Simple Ways To Colourize a Black and White Image

I realize it has taken me a while to update this blog, but I finally have the last article in my short series on basic black and white techniques.  This article will explain how to add colour to a black and white image, should you think it might benefit from a “duotone” effect.

I selected the following black and white image I made earlier to demonstrate how this might be done:


There are many techniques to add colour to a black and white image. The most common technique is known as a “duotone”. In some versions of Photoshop, you can access this command by selecting Image>Mode>Duotone.

Unfortunately, Photoshop Elements 11 lacks this feature, so I had to use a different technique instead. This involved using the Hue and Saturation dialoque box from the Enhance menu.

This menu can be accessed by selecting Enhance>Adjust Color>Adjust Hue/Saturation. It should bring up a dialogue box that looks like this:


Make sure that you tick the “Colorize” box in the corner. You can then select the Hue by dragging the pointer along the spectrum of colours. I went for a light blue colour at point 225. You can select the intensity of the colour in the image, or the saturation, by dragging the pointer along the Saturation section just below. Since I wanted the saturation of colour into this image to be subtle, I dragged the pointer to 20. The result was the following:


While I would not hold this up as an amazing duotone image, it should at least serve as an adequate illustration of this technique for the purposes of a tutorial.


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