Some of the most memorable images in our archive are old black-and-white photographs that were hand tinted to add color to parts of or the entire photo. Color film eliminated the novelty of that practice. Today we can do the process in reverse to create special, stunning images from even ordinary color prints.
A couple of years ago, I created a hardcover photo book for my three children, made up largely of black-and-white images with the color “repainted” onto key parts of the subject. This is made refreshingly simple with a very affordable app called ColorStrokes from Macphun Software. Available for iPad, iPhone and the Mac, ColorStrokes makes it fun and easy to “color splash” your photos. You can use the native color of the photos, or create new colors and apply them to the images.
ColorStrokes basically converts your color images to monochrome, then allows you to paint the color back on portions of the photograph. Since it’s easy to overlap the edges of the area you want to colorize, you can switch to a grayscale brush to remove the stray color pixels. The results are beautiful, while the process is quite easy. ColorStrokes costs just $1.99 for the Mac, $4.99 for iPad and 99 cents for iPhone.
You can export your finished product as TIFF or JPEG files, further editable in Adobe Photoshop. ColorStrokes has some built in photo effects, but I found them to be a bit harsh compared to other inexpensive photo editors such as Intensify (also made by Macphun).
Take a look at what can be done in a couple hours of work:
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