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FORUMS Photography Talk by Genre General Photography Talk 
Thread started 03 Dec 2014 (Wednesday) 12:59
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Amazing American Civil War Photos Turned Into Glorious Color

 
StayFrosty
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Dec 09, 2014 02:02 |  #16

You guys are aware that people saw real life in colour before colour photography film was invented, right? :p


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Dec 09, 2014 08:24 |  #17

texkam wrote in post #17321709 (external link)
Pretty cool. A nice visualization tool.

Thanks. Hate to hijack but it was too tempting. :-)


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20droger
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Dec 09, 2014 09:20 |  #18

StayFrosty wrote in post #17322041 (external link)
You guys are aware that people saw real life in colour before colour photography film was invented, right? :p

May I kindly refer you to post #10. Hey, dads don't lie to their children, do they?




  
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flashpoint99
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Dec 09, 2014 11:37 as a reply to  @ post 17320755 |  #19

Glad to see you broke out your Webster's dictionary but you might want to take a closer look at the post I replied to then go back, search through your dictionary and find an actual definition that applies. He stated the photos were "meant to be in black and white and are much stronger in black and white"
How could anyone possibly know what a true rendering of that photo would be if it had been shot in color? Black and white was the only option so it was shot that way. I guarantee if color film were available these shot would have all been shot in color. As for the statement they are stronger in black and white. That is a matter of personal opinion.




  
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Dec 09, 2014 11:41 as a reply to  @ StayFrosty's post |  #20

Sure, but colorizing a black and white photo is partially a guessing game. They can't really know what the individual's complexion really was, so they are just adding color that, in their opinion, fits what they see in their imagination. It's no more "real" than the original gray tones, maybe less so.


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flashpoint99
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Dec 09, 2014 11:44 |  #21

airfrogusmc wrote in post #17321504 (external link)
Many might have still been shot in B&W but that is irrelevant. The fact is they were seen and shot in B&W not color.

They may have been shot in black and white but I assure you they were seen in color unless a dog took the photo.

Read more at: https://photography-on-the.net …read.php?t=1409​850&page=2




  
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airfrogusmc
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Dec 09, 2014 12:34 |  #22

flashpoint99 wrote in post #17322708 (external link)
They may have been shot in black and white but I assure you they were seen in color unless a dog took the photo.

Read more at: https://photography-on-the.net …read.php?t=1409​850&page=2


You really don't get it.

There are reason some choose B&W today. Brady, Gardner and other Civil War photographers were B&W photographers and did see in B&W. I know that concept is lost on some but it is a reality and because that was their medium at the time they learned to see in that medium.




  
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Dec 09, 2014 13:13 |  #23

flashpoint99 wrote in post #17322696 (external link)
Glad to see you broke out your Webster's dictionary but you might want to take a closer look at the post I replied to then go back, search through your dictionary and find an actual definition that applies. He stated the photos were "meant to be in black and white and are much stronger in black and white"
How could anyone possibly know what a true rendering of that photo would be if it had been shot in color? Black and white was the only option so it was shot that way. I guarantee if color film were available these shot would have all been shot in color. As for the statement they are stronger in black and white. That is a matter of personal opinion.

It's funny that you think that that's a five dollar word. It's also amusing, but not at all surprising, that you don't think that it applies.

Vocab (or lack there of) aside, let's go back to his point. Let's pretend that you're a photographer. Let's pretend that you have certain limitations due to equipment. Being a thoughtful photographer, do you capture and create with those limitations in mind, or do you just completely disregard them?


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StayFrosty
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Dec 09, 2014 13:47 |  #24

WhyFi wrote in post #17322928 (external link)
.....Let's pretend that you have certain limitations due to equipment. Being a thoughtful photographer, do you capture and create with those limitations in mind, or do you just completely disregard them?

