Celia in Living Color

Last fall I took the B&W challenge on Facebook and took pix of my everyday life in black and white instead of in color. I loved the focus on shapes and the balance of light and dark. The idea was not to include any people in the photos.

And I can see why not. There is just something about color that brings people to life. That is why our antique black and white or sepia photos of ancestors are wonderful to have, but really just give us an “outline” of the individuals.

So I asked Val Erde at Colouring the Past to take Celia Goodstein Scheshko’s photo and add color. Wow, look at the difference!

Here is the original image:

And here is the photo after Val’s work on it.

See how pretty she looks! And now those nifty two-toned boots show up even better.

I feel myself getting hooked on this. I wish I could have all my old photos colored!

31 thoughts on “Celia in Living Color

    • I think so, too! Did you notice how instead of merging with the background and floor, now she stands out from those things separately? It makes it so much easier to even “see” the photo, if you know what I mean. Val said her dress might have been brown or maroon (I think it’s probably true because those are less vivid colors and for her lifestyle that was probably more useful) she used this color because it stands out better.

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  1. She did a really beautiful job!! So much better than the hand tinting I have on some older family photos. I actually converted some of them back to B/W because the hand-tinting made the people look like painted corpses!

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    • I was just thinking about hand-tinting today because I remembered that my bridal portrait was taken in b&w and then hand-painted as it was still something done in those days (1975). I think he did a really good job, but it is still a completely different look than the coloring that Val does.

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    • I hope you get readers from here inquiring about your services! The boots are amazing. I will always remember that one of the few times my paternal grandmother (born in 1892 in Germany) really talked about her youth was about a pair of boots she bought around this same time. She was a poor seamstress and told me she fell in love with a pair of pearl gray boots and saved up until she could buy them. That makes me think Celia did the same thing because she also was a poor seamstress!

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    • It is another way of seeing. I can look and look at an old b&w, but it’s only by seeing it in color I see the things I missed before. It’s not a replacement for the originals, for sure, but it is a wonderful way of seeing in a new way.

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  2. Wow, Val did an amazing job of adding color. Beautiful! It’s interesting how totally different facets of the picture “jump out” in the color version – the 2-tone boots, the dress sash. the book (a bible? ) that her hand is on, etc.

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    • I think it’s just a prop book that they used in many photos because I’ve seen that done a lot of times. Isn’t it amazing how you notice things you didn’t notice before?! Think of all that she has to notice as she works on the photos!

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    • It was taken in the United States, and I suspect it was taken close to 1919. One of my photos of her husband Isidore has the same setting, so I think they were taken at the same time. He is in his U.S. army uniform (stay tuned tomorrow to see the color version of his portrait!) and they got married in 1919 after he got out of the service.

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