Following a recent article on my website about colouring black and white photos I thought I'd have another go and found this photo of lunch carts on Broad Street in New York circa 1906. With lots of detail it was certainly going to involve a lot of masking and seeing as I ended up using 127 layers this was the most complex photo I've worked on so far.
As before I found the best result was to first convert the photo to CMYK instead of RGB. This photo was an interesting learning curve for me as I learned a couple of new skills about how to paint different layers of colours on top of each other and blend them together which is sometimes more accurate, natural looking and a faster way of working.
I have a few more photos in mind to work on next, one of which was taking during the Blitz but I think I will need to learn a couple more skills before I can complete these.
You can view a before and after of this photo below.
I was reading an article a while ago about how artists are now 'converting' old black and white photos to colour by colouring them in Photoshop and some of the examples I've seen are truly stunning. One of my particular favourite artists is Swedens Sanna Dullaway who famously coloured various photos of historic people in history from Abraham Lincoln to Anne Frank. I am a huge fan of black and white photography and so was a little sceptical at the idea of adding colour as often it's the ommission of colour that makes the photograph work in the first place. However I am also deeply interested in history and the ability to 'see' the world in colour long before colour film existed was a very interesting concept. So I thought I'd give it a go myself.