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How Colorization Experts Breathe New Colors Into Old B&W Photos

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We’ve shared some impressive work by photo colorizers who use Photoshop skills and hard work to add realistic colors into historical monochrome photos. If you’re wondering how its done, check out this 7-minute video by Vox that discusses the process. (Note: there’s a bit of strong language.)

As professional colorization expert Jordan Lloyd of Dynamichrome says in the video, “it’s a s**tload of work.” Colorizers often do extensive research into the historical background of things seen in photos to get the colors right. What’s more, colorizers need to carefully consider how the light in a scene affects the resulting appearance as well, since different types of light and light bouncing off different materials will drastically affect how the eye perceives things.

“Photo colorization artists use a combination of research, physics, and technology to digitally reconstruct history’s black and white record,” Vox says. So, yes, Photoshop skills will come in handy, but that’s only the first step if you’d like to become adept at accurately colorizing B&W photos.

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