How to Colorize a Black and White Photo

January 15

4 min. to read

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When you need to colorize black and white photo, it's important to understand the best tools for it.

Adding color to your black and white photos helps you create a unique look. Using the brushing tools in Luminar makes this process easier, allowing you to focus on the creative aspects of your image.

How to Colorize a Black and White Photo Image1

Start by opening a black and white photograph in Luminar. Make sure that Layers are turned on. Create a new Adjustment Layer by clicking on the + icon in the upper right corner of the interface.

How to Colorize a Black and White Photo Image2

Luminar will prompt you to choose filters for your new layer. Select Split Toning and Channel Mixer. Start with Split Toning and move the Saturation slider all the way to 100 in Highlights. Then choose the color that you want to add to your photo by moving the Hue slider in Highlights. Once you find the color you like, make the same slider settings in Shadows. At this point, the entire image will be affected.

How to Colorize a Black and White Photo Image3

To limit the effect to a specific area, click on the brush tool on the right side of the interface. Start painting over the areas you want to add that color to create color splash effect. Luminar will limit the change to where you've brushed. The rest of the image will return to its original black and white state.

How to Colorize a Black and White Photo Image4

You can control brush size, softness, and opacity in the contextual toolbar that appears at the top of the interface. Additional controls can be revealed, such as Invert, Fill, and Copy, by clicking on the gear icon in the brushing toolbar.

How to Colorize a Black and White Photo Image5

If you paint outside the lines, you can clean that up using the erase brush, which is directly to the right of the brushing icon in the toolbar. And if you want to see your mask, click on the eye icon to turn it on, and click again to turn it off.

How to Colorize a Black and White Photo Image6

The Channel Mixer helps you fine tune the changes you've painted in. Make sure you have the proper layer selected, then adjust the hues using the Red, Green, Blue, and Constant sliders in the Channel Mixer. You have a lot of control adjusting your image with these two filters.

How to Colorize a Black and White Photo Image7

Luminar makes it easy to colorize your black and white photos using its robust filters and layers.

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