August 2014 – Bef & Aft

It’s August, last month of winter here in Australia and Calamity Jane kicks off the month with Day 86 of the colourisation project. 279 days to go!

I’ve been asked a few times how I colourise my photos. I’ve tried several different methods in the course of this exercise that vary in difficulty, control and effectiveness and all roads lead to the same result. So there is no right or wrong way to do this.

Using Photoshop CS 5.5, my preferred method is to paint in colour adjustment layers with layer masks for individual colours and then apply various blending modes. This course of action is non destructive and gives me greater control. Some photos achieve a realistic result more readily than others. Photos like the one of Caruso, are relatively easy because of the tonal range provided in the image. In other words if you start with a good quality photo then you should achieve half decent results. Also crucial to a good result is an understanding of how light affects color and how adjacent colors affect each other in an image.

Trial and error, I have found are the greatest masters of anything really and the beauty of working in a non-destructive manner means that you can go in and apply color and tonal adjustments as you see fit without permanently changing pixel values.

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