How to Turn Something on a Black & White Photo to Color in Picasa?

By Alvaro Roque

Black and white pictures project emotion through the use of composition and lighting without the aid of color. But color is of great significance to a picture. A splash of color can bring focus to a picture that may seem chaotic, or even magnify a single individual within the picture. Color within a picture can even express visually concepts such as love and hope. It can be a powerful addition to any photography. Fortunately, a free program like Picasa allows even a low-budget photographer to give his work a splash of color.

Things You'll Need

  • Picasa 3
  • Black and White Digital Picture of a Person

Adding Color to Black and White Photography

Step 1

Open Picasa. Look for the black and white picture that you want to add color to.

Step 2

Press the "Import" for the pictures that aren't already in Picasa. Click on the "Import From" drop-down menu. Select the picture you want to use, and click on the "Import To" drop-down menu. Click the "Folder Title" drop-down menu to either create a folder to store this picture in, or drop it into an existing folder. Press the "Import Selected" button.

Step 3

Double-click on the picture you want to use, and it will pop up within its own editing frame. The "Basic Fixes" tab should be visible on the left side of this frame.

Step 4

Click on the "I'm Feeling Lucky" graphic within the "Basic Fixes" tab for a quick contrast and color photo fix.

Step 5

Click on the "Effects" tab to access the color effects. Click on "Tint" to have a solid color over the black and white picture. Click on "Pick Color," and select a skin tone appropriate for this person from the top color hexagons. Press "Apply."

Step 6

Click on "Focal B&W." Move the "Size" slider to correspond to the size of the face of the person. Use the yellow target icon within the picture to move this circle over the subject's face. Leave the "Sharpness" slider towards the far left, and press "Apply."

Step 7

Click on "Graduated Tint." Click on "Pick Color," and select an purple color from the color picker. Move the "Feather" to the right past the halfway marker. Move the "Shade" to the left, past the halfway marker. Take the yellow target icon and drag the middle of your photo.

Step 8

Go to "File" > "Save As." Select your desktop, and name this picture "Color_Black_White."

Step 9

Create a poster out of this image by going to "Create" > " Poster." Press "OK" and assemble your poster once it prints out.