduce some contrast. However, a great starting point is to look for scenes with tonal contrast. There are always exceptions, but as a general rule look for scenes that contain some powerful blacks and whites. This can be achieved by the light or by the brightness (or tone) of the objects in the scene as well as the exposure settings that you use. The brightness of the bark of a silver birch tree for example, should inject some contrast (and interest) in to a woodland scene. Setting the exposure for these brighter areas also makes the shadows darker, so the highlights stand out even more. Look for shapes, patterns and textures in a scene and move around to find the most excellent composition.

Shoot RAW + JPEG. The best monochrome conversions are fetched up at by editing raw files which have the full colour information, but if you shoot raw and JPEG files simultaneously and set the camera to its monochrome picture Style/Picture Control/Film Simulation mode you get an indication of how the image will look in black and white. As many photographers struggle to visualise a scene in black and white, these monochrome modes are an invaluable tool that will help with composition and scene assessment. numerous cameras are also capable of producing decent in-camera monochrome images these days and it’s worth experimenting with image parameters (usually contrast, sharpness, filter effects and toning) to find a look that you like. Because compact use cameras and compact cameras show the scene seen by the sensor with camera settings applied, users of these cameras are able to preview the monochrome image in the electronic viewfinder or on rear screen before taking the shot. DSLR users should also do this if they kick in their camera’s live suspicion path , but the usually slower responses mean that many will find it preferable or check the image on the screen post-capture.

Use Filters. Graduated neutral density (AKA ND grad) and polarizing filters are simply as useful in monochrome photography as they are in colour. In fact, because they manipulate image contrast they are arguably more advantageous . An ND grad is collaborative when you require to retain detail in a bright sky while a polarizing filter may be used to reduce reflections and boost contrast. Alternatively, estimate taking two or more shots with varied exposures to create a high dynamic range (HDR) composite. Don’t be afraid to use a ND grad with a standard neural density filter if the sky is brighter than the foreground in a long exposure shot. Coloured filters, which are an essential tool for monochrome film photographers, can also be advantageous for manipulating contrast in digital images. They work by darkening objects of their opposite colour while lightening objects of her own. An orange filter, for example, will darken the blue of the sky while a green one will lighten foliage.

Try Long Exposure. Long exposure shots may work really well in monochrome photography, especially where there’s moving water or clouds. During the exposure the highlights of the water, for example, are recorded across a wider place than they would with a short exposure and this should help enhance tonal contrast. The blurring of the movement also adds textural contrast with any solid objects in the frame. If required , use a neutral density filter such as Lee Filters’ Big Stopper or Little Stopper to reduce exposure and extend shutter speed (by 10 and 4 stops respectively). naturally , when exposures extend farther than in regard to 1/60 sec a tripod is required to keep the camera still and avoid blurring. It’s also advisable to use a remote release and mirror lock-up to minimise vibration and produce super-sharp images.

Take Control. Although coloured filters can still be used to manipulate contrast when shooting digital black and white images, it’s more common to save this work until the processing stage. Until a a couple years ago Photoshop’s Channel Mixer was the preferred means of turning colour images monochrome, but now Adobe Camera Raw has more forceful tools (in the HSL/Grayscale tab) that allow you to adjust the brightness of eight individual colours that make up the image. It’s possible to adjust single of these colours to make it anything from white to black with the sliding control. However, it’s important to keep an eye on the whole image when adjusting a particular colour as subtle gradations should become unnatural looking. And adjusting the brightness of a red or pink shirt with the red sliding control, for moment , will have an impact on the model’s skin, especially the lips. The Levels and Curves controls could also be used to manipulate tonal range and contrast, but the HSL/Grayscale controls allow you to create differentiation between objects of the same brightness but with varied colours.

Dodge and Burn. Dodging and burning is a convention that comes from the traditional darkroom and is usually used to burn in or darken highlights and hold back (brighten) shadows. Photoshop’s Dodge and Burn tools allow a level of control that film photographers could only dream of because you could target the highlights, shadows or mid-tones with both. This means that you should use the Burn tool to darken highlights when they are too bright, or the Dodge tool to perk up them to increase local contrast. It’s a good system of sharing a sense of greater sharpness and enhancing texture. Plus, because you should set the opacity of the tools, you can build up her effect gradually so the impact is subtle and there are no hard edges.

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Check out this before and after view, then watch the video tour of the app below. While I didn’t have any personal old B&W photos handy to test this on, I did break out a book by a particularly famous photographer and converted some of his images. Good thing this video is behind the wall… I’d hate to get in trouble for this! 😉 

SPECTRUM is the ONLY app that automatically colorizes black and white photos in one click! Be the first to amaze you family and friends! 1. Snap a photo or upload right from Camera Roll2. A bit of Magic 3. Save & share in Instagram, Facebook, Twitter and many more!Colorize your old black & white photos and have fun unleashing true colours of famous historic images with top-notch neural networks processing technology.Revolutionary. Unbelievable. Yours. SPECTRUM.

The new iOS app Spectrum completely automates the process, and while not perfect… the results are very, very cool. In fact I think they look remarkably like what a hand colorist might do! My only complaint is that the rendered output is only 1080 in the longest direction. No idea why they’d go so low, but perhaps there will be a paid version later that will do more?

Of course, it’s actually powered by neural networks that use advanced machine learning to process and understand the content of images – but let’s face it, to the average person those buzzwords are almost meaningless. Better to believe in fairy tales.

So what’s the downside, here? Well, Spectrum isn’t cheap – the app will set you back a whopping $19.99/£19.99. But the developers put it on flash sale pretty regularly, and it’s already gone free three times in the last week. Unfortunately, each time only seems to last a number of hours before the price is hiked up again.

Famed sci-fi writer Arthur C. Clarke once wrote that any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic. Well, we think he would have liked Spectrum. The surprising accuracy with which it adds color to old photographs will leave you wondering if the whole thing is some kind of voodoo, and how many black cats were sacrificed to power this dark magic.

A before and after of a B&W photo shot with Hipstamatic, now colorized with Spectrum

These days, you can send your B&W photos off to a service to have them colorized, where someone will painstakingly brush colors over the images, determining as they go what colors belong on what places. What that a blue dress? What shade of blue? How dark was his skin? What shade of green were those trees? How blue was the sky? All unanswerable questions (for the most part) that are determined by the coloring artist.

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Live Training Session 112 Coming Up; Adjustments: Color and B&W

Level: Beginner App: Spectrum Platform: iOS Author: PhotoJoseph Log in or register to post comments ‹ Previous Next ›

ApertureExpert Live Training 112: Adjustments; Color and B&W

Have you ever wanted to colorize an old black and white photo? Sure you have, and why not! It’s pretty fun to think about what some of our older photos might look like if they’d been shot in color. Well, there’s an app for that… and it’s called Spectrum [App store affiliate link].

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SPECTRUM is the ONLY app that automatically colorizes black and white photos in one click

If you’ve got some old photo albums lying around, Spectrum is great fun and could kickstart a real nostalgia trip. You simply feed in a black and white photo and get back something in full color. Somehow, the app knows what color things should be and does a good job of making it so. It’s not perfect, and some efforts fall shy of the mark, but we were really impressed by the app’s smarts. Twinned with Google Photoscan (also free) you could digitize and colorize all those dusty snaps from the attic.

SPECTRUM is the ONLY app that automatically colorizes black and white photos in one click! Be the first to amaze you family and friends!

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We’ve reached out to the developers for more details and will be sure to let you guys know if it drops in price again. In the meantime, though, even at twenty bucks this is a little slice of magic and definitely worth the price of admission if you have a lot of old photos.

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