Colorizing an old B&W

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Jim B (MSP) Forum Pro • Posts: 10,477
Colorizing an old B&W

I am about to start my first attempt at changing an old B&W to a color image.

I am working on some material to help a local organization produce educational material, some of which will be for 4th graders unable to make a field trip this year. The photo dates from the 1920s, and is the best one we have.

The building is key. It is called the White House, as it was originally white washed and stood out in Madera Canyon where only a small ruined wall still exists. The basic material is adobe brick - made of mud and clay and straw.

I have already produced one B&W version taking out the people/family and keeping only the house. This is the scene that will be used the most.

1st  question - will it be better to colorize the original before colorizing the 2nd, or just colorize the original and then remove the people.

The building is the key. I'd like to make one version of it look white washed. Any tricks?

I included a photo of what the ruins look like for a possible color reference before it is white washed.

All hints and guidance will be appreciated.

Thanks, and stay safe.


family removed in PS

remains today


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"It's all about the light"

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