Black and white photos are certainly charming, but they lack the obvious realism a colored photo can give. Earlier, you would be left to accept such photos as they are, but that’s no longer the case, thanks to technology. If you are not well-versed in colorization tools and techniques, you can hire expert photo colorization services and add natural charm to your old photos.
There’s more good news: today’s smartphones can help you do some photo colorization yourself. There are dedicated apps for it, including camera apps themselves, that contain appropriate options.
Top 10 Applications to Add Colorization Effect to Your Photos
Various photo editing applications available on smartphones can add more color to your selfies and other images, making them pop and stand out more than usual. They can also help correct poor colorization in photos that can occur for various reasons.
If you’re enthusiastic about filling your memories with more color, then you can find the top 10 ways you can go about it listed below.
The name Photoshop has become synonymous with photo editing, even replacing the term photo editing with its own. And with good reason: it is by far the most exhaustive photo editing software around. And it gets better with every released version, making it ever more convenient to work on images with it. As a result, the software is a staple of every editor at possibly every photo editing company. Amateurs and beginners can also use it quite easily as it doesn’t have a steep learning curve, at least for the simple functions.
One of those simple functions is photo colorization. It takes about 5 steps in all to colorize a photo, with some repetitions required for every color. The final step even has the editor adjusting the black levels to make the colors appear better.
Thus, you get an all-around colorization experience that’s relatively easy to obtain, even in the most demanding circumstances. What’s more: there’s even a Photoshop Express app for mobile devices for on-the-go light editing that can do colorization too.
2. Colorize App
Colorize is an iOS-exclusive app that uses AI to add color to photos. It takes images present in your iPhone/iPad’s gallery or directly from the camera. All you have to do to have your photos colorized is tap on the respective option. An AI powers this app, and it selects the colors it thinks best suit the individual object in your photos.
It is free to download and try but charges a subscription or a per-image fee to download the colorized version of the photo. The paid version also lets you share and back up an unlimited number of photos, including on your device or others like Apple Cloud.
3. Colorize Images App
Colorize Images is an app for Android-based devices that is similar to the Colorize app mentioned above but from a different company. It offers many of the features of its rival and can quickly add color to your photos with the help of AI. It, too, is free to download and sample but demands a per-image fee or a subscription to save the re-colored photos. You can store the images in your choice database, including on a device or a cloud service.
4. Google Photos’ Colorizing Feature
Google has bundled its Photos app with every android device, offering several photo-related services, including remote storage and editing. The photo editing features it has on offer aren’t as elaborate as dedicated photo editing apps, but the app does cover many of the fundamental ones, like the addition of filters.
One of the features being added is the Colorization of B&W photos. It was announced as a BETA mode addition back in 2018 and has been available as such since. You simply pick the photo you want to colorize and tap on the “Colorize” option in the list. The app also uses AI to perform its function.
In addition to this, Google has also launched a special kind of colorizing feature, particularly for skies in the Photos app on its Pixel smartphones. If you own one, you can open the app and select a picture where the sky is present. Under the Edit option lies Tools, in which you will find the Sky option. There are many filters available, like Stormy, Vivid, Radiant, etc., with some of them changing the tone of the sky while others change the entire color.
Palette.fm is a free web-based colorizing tool that also harnesses the power of AI to add the necessary colors to photographs. What makes this portal unique is that the user can direct the AI to colorize their photos the way they want via text prompts. It works similarly to AI like DALL-E, which produces images according to the text entered, but the text prompts here are used to help the AI identify what it’s looking at so that it can add the appropriate color to that element.
There’s more flexibility offered by this online photo colorization tool. You have the option to select the kind of lighting effect you want in the photo too, and the color style as well. There is a Pencil button on the side you can use to manually add the edits or a Surprise Me button to automatically generate the effects. Several photo colorization companies use this tool for its effective results.
It contains 20 color presets to use that act as filters. The good news is that it doesn’t restrict the size or the number of photos you can upload, edit, and download. Just that uploaded field is automatically converted to PNG, so you’re out of luck if you want to use RAW files.
If you’re confused by the appearance of a Twitter handle instead of an app’s name, then worry not. @colorize_bot is an AI-based colorization service that operates solely on the platform, and anybody can use it for free. It’s simple to use, too: whenever you upload a B&W photo to Twitter, just add the handle in the post or a reply to a tweet.
The bot visualizes the tweet and automatically initiates an AI colorizer for the photo. It returns the colorized results in the form of a tweet. The results may not always be up to the mark, but it does serve the purpose if you’re in a hurry and want a quick approximate colorization of your B&W photos.
7. Image Colorizer
It is a free-to-use AI-based colorizer application that is available on the web, iOS, and Android app stores. It has both a free and subscription option that comes with different features. For the free option, you needn’t register or create an account, but you will be restricted to a file size of 5MB, with a resolution of 3000×3000 pixels. It has a monthly subscription plan that lets you upload larger photos and gives you credits to use for it.
By using the app, you can avoid the need for manual transfer of photos between your phone and computer. This app has filters to add after colorization to enhance the appeal of the photos even more. You also get to retouch and fix blurry photos, along with removing scratches from old photos, as a part of this app’s photo enhancement feature. Several photo editing service providers use this tool to derive desired results.
8. Ancestry.com’s Colorizer Tool
Ancestry.com is a great place to store your family photos and let your loved ones view them. It also allows you to explore your family history based on various parameters. Colorization using AI is another addition to this list of facilities that the site offers. The results it produces certainly make it an acceptable tool, but it’s far from accurate.
The AI is merely guessing the color for each object in the image and so doesn’t always give the right output. But it works great if you want to bring alive some old memories of your family members from that era.
Luminar is an all-purpose photo editing application that’s available for Windows and MacOS. It intends to compete against Photoshop and comes packed with a plethora of features as a result. You can edit your photos the way you want, including adding colors to them. Luminar also uses AI for the job, but it also allows you to manually add colors or edit the AI-generated ones easily.
GIMP is a professional photo editing tool that is open source and available for free for Linux and MacOS. It has a bit of a learning curve, but when mastered can be a very effective tool for multiple photo editing requirements. Its colorization feature is present primarily in the form of filters you can add using the appropriate option in the right panel. This works best if you have experience working with multiple layers and know how to change the format to CMYK.
Photo editing as a process is getting easier by the day, thanks to technological advancement. It is also becoming more accessible, providing the power of AI directly in the palm of your hand via apps and web applications. Consequently, you can now colorize your old and new photos to not just make them seem real but also add an ethereal ambiance to them. For more sophisticated effects, you can always hire a photo colorization services company that can give your photos the colorful life they need to add color to the lives of those captured in them.