Original Monochrome or Colorized?

Discussion in 'Casual Photo Conversations' started by Sandy Vongries, Sep 26, 2017.

  1. Sandy Vongries

    Sandy Vongries Moderator Staff Member

    Every so often I come across an article like this Horror of the Blitz in London as never seen before | Daily Mail Online from the Daily Mail. Though I appreciate the skill and patience required, I wonder what they are trying to achieve, since to me, the originals are preferable, and more evocative. Actually, In film days when shooting all the color I could reasonably want became affordable, though I didn't realize at the time, it damped down my interest in photography for a while. I much preferred monochrome. What do you think about colorization?
  2. Vincent Peri

    Vincent Peri Metairie, LA

    I think the colorized photos are striking. The color "humanizes" the photos for me.
  3. They're powerful historical records, deserving to be seen by the broadest audience possible. Colorization may very well help them reach a younger demographic who don't respond to black and white the way they respond to color. While I'm generally not a fan of colorization in movies that were made in black and white according to the vision of directors who were often operating as artists, I feel less that way about documentary photos which tell important stories that need to be seen and heard and that may benefit from updating their presentational qualities. The way the colorization was done here seems unobtrusive, very in keeping with the original flavor, and doesn't detract for me.
  4. I tend to agree with Fred's comments. I am not a purist on historical photos per se. These have been treated with some respect for quality conversion to color. Aint no big deal I think.
  5. I may or may not have seen some of these photos before. If the B&W versions were very familiar to me, then I'd probably not like the colorized versions so much, but I do like these pictures.

    Maybe this was what Fred was getting at, but looking at old B&W photographs can put some distance between you and the event. In this case, adding color made them more real. It would be interesting to see them side by side with the originals.

    In today's world, B&W or color is a choice. My guess is that if color were a practical choice for the people who took those pictures, they would have shot them in color.

    There are definitely instances where I don't like colorization but I am more bothered by the opposite. Maybe it's my imagination but I see lots of photos from the 70s, 80s, and even 90s that were mostly likely color, that for some reason are displayed as B&W. And I think it's done to make them look "historical". I probably wouldn't be bothered by it so much except that I'm getting to be a little "historical" myself.
    Last edited: Sep 26, 2017
  6. I don't like it, but the same rule applies to all manipulated photos: declare it, and your'e fine.
  7. Being predominantly a B&W shooter, I'm biased toward the original aspects of the photo. I also appreciate the effort that has gone into the colorization, but reaction is usually a subtle form of 'why change a perfectly good original'; it's understood to be an absolute personal choice. It's not that I dislike it, but IMHO it's the difference between reading the book and seeing the movie - I have alot more going on in my mind's eye when viewing the B&W vis-a-vis the colorized version. But again, my choice of equipment and my personal views belie my advanced age in these matters. De gustibus non est disputatum.
    Sandy Vongries likes this.

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