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Vox did a special on colorizing historical photos and it was really eye-opening because the average person doesn’t realize what really goes into it. It’s not just about having the technical know-how when it comes to using software but doing a ton of research to make sure every detail is correct.
As the video below will explain, the purpose of colorizing these photographs is meant to bring you closer to that period in time. The narrator states, “when you see workers from over 80 years ago wearing blue denim, you instantly see something you can relate to.”
The process of getting to that point, however, is painstaking. Colorizing photographs is definitely an art but it’s not just about what you think looks good or what you think things looked like. It’s all about doing research into that period of time and you typically have to reach out to experts in a certain filed to get the details right.
Here at World War Wings, we’ve published a few articles of World War II aircraft pictures that were colorized and received a bit of a backlash. Many people believe these historical pictures should be left undisturbed and although we understand that sentiment the video makes a great point.
It’s not about replacing these pictures but about supplementing them. Drawing back from the statement mentioned earlier in the article, colorizing pictures makes them more relatable to the person viewing them.
Therefore, when you’re looking at a picture of young World War II pilots about to embark on a bombing mission they’re statistically not going to come back from, it hits closer to home. Their eyes, wedding rings and all the little details of the picture make them look like real people and not just something to flip over in a book.
It’s only then that you are able to truly understand what history is about. People back then were just like us and colorized photos enable us to step into their shoes, if even for a second.