From Crimea to Korea: A century of images in colour
Colouring of monochrome photographs is nothing new. It was practised long before colour film became readily available. There is something is compelling about seeing old prints, and early footage turned into colour, especially when we have been so used viewing to similar images in monochrome throughout our lives.
Occasionally it can look false but, in the main, it brings to life old newsreels and old prints. Somehow, an old picture in colour looks more modern and dispels the drab impression we often have of the Victorian age or the early part of the last century.
Recently I’ve been watching the World War II in Colour series on Netflix. There is little there that I haven’t seen a dozen times before, particularly in the exceptional World at War series, but the colour transforms the viewing experience. Rather than seeming remote, the wartime action appears much nearer and less "another world" than it does in the original black and white.
Colouring of photographs and film footage is now assuming an art form and I was more than receptive to the work of Brazilian photographer Marina Amaral when I read about her forthcoming book, authored with historian Dan Jones, called The Colour of Time.
Billed as a “new history of the world, 1850-1960,” the tome will include 200 of Marina’s stunning images. Dan Jones has added a narrative that “anchors each image in its context and weaves them into a vivid account of the world that we live in today.”
You can find an impressive selection of Marina Amaral’s coloured photographs on her website here. The Colour of Time will be published in August and will cost £22 in hardcover or £7.19 as a Kindle electronic book. Orders can be placed here.
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