How to Colorize a Black and White Photo Without Photoshop

Even in the modern age, there is a place for black-and-white images. Even so, there are lots of times you might want to breathe colorful life into an old black-and-white photo. 

You can do this with Photoshop, however, it is not a simple task. Photoshop makes some photo editing tasks quick and easy and others, though possible, require a lot of time. 

Hey there! I’m Cara and though I love Photoshop, there are some tasks I believe can be done quicker and easier using other express photo editing software. 

If you’re like me, you might be looking for an alternative to colorizing an image in Photoshop. You’re in the right place because, in this article, I’m going to share with you some quick photo editing options. 

1. Image Colorizer

The online application Image Colorizer automatically colorizes your images for free. Its AI Colorize! tool uses AI technology to naturally color in black and white images. 

The app also offers three other restoration tools to touch up your old photos. 

AI Enhance! helps to clarify blurry or low-quality old photos. AI Retouch! is similar but focuses on retouching antique photographs and clarifying details in faces. Finally, AI Repair! works to fill in cracks or otherwise damaged portions of the image.

The company offers three plans to its customers. The most basic plan is free and allows unlimited colorizations of images up to 3000 x 3000 pixels. You also get limited credits to use for the other three services. 

The two paid plans are billed monthly and both offer unlimited colorization on images up to 6000 x 6000 pixels. Where they differ is in offering more credits for the other services. 

Mobile App Version

Image Colorizer also has a mobile version available for both iOS and Android users. The  Colorize! app allows you to get started for free but will include a watermark on your exported images. 

The other three restoration features are also available on the mobile app.

2. SoftOrbits

SoftOrbits is downloadable software for Windows you can use to colorize and enhance old photographs. The photo editor will help you remove scratches, noise, or other imperfections in the image. Once you’re ready to colorize, you can click a button and let the app do the rest. 

The colorization software doesn’t do too badly, but the coloring isn’t always perfect in the automatic mode. Thus, SoftOrbits offers a manual mode that allows you to choose the colors for different parts of the image. Coloring this it takes more time, of course.

To take advantage of the best of both worlds, you can also run the automatic software first and adjust the coloring manually afterward. 

To speed up your workflow, this software allows you to colorize images in batch mode. 

3. Chromatix

Chromatix is a mobile phone app available to both iOS and Android users. Using the camera on your device you can quickly scan your old photographs. 

From there you can easily and quite realistically colorize your images with the tap of a button. Export the image and you’re all set!

4. Photomyne 

Photomyne offers a family of apps some of which are available to both Android and iOS users. Some of them are restricted to just iOS users. 

With these apps, Photomyne says you can scan 100 photos within 10 minutes as opposed to an hour with competitor apps. 

Not only can you colorize black-and-white images, but also you have access to some photo effects. You can also create photo collages and video slideshows.

Speaking of video, you can also use Photomyne to colorize video, which is pretty amazing. 

Final Thoughts

There are a few other options out there, especially mobile apps. They each offer different features and limited success with colorizing black-and-white images. 

When it comes down to it, only some photos can be easily turned automatically to color. Unfortunately, others will require a painstaking hand in Photoshop to get decent results. 

And while an expert hand in Photoshop will still do a better job than these AI tools, we don’t always have the time or money (or even the need) for a perfect image. 

Have fun with these apps and let us know what you think!

Curious about expanding your Photoshop knowledge? Check out how you can turn a photograph into a watercolor painting here!

About Cara Koch
Cara fell in love with photography circa 2014 and has been exploring all corners of the imagery world ever since. When she felt limited by Lightroom, she dove headfirst into Photoshop to learn how to create the images she wanted.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

  • Km. Hamza Graphics Designer

    This article is very time saving for new photo editors,
    Thanks for giving this information.