My Heritage Offers Colorizing of Photos at No Charge

(Warning! This service is addicting!!!)

I spent a few hours playing with this new service from My Heritage ( It’s great fun, but be aware – you don’t need to be a subscriber, but you must register. There is also a limit on the number of photos you can colorize. From what I read, if you are not a subscriber, there will be a water mark on the photo as well. The quality of the colorized photo is pretty good, but, not surprisingly, was dependent on the quality of the original. Here are some examples.

The first is a family photo from Iasi, Romania – 1903.  This is what you first see when you upload the original photo. Moving the center bar (when you’re on the site), you will see the contrast between the original and the colorized photo. On the left side is the original. The right portion has been colorized by the program. ONE STEP! Amazing!

Joseph Spiegel and family – Iasi Romani, 1903 (His son, Herman Spiegel, my great-grandfather, had already left Romania to seek his fortune in Vienna, Austria)

The next picture an absolute favorite of me and my Connecticut siblings. (There are more in Canada!)  Taken in the late 60s most likely. That’s me struggling to see over my brother’s “Magic Hat”. Until I colorized this photo, I never noticed I was wearing those ridiculous plaid pants! (original on the left – colorized on the right)

Next is really sweet picture of my husband’s mom, Jeanne Smith, at about 3 years of age – 1918.

This next picture amazed me. The colorized carpet is exactly the same as the real thing! I still have this carpet, so I can verify that!! Left-to-right: My paternal grandparents Edgar Aaron Samuel and Hortense Kesner Samuel, me (age 5) and my mom, Doris Lichtenthal Samuel (later Falcone) May 1960, in our new home in Hamden, CT

It occurred to me that perhaps this technology could help me repair some faded pictures as well. Below is one of my favorite pictures of my Mom. On the left is the original photo from 1953. I keep this photo on my desk even though it is so faded. Look at the colorized version on the right! Yes, her dress is the wrong color, but everything is sharper. I can confirm the vase (orange and white) and decanter (green) are the actual color of the real thing. Notice that the colorized versions have a small palette on the lower left corner to distinguish them from the original.

Years ago, I made some attempts to improve this photo (below) of my brother using Photoshop Elements. I finally gave up and made it black and white. Using the My Heritage tool on the faded original, I’m pretty happy with the results.

Do you have pictures from the 50s, 60s, and 70s that have that weird reddish cast? As I recall, Fuji Film was the worst offender. At least in my collection. The photo on the left below is me in my crib – March 1955. The colorized version on the right is just easier on the eyes, I think.

But, what about slides?  I have a bunch of black and white slides that I scanned on my flatbed scanner. (Lay the slide on the flatbed. Place a bright white light screen – from a smartphone or iPad on top. Then scan.) The quality isn’t great, but I thought I’d give it a try.

The first issue was that the slide scan was pretty small. I got this error message:

I used Photoshop Elements to resize the image to 600 pix wide and 400 pix tall. Then uploaded that to My Heritage. Because I had blown up the slide, it wasn’t very good quality. The colorization was still quite good though! The picture is my sister and me, swinging in our backyard – probably 1960-61.

This tool has gone viral in the last week. At point, I was unable to save a colorized photo. After waiting about a half hour, there was no problem, however. I hope you enjoy this service as much as I have. Have fun!! (Now…where is that faded picture of my stepdad dressed as Santa with my two nephews…)

2 thoughts on “My Heritage Offers Colorizing of Photos at No Charge

  1. Deb, I’ve been playing with the same colorizing tool. Not all colors look accurate (some hair colors are too dark and clothing is wrong color) but for a one-click system, it’s amazing and a lot of fun! Your photos look great.


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