photoshop creative

How to hand-tint black and white images, part 2

Posted in:
Tips & Tutorials, by Mark White
October 12, 2013

How to hand colour images in Photoshop to produce authentic vintage postcards continued…

Download all the files you need for this tutorial here

Follow part 1 of this tutorial here


At the bottom of the Color Balance adjustment palette press the Clipping Mask button. Adding a clipping mask means any colour work made will only affect the one layer directly underneath it. A separate Color Balance adjustment layer with a clipping mask will need to be applied to all layers. (Ctrl or right-click for clipping mask option if not using CS5).


Return to the Color Balance adjustment palette. Now we move sliders to add colour. Remember we are creating a vintage effect so keep vintage colouring in mind when doing this. This palette is so easy to use; simply move the sliders towards the colour you want adding to the image.


Keep the new colours subtle. We can go back and edit the colours simply by clicking on the adjustment layer and returning to the Adjustments palette at any time. If you think that the colours are too strong then try lowering the adjustment layer’s opacity at the top of the Layers palette.


Repeat the previous colouring steps. Add a Color Balance adjustment layer with a clipping mask then add colour to the adjustment layer to suit. Continue to add colour to every element within the image. Touch up any dodgy areas with the Brush tool, but if care was taken when masking this shouldn’t be needed.


Shift-click the top and the bottom layer in the Layers palette, then press Cmd/Ctrl+G to group. Duplicate this layer and hide one of them. Click onto the visible layer and press Cmd/Ctrl+E to Merge All. Select the Burn tool from the Toolbar.


In the top bar set the tool to 50% Exposure, now paint over the edges and some of the image to add an aged vignette. Switch to the Dodge tool with 20% Exposure and add some bleached out areas in the sky.


Open up the rough paper scan on the disc and drag and drop it onto your postcard canvas. Press Cmd/Ctrl+T to transform it. Shrink and rotate to size so it fits over the postcard and hit Enter when you’re happy. Set the paper layer’s blend mode to Multiply at the top of the Layers palette then select the Eraser tool 100% opacity.


On the flattened postcard layer, erase parts of the edge where the new texture layer sits, this will create a nice rough edge to our currently too perfect image. When done with the edges, Cmd/Ctrl-click on the coloured layer to create an active selection, invert the selection (Shift+Cmd/Ctrl+I) then click on the textured paper layer and hit Backspace.


Click onto the textured paper layer, select the Burn tool once more with 50% Exposure. Paint over some of the main creases to increase the definition. Switch to the coloured postcard layer and use the Burn and Dodge tool to add more depth when needed, especially to age the edges more.