The Past in Color: Bringing Old Photographs to Life

Did you ever stop to think that the black and white photographed world of the past actually occurred in color just like today? Sanna Dullaway, an artist from Sweden, gave us a glimpse of what this colorful world looked like. Dullaway took old, iconic pictures and colorized them using Photoshop. She cleaned up the photos and converted them from black and white to her own interpretation of what the colors may have looked like. “I did not want to ‘improve’ nor ‘replace’ the photos I DID colourize as some of you may think. I just wanted to show you a new perspective of the black & white old world, it used to be in colour, too. I thought famous photos would touch most hearts,” Dullaway said on her deviantArt profile, Mygrapefruit.

With the colorization of these photos Dullaway gives us a glimpse of the world as it actually was before. In essence you are able to see through the eyes of the original photographer and what they actually saw. So often, we see these photos and detach from them, unable to relate to a time so far away; but to see the photos as if they were taken yesterday puts us in that world and gives us back a sense of humanity. In a way, these photos are like an eery time machine, putting the viewer in the room with these people who have long since passed.

Dullaway doesn’t just work with iconic photographs: she recently started a restoring and coloring business for clients who want their old family photos reworked. Though it may seem simple to add some color and clean up a few marks, Dullaway takes a lot more into account when restoring these old images. Everything from the age of the person, the shadows in the room, and the glow from the sun come into play in her work. On her website she described the process as being so much more than just making the grass green, but that every tone, natural saturation and hue are accounted for in order to give the viewer a true idea of how the person in the photograph lived. “Older images are often of very high quality and you’ll be surprised how much information is left and can be rescued by the damaged images,” she said on her website. Her company website can be found at

Via: Imgur Photo Gallery

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