Forums > Digital Art and Retouching > Famous Old Photographs Restored in Color

Moderator

Model Mayhem Edu

Posts: 67

Los Angeles, California, US

Nov 01 12 10:14 am Link

Photographer

Cherrystone

Posts: 36720

Columbus, Ohio, US

Model Mayhem Edu wrote:
What do you think of these?
http://www.boredpanda.org/famous-old-ph … -in-color/

There was a thread on this the other day.
http://www.modelmayhem.com/po.php?threa … st17666130

I consider it an abomination.

Nov 01 12 10:19 am Link

Photographer

Ken Marcus Studios

Posts: 8494

Los Angeles, California, US

Those photographs are NOT restored

They are altered  . . . . .

Nov 01 12 10:21 am Link

Moderator

Model Mayhem Edu

Posts: 67

Los Angeles, California, US

Cherrystone wrote:
There was a thread on this the other day.
http://www.modelmayhem.com/po.php?threa … st17666130

I consider it an abomination.

oops, I missed that!

I think they're well done but it just doesn't feel right seeing them in color. I love the old B&W photos.

Nov 01 12 10:31 am Link

Photographer

DAN CRUIKSHANK

Posts: 1786

Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada

I don't like seeing the same photograph. regardless of its age, in both colour and b&w.

Classic shots like these should never be changed.

Nov 01 12 10:56 am Link

Photographer

Cherrystone

Posts: 36720

Columbus, Ohio, US

Model Mayhem Edu wrote:

oops, I missed that!

I think they're well done but it just doesn't feel right seeing them in color. I love the old B&W photos.

Colorizing dag, ambros, tintypes, CDV's just ain't right. Some got tinted back in the day, often rosy cheeks,  but doing that on the original works and doing that now is vastly two different things.

Nov 01 12 11:02 am Link

Photographer

D0127H

Posts: 1135

Ottawa, Ontario, Canada

Ken Marcus Studios wrote:
Those photographs are NOT restored

They are altered  . . . . .

YES

Nov 01 12 11:18 am Link

Model

Ashley Riot

Posts: 120

Chicago, Illinois, US

Cherrystone wrote:

There was a thread on this the other day.
http://www.modelmayhem.com/po.php?threa … st17666130

I consider it an abomination.

Why an abomination? I'm just curious to see your opinion. I was under the impression they weren't altering the original photos, just adding color digitally.

Nov 01 12 11:51 am Link

Photographer

cinema photography

Posts: 4418

Mission Viejo, California, US

I shoot with the intent of doing this on purpose. I find the images often fascinating, and without any disrespect to the images original presentation, i do like how some of these bring a sense of "real" to history. The Monk is a perfect example. While amazing in black and white, in color it became..i dunno..more devastating?

Nov 01 12 11:58 am Link

Model

Ashley Riot

Posts: 120

Chicago, Illinois, US

cinema photography wrote:
I shoot with the intent of doing this on purpose. I find the images often fascinating, and without any disrespect to the images original presentation, i do like how some of these bring a sense of "real" to history. The Monk is a perfect example. While amazing in black and white, in color it became..i dunno..more devastating?

That's how I felt. I think they're both very beautiful, although seeing the flames full ablaze really hits harder.

Nov 01 12 12:03 pm Link

Photographer

Cherrystone

Posts: 36720

Columbus, Ohio, US

Ashley Riot wrote:

Why an abomination? I'm just curious to see your opinion. I was under the impression they weren't altering the original photos, just adding color digitally.

Of course they're not altering the originals. No one is their right mind would do that except Ted Turner...I hope wink

Should they make color copies of Greek or Roman statuary?
How about desaturating Mona Lisa?
Let's paint the Erecthuem in blues, golds, and pink.

Granted anyone can do what they please with a digital image......doesn't make them less a fool.

Fortunately the odds of this becoming a SOP thing are pretty slim. smile

Nov 01 12 12:05 pm Link

Photographer

AJ_In_Atlanta

Posts: 12836

Atlanta, Georgia, US

Restored is the wrong word, I would have gone with fu**** by a hack who doesn't know better

Nov 01 12 12:08 pm Link

Photographer

Shane Noir

Posts: 2332

Los Angeles, California, US

Ashley Riot wrote:

That's how I felt. I think they're both very beautiful, although seeing the flames full ablaze really hits harder.

In black and white, the images become more iconic... which is to say, they aren't merely documenting only that which is depicted, but rather they stand for something more.  The photo of the atom bomb for example, in color it is that particular explosion on a particular island on a particular day... but in black and white it is every bomb, on each and every pristine island forever tainted by the radioactive hand of death.

Nov 01 12 12:09 pm Link

Photographer

BrennanOB

Posts: 10

Walnut Creek, California, US

Cherrystone wrote:
Should they make color copies of Greek or Roman statuary?

