Dana Keller has made a name for himself as a talented photo colorizer, using his Photoshop skills to offer an idea of what historical black-and-white photos might have looked like had the photographer been able to shoot in color. The video above is a 6-minute look at how Keller approaches the task of colorization.
Keller says his background in photography helped him to see things in historical photos. “I was able to see the effects of lighting and texture, and different mediums as well have different qualities of color, so I decided to see if I could emulate that within these colorizations. Taking those details into account helps to produce a more realistic image.”
He does a considerable amount of research to find out what the true colors of things should be. “You obviously can’t research every single thing, but when it comes to choosing colors and not knowing, it’s important to have a cultural context and historical context of what’s appropriate for the time.”
Here are some of the historical colorizations he has created so far (with their B&W “before” versions as well):
Louis Armstrong, 1946
Baseball legend “Babe” Ruth, ca. 1920
Al Capone’s soup kitchen during the Great Depression, Chicago, 1931
Civil Rights March on Washington, 1963
Dust Bowl, 1936.
Boys buying flowers in New York, 1908.
Marilyn Monroe, 1954
Opening moments of the 1954 World Cup Final
Titanic sinks on April 15, 1912