Japanese Great-Grandmother At Age 90 Continues Conquering Social Networks With Her Incredible Joy Of Living
18. Crowded Bunks in the Prison Camp at Buchenwald, April 16, 1945
Black man drinking at ‘Colored’ water cooler in streetcar terminal, Oklahoma City, Oklahom ca July, 1939
UPDATE: check out Historic Black and White Pictures Restored in Color (Part II)!
The history of photography is only about two hundred years old and the period when it was possible to take coloured pictures is a lot shorter than that. However, colour makes us perceive the image we view as more realistic. Fortunately, there are communities of colourizing black and white photography enthusiasts, such as r/ColorizedHistory (see our previous post), that bring us emotionally closer to our roots with their work.
Captain Walter “Waddy” Young and his crew pose in front of their caricatures on their B-29 Superfortress, November 24, 1944
Children watch as their neighborhood is bombed in Minsk, Belorussia. The bombing was part of Operation Barbarossa. June, 1941
9. Painting WWII Propaganda Posters, Port Washington, New York – 8 July 1942
16. Otto Frank, Anne Frank’s father and the only surviving member of the Frank family revisiting the attic they spent the war in, 3 May 1960
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20 Historic Black and White Pictures Restored in Color (Part I)
Yvonne (13) and Alexander (12) Sayn-Wittgenstein-Sayn take drink and smoke on yacht near Majorca
7. View from Capitol in Nashville, Tennessee During the Civil War, 1864
5. Newspaper boy Ned Parfett sells copies of the evening paper bearing news of Titanic’s sinking the night before. (April 16, 1912)
Slice of life! A mother helps her child off the trolley on a Broadway in New York City, July, 1913
10. Big Jay McNeely Driving the Crowd at the Olympic Auditorium into a Frenzy, Los Angeles, 1953
20 Historic Black and White Pictures Restored in Color (Part II)
These colorized monochrome photos will change the way you imagine the past. Since we live and remember in color, a black-and-white image seems almost of another world. Through the process of colorization, that world becomes more familiar, easier to imagine, and easier to connect to.
Topics black and white photography, colored historic photos, colored historic pictures, colored old photos, colored old pictures, colorized black and white photography, colorized history, colourized black and white, colourized black and white photography, full-page, historic photos colorized, historic pictures, historic pictures colorized, historical photography, historical photos, history, history in colors, photo restoration
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Drewry’s Bluff, Virginia, sling cart used in removing captured artillery during the American Civil War, ca 1865
A young John F. Kennedy immediately after his graduation from Harvard, in the summer of 1940
Soldiers wearing gas masks while peeling onions at Tobruk, October 15, 1941
Most often the color palette that we associate with history is limited to black and white only. But have you ever imagined what did people, their outfits and backgrounds look like in real life – in color? Members of this one group on reddit, called r/ColorizedHistory, sure have: they pick historic photos that we have only seen in black and white, and bring them back to life by digitally coloring them. Of course, some interpretation and imagination is used in the process, but all of the artists try to work with as much historical accuracy as possible.
If colorization interests you, then embrace the challenge! The guides here and here will help get you started, and we look forward to seeing your results! We previously wrote about colorization here.
P.S.: be sure to check out 20 Historic Black and White Pictures Restored in Color (Part I)
Post officers show off their brand-new “Autopeds” scooters, Washington, D.C., 1917
20. Boys after buying Easter flowers in Union Square, New York, April 1908
Update: As some readers pointed out, the B&W picture we used initially was a different shot from the same photoshoot, so we replaced the previous photo with the one that was actually colourized. (Original photo by Jack Delano)
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UPDATE: check out Historic Black and White Pictures Restored in Color (Part II)!
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Stalin and Churchill in Livadia Palace during the Yalta Conference, February, 1945
Adolf Hitler with Mussolini’s son-in-law and Joachim von Ribbentrop, attend a Nazi Party rally, ca 1930s
It’s nice to see that the community of history fans is growing, and that people want to make it relevant to others. However, this has also sparked some discussion, as some say that the artists are just messing with historic facts and misinforming people. So, view it critically. For more old photographs restored in color, check out the works of Sanna Dullaway and redditor mygrapefruit from Sweden.
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2. Albert Einstein, Summer 1939 Nassau Point, Long Island, NY
16. British Troops Cheerfully Board their Train for the First Stage of their Trip to the Western Front – England, September 20, 1939
It’s often difficult to realize how close to us in the course of history are such events as the wedding day of our grandparents or WWII. Gladly, the digital possibilities now let us glimpse, even a little speculatively, at our past which was, believe it or not, in colour. The colourizing process is no easy business and it highly depends on the colourizer’s involvement into this activity. A great deal of colours can be recognized from the subtleties of greyish hues in black and white colours. Another way is to research the past fashions, the colouring of the places that still exist today and quite a lot of common sense that, for instance, let us know that the hair colour of a person in a historical black and white photo is most probably a natural one.
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Film colorization can be done by hand or digitally. Before the 1970’s, the most basic colorization required skillful painting of color directly onto film stock. The advent of computers allowed for digital colorization, a faster but still time-consuming process. In all cases, while there are some clues to the original color, artists often have to research or guess what color to use.
3. Portrait Used to Design the Penny. President Lincoln Meets General McClellan – Antietam, Maryland ca September 1862
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Artist Colorizes Old Black & White Photos, And It Makes A Huge Difference In How We See Past Events
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11. Louis Armstrong practicing in his dressing room, ca 1946
11. W.H. Murphy and his Associate Demonstrating their Bulletproof Vest on October 13, 1923
Joe Lincoln of Accord, champion decoy maker of New England, 1926
British tattoo artist George Burchett, the “King of Tattooists”, ca 1930
12. Broadway at the United States Hotel Saratoga Springs, N.Y. ca 1900-1915
However, one must bear in mind that an equally important part of the colourizing process takes the good old fashioned guesswork. Even having all of the accessible information on the subject in theory, you can never be 100% percent sure of the true colours and hues that could have been captured on any given photograph. Nevertheless, a coloured historical photograph, which you otherwise only would have seen in black and white, can make like you could have been part of a world that you’ve never even seen.
14. Joseph Goebbels Scowling at Photographer Alfred Eisenstaedt after Finding out he’s Jewish, 1933
7. Sergeant George Camblair practicing with a gas mask in a smokescreen – Fort Belvoir, Virginia, 1942
Even though the idea looks simple, the final image has a surprisingly touching effect: by seeing those historic moments in color, we can relate to them easier, and this makes the pictures a whole lot more powerful. Instead of seeing those photos like we’re used to in history books, we now meet people that seem a lot more real, and situations – war scenes, for example – that look as if they have just happened.
13. “The Tall Cowboy”, Ralph E. Madsen with Senator Morris Sheppard, 1919
Topics colored historic photos, colored historic pictures, colored old photos, colored old pictures, colorized history, full-page, historic photos colorized, historic pictures, historic pictures colorized, history in colors, photo restoration
Topics colorized antique photos, colorized black and white, colorized historic photos, colorized monochrome, colorized photos, colorized vintage photos, full-page, historical photos
Abraham Lincoln by Alexander Gardner, taken in February, 1865