Algorithmia colorizes your black and white photos, but they have much to improve

Jul 15, 2016

Udi Tirosh

Udi Tirosh is an entrepreneur, photography inventor, journalist, educator, and writer based in Israel. With over 25 years of experience in the photo-video industry, Udi has built and sold several photography-related brands. Udi has a double degree in mass media communications and computer science.

Algorithmia colorizes your black and white photos, but they have much to improve

Jul 15, 2016

Udi Tirosh

Udi Tirosh is an entrepreneur, photography inventor, journalist, educator, and writer based in Israel. With over 25 years of experience in the photo-video industry, Udi has built and sold several photography-related brands. Udi has a double degree in mass media communications and computer science.

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colorize_bw-comparison3

Photo colarization is a thing. We want to look at color photos, but we only had black and white film a few decades ago, so there is a gap to fulfill. I guess our kids will want to hologrimize our colored photos when they grow up, but this is another story).

Up till now, colorizing has been an intense and laborious process taking hours of work from skilled artists. A new algorithm from Algorithmia wants to change that. Algorithmia released a new cloud platform that takes in a black and white photo and spits out a colorized version of it. The idea is that you can instantly create a color photo from an old black and white print of say Dear Aunt Daisy.

The idea is great, in theory, but results are not as awesome as we would would have expected, and we have definitely seen better before.

We took the software for a test. We took a photo, applied  a simple desaturate in photoshop and asked Algorithmia to repaint it.

We fed the algorithm with the most trivial photo of all, a sunset. On first look it looked almost as good as the original

colorize_bw-comparison

but then we asked for the full photo and saw that the algorithm did wonderfully around the sun, but added a weird blue hue on the left side of the photo.

We thought that maybe we did not feed the software enough data (it was a smartphone photo after all), so I gave it a full 175MB uncompressed TIFF from the IMS London package. Sadly it failed again.

It’s not that the resulting image is bad artistically, it is not not similar to the original.

if you want to give it a shot, here is the site: algorithmia.com

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Udi Tirosh

Udi Tirosh

Udi Tirosh is an entrepreneur, photography inventor, journalist, educator, and writer based in Israel. With over 25 years of experience in the photo-video industry, Udi has built and sold several photography-related brands. Udi has a double degree in mass media communications and computer science.

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2 responses to “Algorithmia colorizes your black and white photos, but they have much to improve”

  1. Pinto Sony Avatar
    Pinto Sony

    One of he few that managed to catch the bug that they have :D

  2. Luke Ewald Avatar
    Luke Ewald

    well,where do i download?