How Colorizing Black and White Photos Makes the Subjects More Relatable to a Modern Audience

BBC News asked locals to identify the time period in which a photograph of a striking young man was taken. While most polled thought it was in the last 20 years, the photo was actually taken in 1865. And the striking young man in the photo was Lewis Powell, a convicted co-conspirator in the assassination of Abraham Lincoln. The photo had been colorized by Brazilian artist Marina Amaral. Amaral has made a brilliant trade of adding color back in to original black and white photos in order to make them more real and more relatable to a modern audience.

One day I decided to combine my fascination with history and skill using Photoshop. The combination was magical. I started to restore and put color into photos that were originally black and white, allowing people to see history from a new and colorful perspective. Each photo is made to be realistic by recognizing the value behind each image, respecting and preserving their stories, paying attention to the finer details and maintaining the original essence in each one. Every completed work has gone through long and in depth research, and is supported by the opinions of experts in each particular area if necessary, to faithfully reproduce the original colors and atmosphere. My work ranges from simple portraits to complex and detailed images, taken from various historical periods covering a wide range of topics.

Charlie Parker

Anne Frank

Italian Immigrants at Ellis Island 1905

James Dean 1954

Lori Dorn
Lori Dorn

Lori is a Laughing Squid Contributing Editor based in New York City who has been writing blog posts for over a decade. She also enjoys making jewelry, playing guitar, taking photos and mixing craft cocktails.