We do have our notions of where color is expected and where it does not belong; but we are sometimes wrong. Greek and Roman statuary was in fact designed to be painted when it was originally carved. Our idea that those busts of Roman Emperors need to be pure marble is not one the artists had.

Before color film B&W portraiture  was often  tinted by hand to make the images more "real". So this "Turnerization" of classic images is nothing new, and the fact that some of these tintings I sort of like ( I really like the stereo-opticon image of young spikey haired Lincon) and some I just plain hate; but i have trouble knowing which ones my expectations have just gotten in the way of what my eyes are seeing.

Had these been unknown B&W images instead of some of the most iconic prints of all time, I would be less offended.

Nov 01 12 12:21 pm Link

Photographer

Digital Kythe Image

Posts: 316

Deerfield Beach, Florida, US

Model Mayhem Edu wrote:
What do you think of these?
http://www.boredpanda.org/famous-old-ph … -in-color/

*sigh*

DK

Nov 01 12 08:08 pm Link

Photographer

NothingIsRealButTheGirl

Posts: 33594

Los Angeles, California, US

http://cdn.uproxx.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/11/boilerplate01.jpg

Nov 01 12 08:18 pm Link

Photographer

Mike Hemming

Posts: 359

Easton, Maryland, US

Cherrystone wrote:

Of course they're not altering the originals. No one is their right mind would do that except Ted Turner...I hope wink

Should they make color copies of Greek or Roman statuary?
How about desaturating Mona Lisa?
Let's paint the Erecthuem in blues, golds, and pink.

Granted anyone can do what they please with a digital image......doesn't make them less a fool.

Fortunately the odds of this becoming a SOP thing are pretty slim. smile

this summer I saw a color fiberglass full size reproduction of David. It was both fascinating and gross. It was outside where the orginal is in Rome.

Nov 01 12 08:32 pm Link

Retoucher

THE DEAD BIRDS

Posts: 21

New York, New York, US

Cherrystone wrote:

There was a thread on this the other day.
http://www.modelmayhem.com/po.php?threa … st17666130

I consider it an abomination.

On a technical view they look great.  Very well done. 

Does it suck the life out of their mystique yes.

This restorer is a master of the trade fo sho

Nov 01 12 10:15 pm Link

Photographer

sdthjkyf

Posts: 191

Los Angeles, California, US

The work looks great, However! It's not real. It's not restoration, it's altearation. They were never in color to start with. Restoration is fixing a tear or cracks or faded washed out photo back to it's original state. With younger generation already messed up on what is and isn't real, changing old B/W photos to color alters history making them think color was at the begninning of photography.
It would be a sad day for someone to colorize Ansel Adams' photographs.

Model Mayhem Edu wrote:
What do you think of these?
http://www.boredpanda.org/famous-old-ph … -in-color/

Nov 01 12 10:35 pm Link

Photographer

Innovative Imagery

Posts: 2815

Los Angeles, California, US

I think these look cool, but don't think the color add much to many of the images.  A couple I think add to the image, but the rest, eh.

Nov 01 12 10:45 pm Link

Digital Artist

Koray

Posts: 6689

Ankara, Ankara, Turkey

NothingIsRealButTheGirl wrote:
http://cdn.uproxx.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/11/boilerplate01.jpg

cool smile

Nov 02 12 12:28 am Link

Retoucher

Mike Needham Retouching

Posts: 369

Cheltenham, England, United Kingdom

No need to over think the colour changes. Some as stated are great colourations, some are slightly less inspiring. Cultural and social significance aside, some work in colour; some don't.

Nov 02 12 06:20 pm Link

Retoucher

Krunoslav Stifter

Posts: 3883

Santa Cruz, California, US

Koray wrote:
cool smile

Indeed. smile

Nov 02 12 06:26 pm Link

Photographer

Eridu

Posts: 623

Boston, Massachusetts, US

History has warranted those images as iconic, not altered, undefiled and fucked with!

Nov 02 12 06:40 pm Link

Retoucher

zhangxiaolong

Posts: 49

Handan, Hebei, China

Fierce

Nov 02 12 06:56 pm Link

Model

Alexey VS

Posts: 256

Toronto, Ontario, Canada

It's amusing to hear so many people protest this project. It is quite subversive, and yes it f*cks with your psyche, and that's where its real value lies. Icons are for tribesmen, take away the mysticism out of those shots and suddenly you realize that those are just ordinary people and a nuclear explosion is no more extraordinary or just as significant as an omnipresent light bulb. In other words, most of you are a great example of how successful the public school system and the people who wrote the history books have been in shaping your world views ;-)

Nov 03 12 06:47 pm Link

Photographer

GER Photography

Posts: 7961

Imperial, California, US

Fantastic work!! Love seeing the giants of the last 100+ years in living color!! Abe, Teddy, Albert, Winston!!! This made me smile:-))

Nov 03 12 07:01 pm Link

Photographer

Gary Samson

Posts: 172

Concord, New Hampshire, US

It's a cheap technical gimmick used to pander to their subscribers that the magazine editors have little respect for.

