Spring is here, and with it come the clear, bright colors of new grass, spring blossoms, and growing leaves. What nice timing it is for MyHeritage to unveil its photo colorizing tool.
I actually love black-and-white photographs. I love the way they emphasize contour and contrast. I love the nostalgic feeling they evoke.
But past lives were as colorful as present lives, and old-time photos captured only part of what their photographers saw. When color is added, they come alive.
The Owen sisters’ terrace was always charming. Now it’s positively cheery.
This early view of Stone House, with its indistinct, gray background, tells nothing about what lies beyond it. When color is added, we can see that, even from the road, Emilie Loring could see Blue Hill Bay. Just imagine her view from the back veranda.
Emilie and Victor later added an “ell” for the kitchen and maid’s quarters that blocked the water view entirely. It’s only the older photo, colorized, that reveals it.
In the following photos of “Seven Chimneys,” color enhances the home’s details.
If you look closely, you can see a church spire in the background, on the right side of the photo. Enlarged and colorized, there’s even a person working in the Seven Chimneys yard. I wonder who it was?
One of my favorite, old photos of Blue Hill is this next one, taken by one of the Owen sisters. Granite is being loaded onto that masted ship, and we can see Blue Hill rising up in the background. It’s beautiful, even in black and white.
In color, the scenery’s contrasts of blue and green are like what Emilie saw each day when she looked out.
And what about people?
For nearly one hundred years, photographs were always black-and-white. It’s as though entire generations were people in shades of gray. But of course, they weren’t.
Colorized, I can imagine Emilie’s childhood friend, Beth McClannin, running with those long tresses flying. In the next photo, she is Beth Kerley (“whose middle name is loyalty”), to whom Emilie Loring dedicated High of Heart.
For some reason, this final photo of Beth is my favorite of the three, taken when she and her husband, Charles, were on their way to Panama. I nearly ignored it when I chose photos to colorize, but I’m so glad I didn’t! Look at how much is revealed–their attire, their bentwood deck chairs, even a reflection of the ocean in the rightmost pane of glass.
In black-and-white, John and Rachel Gale (Emilie’s sister) were nearly lost in busy, leaf textures. Colorized, their amused expressions draw me in; I’d like to spend an afternoon with them, wouldn’t you?
Emilie’s father always has an air of distinction. Colorized, his dark, Baker eyes are arresting.
And now, to Emilie Loring! I could probably play with this on another piece of software to correct the flag to its proper regions of red and blue. Already, though, I love this photo on the boat, and I like seeing Emilie with a more natural skin tone.
Emilie Loring lived in the black-and-white era of photography. It’s nice to see her now in living color!
Enjoy the colors of springtime wherever you are, and use MyHeritage’s colorizing tool a try with your own black-and-white photos.
“Do you know what color does to me, Mr. Si? It sends my courage shooting above par, gives me the-world’s-my-oyster feeling—know it? Makes no difference where I see it, in a shop window or a gay gown. Color does to me what the touch of the earth did to the giant Antaeus—sends new life, vitality, courage, initiative surging through me. Sometime the scientists will discover that color is a renewer of life.” Hilltops Clear