I definitely buy this point but it sort of assumes the photographer as an artist. In a completely unsourced bit of conjecture I suggest that 90% of all photos ever taken were taken with the sole purpose of recording what was going on at the time, 9% with the specific aim of flattering someone and 1% with the intention of being art.

IMO these old civil war photos fall into the documentary recording category and would have been taken in colour if possible at the time. Even though the accuracy of the colourization is questionable at best, personally, I think it an interesting exercise and there's not really a solid reason to judge / criticize them as you would "art", yes it's populist but that's no reason it's not worth doing.


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WhyFi
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Dec 09, 2014 13:55 |  #25

StayFrosty wrote in post #17323004 (external link)
I definitely buy this point but it sort of assumes the photographer as an artist. In a completely unsourced bit of conjecture I suggest that 90% of all photos ever taken were taken with the sole purpose of recording what was going on at the time, 9% with the specific aim of flattering someone and 1% with the intention of being art.

Sorry, but I don't even know where to start with this. We're not talking about someone pulling a cell phone out of their pocket and snapping off a few. Think about the investment and dedication involved to take photos back then - it's not even close to be a casual thing.


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flashpoint99
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Dec 09, 2014 14:32 |  #26

You dont know where to start because it is you who doesnt "get it" They shot in black and white because thats the only forum they had. It doesnt mean they did not know their craft. They were documenting a time. The colorization of these photos is an interpretation of what the scene may have looked like in real life. Amazing how you rip the coloring process as blaspheme out of one side of your mouth yet talk of the artistry of the black and white photos out of the other side of your mouth.




  
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WhyFi
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Dec 09, 2014 14:49 |  #27

flashpoint99 wrote in post #17323118 (external link)
You dont know where to start because it is you who doesnt "get it" They shot in black and white because thats the only forum they had. It doesnt mean they did not know their craft. They were documenting a time. The colorization of these photos is an interpretation of what the scene may have looked like in real life. Amazing how you rip the coloring process as blaspheme out of one side of your mouth yet talk of the artistry of the black and white photos out of the other side of your mouth.

lulz. Since I'm not seeing any continuity of logic, I'm just going to stop responding to you, now.


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Dec 09, 2014 15:08 |  #28

Does it matter to anyone that prefers this colorization that it does not look in the least bit authentic?

They look so fake I can't stand it.
Group shots where 7 dudes have the same skin color and the same rosy blushed cheeks.

It just looks weird to me, like a bad infra red plug in.


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flashpoint99
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Dec 09, 2014 16:28 |  #29

WhyFi wrote in post #17323158 (external link)
lulz. Since I'm not seeing any continuity of logic, I'm just going to stop responding to you, now.

Typical response from a pompous individual who believes their opinion is more important than all others. You stand in defense of the black and white images as art but denounce the colorized version as sin because you don't like it! An opinion you hold true until you are challenged on it. Then you run and hide from the debate not once but twice! Hope your Webster's dictionary is large so you can continue to hide behind it!




  
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Dec 09, 2014 16:53 |  #30

I see nothing unusual or particularly different in these colourised images, compared to what was common during most of the 19th century. Throughout that period there was a huge industry in hand colourising photographs. Although of course it was applied directly to a print, using coloured inks and dyes. In fact the same sorts of coloured inks and dyes that were used until recently when hand spotting or retouching high end colour prints. It is really only since the advent of digital imaging that we have not needed this skill.

Of course in many of the colourised images from the 19th century the actual colours of things like clothes would be randomly up to the particular artist. However in situations where the artist could make a good guess at the colour to use, they would probably do so. These military uniforms for example were in well known colours, so it is not that hard for the artist to get a reasonably good match to reality, even when they were not present. Also as any reasonably good shooter of B&W film will know, the spectral response of many items is such that looking at the image it is often possible to make an educated guess of the colour of the item from the relative tones present. Of course this takes experience and practice, but it was the cutting edge technology of the time.

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Amazing American Civil War Photos Turned Into Glorious Color
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