Sunday, 23 September 2012

Colouring The Past

Alexander Gardner was a Scots immigrant to the US in 1856 who was on hand to photograph the US Civil war .... what struck me from his collection of pictures, was that in November 1860 he took the first photograph of the then President elect, Abraham Lincoln. I have taken the liberty of cleaning it up (the original can be seen here). 

Although after I cleaned it up, it looked OK ...

President elect Abraham Lincoln - Nov 1860.

I then wondered what he looked like in colour, and so came up with this.

President elect Abraham Lincoln in Colour - Nov 1860.

Then somewhat over enthused by the results I decided to colourise one or two photographs of the mighty Queen Victoria and her Prince consort Albert, taken by Roger Fenton .....

Queen Victoria and Prince Albert 1854 - colour.
Queen Victoria and Prince Albert 1854 - colourised.

It's funny how adding some colour changes the way you perceive these long dead figures, even if they are purely imagined colours. Maybe schools should try this in classes to bring history to life.


  1. There are quite a few colorised pictures of Lincoln on the web. Yours is very similar.

    Not seen so many Queen V and hubby. Your right, to modern eyes color is the best way to view them.

    1. I guess so .... but the less famous people aren't as interesting subjects.

      Thanks for the comments.


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