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DPChallenge Forums >> General Discussion >> Colorized images makes photographer mad
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Showing posts 1 - 11 of 11, (reverse)
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11/01/2012 03:29:09 AM · #1
So, here's the link to the photographs in question. They are pretty work safe. Basically, Time Magazine asked a colorist to take some vintage photos and try to colorize them. I took a look through and actually found them to be quite interesting. It's a mix of art and history. Adding the color can take away from the feeling it once conveyed. However, I see nothing wrong with these photos going from BW to color.

And here comes the angry photographer link.

He (I think) says that he has an open mind to photography and is not one to judge, but for some reason feels this was just goes beyond his limits. After you read what he has to say, tell me what you think. Personally, I think he's doing the opposite of what he says he does, and he is making a judgement on what is and isn't art. I could be reading that wrong...but read for yourself. Interesting...
11/01/2012 04:49:03 AM · #2
I though some where OK, some ruined the image. The kiss on VJ day was pretty bad, the self-imolating monk was worse. One of the joys of B&W is the ability to focus in on the subject without being drawn into the background by bright colors.
On the other hand the over the top outrage by "Ctein" is pretty amazing. I wonder how he feels about Darfur, or if he has any condemnation left to spare about things that actually matter after this rant. Drawing and quartering? Really?
11/01/2012 04:51:47 AM · #3
I thought they were well done, I do prefer the originals in nearly every case but it was a pleasure being able to see both, certainly didn't shock me as much as an expert edit challenge does here ;-)

11/01/2012 04:57:19 AM · #4
I had seen this linked from Chase Jarvis. I agree with the guy you linked that it's kinda ridiculous to portray somebody like Lincoln in your own way like that, and even before I read what color Lincoln's eyes were, they seemed a bit overdone.
And really, the author has a point about how color dramatically changes the feel and impact of the images. If you capture an image disregarding color and only considering tone, and then later your medium gets changed... by somebody who wasn't there... yeah, that's kinda a recipe for disaster.

Am I as offended as he is? No, but I will say that just because you CAN do something doesn't mean you SHOULD. If anything I find it to be a lame and poorly executed remix of another photographer's work. If you're going to remix something, add something of your own to it. Playing coloring book doesn't quite cut it for me.

ETA: I did certainly find them interesting to look at and to reconsider as works, however, so that was neat, as it very completely changed my original thoughts and made me consider the color of the scene, to think about how it would have actually looked.

Message edited by author 2012-11-01 05:02:16.
11/01/2012 08:18:07 AM · #5
meh,if he's arguing that a bit of research shroud have been to accurately portray the color, i agree, if he's complaining that images should have been left B/W then i say, the images were taken in black and white for not for artistic reason but because thats the only equipment they had.
11/01/2012 08:30:52 AM · #6
I think the critique was a bit overboard. I don't think these were meant to replace the originals, if they were then I would have a problem and I know I wouldn't be alone. But in my opinion they were just meant to illustrate how color can really affect the mood of a photograph. I like them for the most part (here again I wouldn't want them to replace the original). I think most were well done, with somethings like the color of the eyes, being a bit overdone. I think it is an interesting study on how color versus black and white and how differently we would view the past if photos were in color.
11/01/2012 08:48:58 AM · #7
I was expecting an hdr-ed mess to be honest because I viewed the pictures after reading the rant. It would make sense for b/w purists to be appalled over corrupted images of an artist who deliberately chose b/w as his mode of expression but for pictures taken in b/w out of necessity I don't the angst is worth it.


11/01/2012 08:53:36 AM · #8
while I do like the originals better... I don't think "atrocious" is the word I'd use to describe tthese photos.
the originals convey a sense of history... but... the colorizes photos are interesting in their own right.
I prefer the "kiss" photo in color. if there was a different DOF, I would prefer the black and white.
same with the burning Monk photo. I like the color version better. it portrays a sense of reality... the bright color of the blaze and the look on the face is much more emotional in color, IMO.
11/01/2012 09:01:25 AM · #9
I think they're awesome. They are well done and realistic looking. I especially loved the Lincoln ones.
11/01/2012 09:22:50 AM · #10
O.K. I looked at the photos and then read the plaint of the other photographer (Ctein).

I don't think that they are as horribly done as Ctein makes them out to be. Rather many are tastefully done with realistic tones. That said, I think these colorized versions run the possible danger of being accepted alongside or even replace the originals in preference to the crowd.

It also makes me question whose 'vision' are we accepting. Are we to readily believe that Lincoln had that much grey hairs in his beard and hair in one of the shots or is that artistic license by the colorizer taking place? I see that the colorizer made Lincoln's eyes blue, but Ctein quotes Lincoln's description of himself as " one hundred and eighty pounds; dark complexion, with coarse black hair, and grey eyes". Not taking that at face value, I did a Google search and found that quote of Lincoln's on several sites. I think many people run the danger of readily accepting the color versions at face value if we do not question.

My last thoughts on this is that some of these colorized photos remove the subject from their 'time period'. The era that the Lincoln photos were taken the equipment of the era could only yield B&W. It was not until 1907 when the first color plate, Autochrome came into being. By colorizing B&W photos that are historical representations of time and people I feel you run the danger of blurring the timeline.

Message edited by author 2012-11-01 09:34:21.
11/01/2012 09:30:21 AM · #11
I am not against coloring the old photos...However the impact is reduced on a few of them. The color ones are definately good. I think that this other photog greatly over exagerated.
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