How to Colorize Old, Black and White Photo

In this blog, I will review two tools to colorize old, black and white photos, Photoshop vs Image Colorizer. I will test each of them with the same photo and compare them in three aspects: easy to use, the time needed to complete and the outcome’s quality.

Every family has an album, which contains not only just old photos, also the family’s memory. Family photo connects us with the people before us. By allowing your children to see photos of your past and present, they can connect with their own stories. They knew family members and ancestors who had walked before them and helped shape the world and people they saw.

Since Louis-Jacques-Mande Daguerre invented the world’s the first real camera on August 19, 1839, with a few years, taking photos became a new fashion in the world. People hope to keep the current moments and memories through photos.

However, the colored camera was invented in the 1950s, so most of the family photos were taken in black and white. The lacking of color may cause a sense of unreal to people. Therefore, the image colorizing technique was invented. Colorizing image is to add color to the black and white image, to make it looks more real. Now I will introduce two image colorizer tools and compare their three aspects to give the best solution to the problem.

Factor 1: Ease to use

First, I will give detailed steps for using each tool to compare the ease of use.

Colorize black and white photo with Photoshop

Step 1: Launch Photoshop, open the photo you want to colorize

Launch Photoshop

Step 2: Using the ‘Quick Selection’ tool, select the background. To use the “Quick Selection” tool, simply click the “W” key on your keyboard, or navigate to the Photoshop menu to select the “Quick Selection Tool”. This may take a few minutes. If the tool accidentally selects an area you don’t want to select, you may need to use the Alt key (Windows) or Option key (Mac) to deselect certain areas.

Quick Selection

Step 3: Create a new solid color layer from the selection. After successful selection, continue to make a solid color fill layer. This can be done by clicking the icon shown below.

solid color

Then, clicking ‘solid color’.

click on solid color

Then change the color to a suitable color. Due to the use of a good low aperture, it produces a cool bokeh effect, so the background of the image cannot be focused.

Step 4: Change the blending mode from “Normal” to “Overlay.

Simply select the fill layer from the “Layer” tab, open the highlighted drop-down menu, and select “Overlay”.


Step 5: Correct the edge color bleeding into the edge of the subject. Try to match the surrounding area as accurately as possible.

Try it

Step 6: Add some color to her face.

Use the ‘Quick Selection’ tool but now select her face.

Quick Selection

You may need to spend more time to make the color of the face as accurate as possible.

Step 7: Click ‘OK’ to save the colorized photo

Colorize black and white photo with Image Colorizer

Step 1: Upload the photo you want to colorize. There is a restriction of image size as you cannot upload photos more than 4 Mb or 3000*3000 pixels. Once you click the upload button a new window will open and you can select the photo you want to upload. Double-clicking the required photo will complete this step.

Upload the photo

Step 2: Click ‘Start’ to start the process. You will see the download option appearing in front of the image immediately.

start the process

Step 3: Wait a few seconds, download the outcome when it’s ready.

download the outcome

Factor 2: Timing

In this part, I will compare the time needed for each program to complete the mission.

Photoshop: On the premise you have Photoshop on your computer, the whole process takes about 30 minutes to complete. Otherwise, you will spend 5 more minutes to install Photoshop before starting the mission.

Image Colorizer: Since this is an online program, no need for installing, the whole process takes 1-2 minutes depends on the size of the image.

It’s not hard to see that Image Colorizer needs less time to finish the work, therefore more suitable for people who need results urgently.

Factor 3: Quality

Now, I will show the results of each program to give a clear comparison.


This is the comparison photo processed by Photoshop. The left half of the photo is the colorized part, the right half is the original.


This is the comparison image processed by Image Colorizer, the up part is the original and the bottom part is the colorized one.

Through the comparison, we can see the difference. When using Photoshop, you can choose the color tone you want. However, Image Colorizer does all the colorizing work by AI algorithm, the result may be a little distorted sometime, but it can be ignored.


After comparing Photoshop and Image Colorizer through three aspects, I believe you shall have a certain understanding of these two programs. Photoshop is more flexible that you can choose the color tone as you want, but it’s not easy to use, also takes a long time to complete the mission, more suitable for masters. Image Colorizer is a fully automatic program, it will do all the colorizing work for you within minutes, however, you cannot change the color. Both of them has advantages and disadvantages, choose the one you need is the best choice.

By admin