I spent a few hours today testing and playing around with Algorithmia’s free online photo coloring tool. Marketing itself as a deep learning tool for app developers, Algorithmia is a boon for genealogists who are looking for a cheap and easy way to colorize their old photos.
You may have been looking for an easy way to add some color to your ancestor’s photos, and Algorithmia has a straight forward approach to achieving this goal.
A) Go to the Algorithmia website: http://demos.algorithmia.com/colorize-photos/
C) Choose a photo from your collection to upload
D) The site will generate a color photo and its comparison. You can move the purple line to see what the full image looked like before and after the coloration process
E) You have the option to download the comparison or download the colorized image to your computer. You can move the purple line to see what the full image looked like before and after the coloration process.
How well does it work?
Algorithmia does not always produce a spot on coloration. In the example photo above, my great grandmother and her sister have a better flesh tone and some coloration to the jewelry they are worn than in the previous version of the photo. However, the colorization did not provide much color for the roses, dresses, or photography set.
Here are a photo slideshow I created from colorized photos generated from the site:
Is it worth it?
Your results will vary depending on the photo composition and the the digital quality of the image. Some of the photos looked better than I had expected, but other times the photo looked like I’d taken marker and applied giant color blotches. As this is only free colorization tool I know of online, I have great hopes the technology will improve and make colorization of photographs easy and accessible to everyone.
If you want to learn to colorize your own photos, check with your local library to see if they offer Lynda.com. Lynda.com offers video tutorials which show you how to edit your photos, make corrections to damaged images, and how to colorize your photos on a professional scale. It takes a bit of time, but the payoff is well worth it! Plus, it’s free with your library card!
Here’s a great site for examples of some exceptionally detailed colorized photographs. They are pretty amazing!
See You at the Library!