Colorize Old Photos

I know this isn’t about DNA, but it is about ancestors and old photos. What’s not to love!

My friend sent me a link where you can upload an old photo and it’s colorized, for free. (Thanks Chris!)

I’m having so much fun, I just have to share with you.

The photo below is my Mom from during WWII. I think she looks a lot more real in the colorized version, at right.

Mom colorized.png

The technology works best with high resolution, in-focus photos. That doesn’t mean it won’t work with others and it’s free to try.

It works great with groups of people too. Here’s my Dad with my sister’s kids.

Dad colorized.png

Have fun!



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24 thoughts on “Colorize Old Photos

  1. I recommend that everyone upload old photos to for future generations to see. Your gg-grandchild might stumble across them 50 years from now and cherish them. We can also tell our “lifestory” at ancestry, so upload childhood photos, siblings, homes, vacations, accomplishments, hobbies, etc. Future generations will love discovering them. That’s how I discovered my g-grandfather and gg-grandfather…I LOVED when I saw that my cousin had the photos.

  2. Ladies from WW2 were so soft and feminine looking. Loved the way they dressed and did their hair and makeup! I need to colorize my mom’s photo, too.

  3. Oh, I have got to try it on this:

    That’s a photo of my grandfather Marco Ferraiolo, his sister and their parents, Vincenzo Ferraiolo and Maria Tedesco when they came to America in 1929. I have a ton of other old photos in black and white. But, I want to try it on this first. Here’s hoping it turns out okay!

    If not, I have a few others I can try. All of the ones I have are already on Ancestry and Wikitree. The next one I’ll probably try is this:

    That is a picture of the Felker Clan. My mom is the baby on the couch being held by my grandmother, Natalie Felker. Right above her is my grandfather, Robert Hamel. And beside my grandmother are my great-grandparents, Austin Felker and Henrietta Legault. That one should colorize really well!

    Here’s hoping this works!

  4. is based on an old model of the DeOldify colorization software from a few months ago.

    The author of DeOldify has since released a branch new model with MUCH better results, which can be used at

    He’s also worked on colorizing movies (see and has a new expertimental coloring model which should be released soonish (hopefully!)

  5. Thanks enormously. My wife’s mother died shortly after her birth. She has never seen a colour picture of her mother before. Colour seems to show far more of her personality. Interestingly it seems to work well with people of colour too – my wife’s mother is South Asian.

  6. I think this is a fun idea, and would only put out one word of caution. While our ancestors were not gray-scale or sepia, they also didn’t wear clothes that were strident fuscia or crazy green. Have to consider the dyes available at the time period of the photo. Look at some photos from costume museums. The Smithsonian, ( ) the Fashion Museum, Bath, England ( ) and what you can Google.

  7. This is very neat, but I have what probably is a dumb question. Shouldn’t the photos go into your Downloads file on your computer? When I hit Download Result, I can’t seem to find where the picture is.

  8. Can someone explain to me why someone would be against this? I see it as something interesting and just for fun. I just want to understand.

  9. Roberta,

    I finally got around to write a post using an old family photo for my blog, The Otter Lake Express. Thanks for telling us and me about the service although it is no longer free.

  10. Pingback: OMG, Mary Tan Hai is Found – 52 Ancestors #275 | DNAeXplained – Genetic Genealogy

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