Have you ever found old black and white photographs and wondered what they would look like in colour? Here is a simple short tutorial to show you how you can add colour (or change colours) in any photograph.
Version: CS or Higher
Final Image Preview: Click to Enlarge
Take your black and white photograph and open it in Photoshop. The first thing we must do is unlock the background layer and add a Layer Mask. Double click the background layer in the layers panel and choose OK to unlock it. To add a layer mask choose Layer > Layer Mask.
Next, duplicate the background layer and name it something it will relate to in the photograph, eg “Red Paint”.
Choose Image > Adjustments > Hue/Saturation. Make sure the Color Tick Box is checked and move the sliders until you get your desired colour. Note: Do not tamper with the Lightness Settings for now.
Select the Layer Mask for the Red Paint layer and choose Image > Adjustments Invert. This will reset the picture back to black and white. Now, take a medium hardness brush and paint back in the areas you wish to colour with White.
Duplicate the background layer again and name it appropriately. Eg. Gold Paint.
Repeat the previous steps with the Hue/Saturation and colour in the parts you want gold.
Just keep repeating these steps for various colours. The more objects you choose and the more colour differences you apply the better your final image will look. Note: I tend to put all my other truck related layers below the Red Paint Layer, this means if I have taken my time with that I can afford to overlap and be slightly more messy on the layers beneath it.
Now we can add some Layer Adjustments. With your top layer selected choose Layer > New Adjustment Layer > Levels and click OK. Adjust your levels slightly to make the image a bit more crisp.
Create a new layer above everything, call it Channel Black. Choose Window > Channels. Cmd+Click/Ctrl+Click the Red Channel to highlight it on your image.
Choose Select > Invert. This will swap the selection for everything that is NOT selected. Set your colour to Black (hit D to reset your colours) and return to your new blank layer. Choose Edit > Fill and with Foreground Color selected click ok.
Set the Blend Mode to Soft Light and the Opacity to around 50%. This will just add a little bit of Contrast to our image.
And that is it. Obviously the more time you spend and the more colours you add the better your overall image will turn out.