Before & Afters

If I last the distance, there should be 365 Before & After images here by May 9, 2015.

This colourisation project came about after a robust discussion with some colleagues about the pros and cons of colourising old photos from years gone by. Some felt that by colourising black & white we are diluting the authenticity of the original photo. Some people on on-line forums get very heated over the issue insisting that photo manipulation such as colouring detracts and distorts our sense of history.

Well as an ex-history teacher, my second love after photography is history and I for one would not want to distort the past. I leave that to the propagandists! What I want is to get into the picture and see what it may have really been like at the time a photo was taken. When I look at the world around me, I don’t see images in black and white. Someone living 100 years ago didn’t see the world in black and white. They only saw paper or glass  representations of the world through black and white photography, which was the only technology available at the time.  Unlike us when someone from the distant future looks back on our century they will be seeing their history in colour and their ancient history in black and white.

Of course I can’t guarantee that the colours I have chosen accurately reflect the clothes worn by the subjects or that the skin tones are correct but wherever possible I have gone out of my way to research what might have been and the rest of the time I simply make intelligent guesses.  So don’t be a purist and take umbrage…’s just colouring in.

Maybe I had a deprived childhood and didn’t get enough of it back then! I don’t know… but I do know that the process of restoring colour into these photos is quite therapeutic. Most of the photos as it turns out are Film or TV studio publicity stills, so no photographer is going to take offence that his or her work has been altered. While for the others, the photographers are long gone or unknown, so I doubt that they will be turning in their graves. The black and whites will always be there.  So sit back and relax and enjoy the slideshow. Click on the first icon and then follow the left/right arrows.

Each month will have its own page.

2 Responses to Before & Afters

  1. bobcotton says:

    Loredana, have you blogged anywhere about your colourisation techniques?
    I teach Film history and theory at Arts University Bournemouth, I am a media historian with a blog on new media at and a blog on Julia Margaret Cameron at You colourise so well, a broad outline of your technique/workflow/research would be of great interest to my film and photography students!


    • Loredana Isabella Crupi says:

      Thankyou for the wonderful compliment. I have blogged briefly about my technique in the August menu of Before & After pages on this Blog.

      Cheers l 🙂


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