Colorization–Metro Sign in Paris

By Matthew Bamberg / Apr 29, 2013
Metro station in Paris

The Metro signs in Paris are lovely to be sure. You can tweak a sign so that it stands out by making everything in the image black and white, leaving only the text in color. This process is known as colorization, even though in digital art is done subtractively. You’re not adding color, you’re taking it away.

This isn’t to say that you can’t colorize a black and white photo because you can. This type of colorization is a bit tougher process, but if you watch the colorization video, you’ll find out it’s easier than you think because of the overlay coloring option.

In the above image, I took a shortcut (no layers) in creating the color in the sign (or taking out the black and white). I used the Sponge Tool, which has an option to desaturate. Then, I selected the text of the sign and inversed it (Select>Inverse). The rest was easy. I colored in the entire frame with the soft brush, taking away all of the color around the sign.

Easy stuff.

About the author

Matthew Bamberg

Matthew Bamberg has provided photographs and written articles for various Southern California newspapers and magazines, including The Desert Sun and The Press-Enterprise. More recently, Matt has been teaching at UC Riverside while also authoring several books like the Quick and Easy Secrets book series (Cengage), Killer Photos with Your iPhone (with Kris Krug and Greg Ketchum, Cengage), the 50 Greatest Photo Opportunities in San Francisco (Cengage) and Digital Art Photography For Dummies (Wiley).