Sunday, 20 February 2011

My First Colourisation Tests

Hey all. Has it really been over half a year since I blogged my guts out? Guess I've been having another "fallow period", but I'll be participating in Illustration Friday this week so keep your eyes peeled.

Until then, I'm afraid I don't have any new artistic creations to share, but I have recently been expanding my Photoshop knowledge: in particular with regards to colourising black & white photographs.

Last month my grandfather died and while this has naturally been a sad occasion for my family, for a number of us it has created a renewed interest in the old family photographs. During the last few weeks a small number of photographs have surfaced that I've never had the privalidge of seeing and while it has confirmed my fear that there aren't a great many photos of my grandfather in existance it did make me eager to try out a "colourisation" process that I've recently been reading up on.

The photograph below was taken in about 1957, and features my grandfather, my mother (on the left) and my aunty (on the right). The picture quality was fairly clear and so it was an ideal candidate for my first colourisation attempt.

Having completed the above test, I continued to "tweak" until I had a more vibrant spectrum.

Having completed this first example and being somewhat happy with the results, I decided to take a picture of my father taken in about 1968, and not only colour it but restore the damage to the hard copy.

This was how the original was scanned in. It was done at a rather low resolution and it was immediatly apparent that this would place some limitations on how clear I could get it to look. In the end I repaired most of the damage, but owing to the contrast level of the hard copy, I found it a lot more challenging to colourise. My father's the one on the right incidentally.

Having completed these two tests, I shall soon embark on restoring the oldest and most fragile family photo album. Who knows, I might even take a few colour photographs and desaturate them - sometimes black & white really does do more poetic justice to a photograph than "florid" colour.