History In Color: Old Black And White Legendary Photos Brought To Life After Being Reproduced In Full Color
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
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
3. Three archers, Japan, ca.1860-190, colorized by Jordan J Lloyd
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
5. New York. June 21, 1911. “White Star liner S.S. Olympic guided in by tugboats Geo. K. Kirkham and Downer.”
6. “The Red Baron”, Manfred von Richthofe (original photo by C. J. von Dühren, ca 1917 ) – colorized by Dana Keller
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
8. American soldier killed during a house to house fight against German troops. (original photo by Robert Capa, 1945)
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)
10. New York’s 11th Ave 1909