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  • Hand Coloring

    Hi all!

    I'm wondering if you can help me. I'm just learning how to hand color Black & White photos. I have the basic concept and use the method of layering and selections and targeting the color (adjusting the opacity). What I'm wondering is, how far do I go? I'm sure it's a matter of taste, but say I'm working on a family picture... It takes a fair amount of time to color each person. Would you go the next step and color the entire background?

    Here is a picture of myself, sister and brother. I have will attatch the original, hand painted without background and finally the starting of my painting the background ie: wall and painting.

    I'd love your oppinion.

    I'll have to attach the photos seperately as it says the size exceeds the max amount

  • #2
    Hand Coloring

    Here is the original....
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    • #3
      Hand Coloring

      Here is my first attemp at hand coloring - no background colored...
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      • #4
        Hand Coloring

        Finally, the background being colored. So far only the painting and wall....
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        • #5
          I like the background colored. I think you did a good job on that wall.

          Sharon

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          • #6
            Hand Coloring

            Hi Again!

            Just noticed the resizing of the pictures makes them look very pixellated. The originals were saved as tiff's and are an additional 25% larger.

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            • #7
              Hand Coloring

              Thanks Sharon,

              I know the original wall color was a drabby cream! When I layered cream over and tried overlay - it looked horrible. I tried using a verigated color so it wasn't as noticable and it hid a lot of the noise. Do you think I should color the couch and the rest??

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              • #8
                I don't know. I'm no artist, I have to try it because I have trouble picturing it. I know if I like it when I see it.

                My grandparents had a photography studio and they had a woman who worked for them who did all their "coloring". She was incredible, could open closed eyes, etc.

                If it's that kind of effect you want, it has to be very subtle, which I think yours is.

                Sharon

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                • #9
                  First of all, I think you did a great job with coloring the kids. As for the cream colored wall, remember that the flash illuminates the foreground making the background seem even darker. To apply cream color over that won't work because it is darkened too much. Now ask yourself what it is in the image that is important to you. Is that small section of couch important? Or the wall color? You have the kids just about popping out at you and that's what I would think was what you want to bring the viewers eyes too. I'm no photographer but I know when I look at this photo what I remember seeing is the faces of those children and the vivid red dress and dark blue suit offset by that creamy yellow dress. Give your self a pat on the back for doing a great job coloring them and forget the unimportant parts. In my opinion, it's alot of work for not much gain. What's that saying?? "If it ain't broke, don't fix it."?
                  DJ

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                  • #10
                    Hand Coloring

                    Well, I tried coloring the couch, pillow and straightening the picture. I guess coloring the background is a matter of personal taste. Although, I'd love to hear how others tackle a picture like this and if they recommend coloring the backgrounds.

                    P.S. That's me in the red dress! ha ha
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                    • #11
                      I think you did a fine job on this, and I like the background colored. On my monitor it looks a bit heavy on the magenta end (I would prefer a bit warmer color). Although I love the old black & whites, Isn't it great how these come to life with color?!
                      Vikki

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                      • #12
                        Lisa, it sure looks like you're catching onto hand coloring very quickly. Nice job.

                        I will have to agree with Vikki, though, that it does lean a bit heavy into magenta. Wonder if your monitor is calibrated?

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                        • #13
                          I think you're doing a great job for someone just getting started on it. Like the man said, you're catching on very fast. I think what you choose to color is a personal choice, and I also agree that the skin tones could be a little warmer.

                          Ed.

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                          • #14
                            Hand Coloring

                            Thanks Vikki, Tim and Ed (I appreciate the encouragement). It sure is fun taking a plain Black & White Photo and bringing it to life. How would you suggest I tackle toning down the magenta. I've tried Paintshop Pro manual color adjustment - I didn't really like the results. I have also tried manually adjusting the color balance (Photoshop). Each time I moved the slider over to tone the magenta color the green and blue background got brighter. I've also tried Photoshop to look at the different color variations. Most gave the overall picture a yellow hue

                            P.S. Ed - I'm sure my monitor is calibrated... remember the horrible time I had calibrating monitor, scanner etc...

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                            • #15
                              What a fun picture!! The expressions on all of your faces are priceless!! You're colorization looks VERY natural. GREAT JOB!! I downloaded the photo to play around with the color balance. I used the Color Balance tool in PS:
                              Highlights: +5/0/-3
                              Midtones: -1/+3/-3
                              Shadow: 0/+4/0
                              I didn't have any method to getting these numbers - just fooled around with the sliders. After I changed the color balance, I also increased the saturation +15.

                              I probably shouldn't be posting this b/c I've been staring at the screen for too many hours and can barely distinguish color casts (meaning I'm likely to over correct), but here's what it looks like after the adjustments I made.

                              Jeanie
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