Do you have old black-and-white family photographs? A new service on Algorithmia uses a deep learning algorithm to add color to the photos. Yes, it works. The colors may not be perfect but they are almost always better than black-and-white. The service is easy to use and, best of all, is available FREE of charge.
For instance, here is one well-known black-and-white on the left and a computer-enhanced color version on the right. Algorithmia can do the same for your photographs.
To use Algorithmia’s service, your photo must be available online someplace that is accessible by a URL without requiring a password. The photo(s) might be stored as a shared photo in Dropbox, Google Photos, Shutterfly, Flickr, Apple iCloud, Amazon Cloud Drive, your own web site, or most any other online service that stores publicly-visible photographs.
NOTE: If the web site requires a user name and password to access the photograph, Algorithmia’s colorizing service will not be able to retrieve it.
To colorize a photo, go to the Algorithmia service at http://demos.algorithmia.com/colorize-photos/, paste the URL of a black-and-white image and tap “colorize it.” After a few seconds of processing, a comparison of the original and colorized images appears.
It seems like Algorithmia’s tool works best with images of faces, simple landscapes, and clear skies. The more complex and cluttered the photograph, the less successful the results.
For instance, here are before-and-after photographs of Samuel Finley Breese Morse (1791-1872), the inventor of the telegraph, that I colorized by using Algorithmia’s free colorizing service :
Not bad for a photograph of a man who died before color photography was invented!
Note that Algorithmia’s colorizing tool does add a small “watermark” to the lower right corner of every image that is colorized.
You can try this yourself at http://demos.algorithmia.com/colorize-photos/.
Algorithmia’s colorizing tool is available FREE of charge unless you wish to convert thousands of images per month. Pricing information for high-volume users may be found at https://algorithmia.com/pricing.
My thanks to newsletter reader Terry Mulcahy for telling me about Algorithmia’s colorizing tool.