Some of the world’s most treasured images were taken at a time when color was only to be enjoyed in the real world. Over the last couple years, an increasingly popular trend online has been to create and share colorized photos from history, bringing iconic moments and people closer to us.

With the advancement of Photoshop, new doors have opened for us to see history’s most unforgettable images in the same vibrant colours that surround us today, making the past seem incredibly real, as the emotional impact of the scenes is greater with the digital process of colorization.

A process that gave birth to same controversy regarding the fact that it can be taken too far and distort the truth and change perceptions, some voices claiming that the original photos should be preserved as they are, colorizing historical black and white photos reminds us they took place in the real world, where color was and is the reality. Many of the colours of the past can be restored by researching fashion trends and the fabrics that were available then and there. Others can be found by visiting the locations in the photos. But a big part of the colour restoration process involves basic guesswork based on shades of grey and on a basic understanding of naturally-occurring colours.

Maybe switching out the black and white photographs in our history books for colored ones, presenting history in color and making it more ‘real’,  kids could relate easier to subjects often seen distant and unrelated to us.

Check out the gallery below with realistically colorized historical photos and decide for yourself if the process ads more emotion or the originals black and white images have a greater impact.

1. A sailor kisses a nurse in Times Square, New York City in a shot that went on to become one of the most famous celebration shots from VJ Day (Original picture by Alfred Eisenstaedt, August 14, 1945) – colorized by Sanna Dullaway

History In Color - Sailor Kissing Nurse (1)photo source

2. Mug shot of William Stanley Moore (opium dealer), 1 May 1925, Central Police Station, Sydney (original picture by  New South Wales Police Dept./Historic Houses Trust) – colorized by Dana Keller

History In Color - Mug shot of William Stanley Moore (2)photo source

3.  Three archers, Japan, ca.1860-190, colorized by Jordan J Lloyd

History In Color - Three archers, Japan (3)photo credit

4. Newspaper boy Ned Parfett sells copies of the evening paper bearing news of Titanic’s sinking the night before  (April 16, 1912, original photo by Hulton-Deutsch Collection) – colorized by Dana Keller

History In Color - Newspaper boy Ned Parfett sells copies of the evening paper bearing news of Titanic’s sinking the night before (4)photo credit

5. New York. June 21, 1911. “White Star liner S.S. Olympic guided in by tugboats Geo. K. Kirkham and Downer.” 

det/4a20000/4a27000/4a27500/4a27498.tifphoto source

6. “The Red Baron”, Manfred von Richthofe (original photo by C. J. von Dühren, ca 1917 ) – colorized by Dana Keller

History In Color - 9. “The Red Baron” Manfred von Richthofe – ca 1917photo credit

7. Mauretania, the Giant Of The Seas – the ocean liner made her maiden voyage from Liverpool to New York on the November 16, 1907, and set an eastbound record on the return leg of that trip – colorized by Sanna Dullaway

History In Color - Mauretania, Giant of the Seasphoto source

8. American soldier killed during a house to house fight against German troops. (original photo by Robert Capa, 1945)

American soldier killed during a house to house fight against German troops. (original photo by Robert Capa, 1945)photo source

9.  An unidentified U.S. Army soldier sports the slogan “War Is Hell” on his helmet in Vietnam on June 18, 1965. ( original photo by AP Photo/Horst Faas)

VIETNAM U.S. WAR IS HELLphoto credit

10. New York’s 11th Ave 1909

History In Color -  New York's 11th Ave, 1909photo credit