Nov 03 12 07:13 pm Link

Photographer

ArtGlo

Posts: 506

Peru, Illinois, US

Ken Marcus Studios wrote:
Those photographs are NOT restored

They are altered  . . . . .

+20

Nov 03 12 07:18 pm Link

Photographer

S-a-P

Posts: 232

New York, New York, US

Ancient Greek statues were often brightly painted by the respective artists.  Time and weather made them monochramtic.

Nov 03 12 07:21 pm Link

Photographer

SSR Designs

Posts: 471

Bartlesville, Oklahoma, US

These photos are so iconic, that they should not even be looked at, let alone alterstored.  So iconic in fact, that the incredibly important art critics that made them iconic should also have black n white photos alterstored to show their importance in the importance of the iconicism of the orginal photos. 

Today was a good day.  I'm feeling rather self important so I think I shall cut down the little people...you know...the ones who experiment without any regard to classic art or those that truly appreciate it.

Nov 03 12 07:28 pm Link

Photographer

LA StarShooter

Posts: 1875

Los Angeles, California, US

Model Mayhem Edu wrote:
What do you think of these?
http://www.boredpanda.org/famous-old-ph … -in-color/

I thought in some of the examples the power of the gaze was reduced when the retoucher turned the images into colour.  I much prefer the originals.

Nov 03 12 07:38 pm Link

Retoucher

Peano

Posts: 4106

Lynchburg, Virginia, US

S-a-P wrote:
Ancient Greek statues were often brightly painted by the respective artists.  Time and weather made them monochramtic.

Most of the folks here have already established "the narrative." You're confusing the narrative with facts.

Nov 03 12 07:40 pm Link

Photographer

NothingIsRealButTheGirl

Posts: 33594

Los Angeles, California, US

http://uploads.neatorama.com/images/posts/501/54/54501/1351970986-0.jpg

This one needs color

---------------------------------------

Confederate Army Officer Wearing Jaguar Skin Pants

The stylin' Captain Samuel J. Richardson of the Second Texas Cavalry wore a standard issue hat and shirt. But his pants and his holsters were made of jaguar skin

Nov 04 12 01:48 pm Link

Photographer

E H

Posts: 659

Calgary, Alberta, Canada

Nice to see it can be done, I guess but the orginal B&W holds more passion/feeling/depth/etc./etc.  hmm
Maybe the Mona Lisa should be black & white or filtered,photoshoped????
I think that things should be left to the way they where made,,, by the people that made them....

Nov 04 12 02:26 pm Link

Photographer

DougBPhoto

Posts: 38621

Portland, Oregon, US

NothingIsRealButTheGirl wrote:
http://cdn.uproxx.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/11/boilerplate01.jpg

Mitt Romney's grandfather while he was living in Mexico?

Nov 04 12 02:47 pm Link

Photographer

Clarence Zimmerman

Posts: 4048

Orlando, Florida, US

I'm all for it. If you don't like the colorized versions you can just keep looking at the B&W ones.

Change the channel if you don't approve of what you see on TV aye?

Why complain about others point of view in life, That just SUCKS the life out of everything and defeats the purpose of living.

And thanks to this thread I was re-energized to colorize my peeps!

There IS an original set of prints running around somewhere that NOBODY would let go of to have copies made for others. I was given a poor-fair b&w copy of a copy that was slightly fuzzy and finally re-vitalized it.

I don't even know what the original colors were nor do I care at this point. I've not seen the original image in a decade. This is my version of the image of my grandparents and anyone that don't like it can go stuff themselves.

I share this as just one example of the benefits of being able to do colorization. Everyone in my family has been wanting a copy of this image some have been stubborn about releasing their only copy and now everyone can share. This photo is so old nobody would know where to go to find the original negatives so people need options sometimes.

Now, while not famous I would say so what; same principles some people DO like to see things in color. It CAN improve an image and take something that while as B&W may be a great image but is also placed in our minds while viewing them as a period piece. Once colorized they become more real, more true to today (just like the Bikini Beach image)

As B&W these period pieces look like something that "happened". In their colorized form they are more striking as something that perhaps COULD happen again today. And to me that makes a much more personal time connection between the then and now.

Also if you colorize something that "looks" like it was in color from that era of course this "time connection" is just a little less obvious.

And regarding movies? Well the Giorgio Moroder's colorized and re-adapted with a 70's soundtrack version of Metropolis has been very well received and sought after. But of course it has its naysayers too. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JiZGti2e … ure=fvwrel

Suum cuique as they say in Latin...

Nov 04 12 04:06 pm Link

Retoucher

C Benjamin Design

Posts: 10

San Diego, California, US

SmileyProductionsPhoto wrote:
It would be a sad day for someone to colorize Ansel Adams' photographs.

Seen it at some point, wanted to punch the guy who did it.

Nov 07 12 03:03 pm Link