The Final Product
Photo: John Paul Caponigro
Colorless black-and-white images are beautiful, but sometimes it’s nice to add a little bit of tone. By adding color to your b&w photos, you can enhance their expressive qualities.
Historically, photographers added color by choosing specific materials when they made prints. Different papers and toners created different looks for silver gelatin prints. Processes like platinum and cyanotype created warm-toned images or cool-toned prints. In addition to its aesthetic impact, toning could enhance the longevity of a print. Color could be added selectively by hand, not to mention many other alternative processes.
These days, you can add color to your black-and-white digital images in virtually unlimited ways. Sure, the choices before you can be dizzying. Fortunately the techniques are simple, and the experimentation process for determining which tone qualities work with specific images is easy and fun. Here are five go-to ways for bringing color back into monochrome images in Adobe Photoshop.