Saturday, September 17, 2011

Photo Retouching and Colorization

As I said in my last post, I've been getting re-interested in restoring some old family photos. I've started pretty simple, and am working my way up to a very badly damaged photo of who I believe is my grandmother's cousin. Today, I played around with a lovely photo of my grandmother, Nellie Joyce Tomblin Cummons. I will show you three versions of the picture, 1) my original scan, 2)cropped to 8x10 with black and white levels adjustment and blemishes removed, and 3) a colorized version of the photo.


(resized, b&w adjustment, blemish removal)


I'm always torn between color and black and white photos. I love black and white, it softens features and gives everything a romantic feel. Sometimes, however, I forget that although pictures were black and white, life very much happened in color! When I started working on this picture, I only noticed Gran's lovely white dress and strappy shoes. It was only when I started to colorize the photo that I realized her dress was not indicitive of the time of year the background suggests. I noticed the bare trees, the empty fields, and the leaves around her feet. So, I created a color pallete of fall colors from this picture on flickr to try and recreate an accurate background. What do you think?


  1. Wow! I'm impressed! I love the color scheme. Although, I do wonder if maybe it was spring before the leaves actually came out on the trees and before the crops came up? I don't know. (One more reminder to myself to DATE the pictures I get printed!) Either way, fantastic job!

  2. You know, I kinda had the same thought after I had finished the project. I guess I just saw the leaves on the ground and went with it! After all, pretty, colorful leaves beat ugly brown ones anyday! But, I wish for authenticity's sake I knew when it was taken. Perhaps Deanie would remember...

  3. I have never colorized a black and white before. I'm impressed!!

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