The practice of colorizing black and white photos can be traced back to the daguerreotypes, which predates Instagram’s creative filters by about 180 years. In order to increase the vitality of the putty-like tones of many of the earliest printing techniques, the photographer would very carefully apply a thin layer of colored paint mixed with gum Arabic (or a faster drying alcoholic mixture) on the people’s cheeks, hair, and background. With the advent of paper printing techniques and masters, the use of transparent photo oils, dyes, and pencils have become the preferred medium for bringing color photos into black and white photos. Thanks to technology, we don’t need to colorize photos all by hand now, we have more choices.

In this article, I will introduce 3 ways to colorize a black and white image: Image Colorizer, Photoshop, and hand-coloring.

3 ways to colorize black and white image

Image Colorizer: Colorize picture online free with AI technology

Image Colorizer is a fully automatic program to colorize black and white images. It adopts AI technology to give back the original color to the image, instead of coloring by guessing. With this AI-driven online tool, you don’t have to manually add color to black and white pictures. Basically, with the image shader, you don’t need to spend hours coloring the photo. This tool provides you with an easy way to color and color pictures.

The best part of Image Colorizer is so easy to use. Image Colorizer proposes a mechanism, you only need to select the image to be improved, and the rest of the work is done by the program. First, go to the official website of Image Colorizer, upload the black and white image you want to colorize. Click the ‘Start’ button to start the process. Then, wait a few seconds, click the ‘Download’ button to download the result to your device. The whole process won’t take more than 2 minutes.

Another biggest advantage is that Image Colorizer is 100% safe to use, the program will delete all files you uploaded every 2 hours. No one can access your information without your permission.

Recently, Image Colorizer provide free Win/Mac software that you can use on your computers. With its Picture Colorizer software, you can not only add color automatically, but also use stunning filters and adjust the HSL to make better results.

Photoshop: All in one tool with image colorization features

Photoshop as one of the most well-known image editing software, has all the functions for image editing. Using Photoshop to colorize a black and white image is also a good idea, however, you need to be a master before doing that. Colorizing images by Photoshop need more than 30 minutes to finish, and almost 20 steps depend on the content of the image. Different from Image Colorizer, you need to choose the color for each part of the image and colorize them one by one. If you are a beginner, Photoshop is not the best option, if you are a master already, you will get an amazing result by using Photoshop.

Hand-coloring: Add color to old photos manually

Although there are many colorizer programs now, some artists and photographers still colorizing images by hand, in the traditional way. Since the end of the 19th century, hand-coloring began to be used in commercial applications. Now, people do hand-coloring for art purposes. However, the time needed for hand-coloring an image takes several days, some complex image even takes up to a month to finish colorizing.

In addition to studying and painting images in detail, an excellent color painter also needs to master an important skill, which is the understanding of light. Artists can use the most correct and suitable color to fill in the image, there will be no color difference. So, the result of the hand-coloring image has the best performance compared to the other two colorizing tools.

Read also: Best camera selection guide for Beginner Photographer

Extra 2 ways to colorize black and white image

ColouriseSG: Bring color to black and white photo

ColouriseSG uses deep learning AI technology to create remarkably results within a few clicks. This website is developed by the GovTech engineers and it is trained specifically for old Singaporean photos.

The whole website is clean and simplistic. No other functions but only a uploading area that you can drop your B&W photos. After uploading the photo, you can get it downloaded from the server with colorized results. It is simple to use.

Go to Fiverr to find freelancer to create stunning colorized photo

There is another way that you can have a try, if you do not want use these online tools or colorize B&W photos by yourself. Go to Fiverr to find a freelancer and place a gig, starts from only $5. There are thousands of freelancers that earn by selling their skills, like old photo colorization. Search by using keywords, review their stars and pick the best one of them. After placing the gig, they will give you amazing results.

Generally, these freelancers could give you more choice and you can customize your requirement. Tell them what you want so they can follow. What’s more, they can restore your old and broken photo, make these old stuff like a new one. These professional photography will bring the new life to your old memory.


Some people argue that these photos should be left as they are and that the color version cannot replace these black and white images. One of the image colorizing artists Jordan pointed out that they are not intended to replace, but merely to supplement. I totally agree.

The added colors make old photos look more relevant. People seem to be more realistic, getting closer and closer to us. This is the first thing I noticed when I first became interested in them. In addition, accurately colored photos help us understand history because we can see the appearance of clothing, uniforms, and jewelry from a specific period.

Through this article, I believe you have a clear version of 3 different image colorizing tools and make your own decision about which one to choose. Both of them are a good choice as long as that can meet your needs.

Belayet Hossain

I’m a tech enthusiast, entrepreneur, digital marketer and professional blogger equipped with skills in Digital Marketing, SEO, SEM, SMM, and lead generation. My objective is to simplify technology for you through detailed guides and reviews. I discovered WordPress while setting up my first business site and instantly became enamored. When not crafting websites, making content, or helping clients enhance their online ventures, I usually take care of my health and spend time with family, and explore the world. Connect with me on Facebook, Twitter, Linkedin or read my complete biography.