Friday, April 10, 2009

Colorized Photos

Colorization and hand coloring* are names for the process of coloring film and pictures by hand and by frame. There are oils, watercolors and dyes used for this techniques applied to black and white film and photos.
This entry is to honor the work of early Hollywood to attempt to make color movies and pictures happen.

This picture has been colorized--it is from Ingrid's very first part in a film as "girl in line."

This is a colorized photo from the 1944 black and white film, Gaslight.

Colorized photo of Cary Grant and Ingrid Bergman from Notorious. I wonder if Robert Capa took this photo?! Wouldn't that be sexy?

There was a movement in the 1980s to colorize films that were originially done in B&W...I'm not a fan, but I thought in the 1920s and 30s it was a perfectly legit way to try and improve film. They also tried to do this to It's a Wonderful Life, I didn't like that colorized either. Lol.

*wikipedia information is subject to change and is not a reliable source. I just used it to emphasize my point, I'd suggest further reading if you're really interested in the history of colorization (also--different forms of colorization have happened throughout the history of film and photographs, so it's completely more complex than the wiki-answer).


Kate Gabrielle said...

I have the same standard- if it was colorized back when the film was made, fine.. if it was colorized in the 80's, not fine! Before I had TCM I used to rent vhs tapes from the library and about 50% of them were colorized 80's tapes. What a relief when I finally saw them all in their original b/w! (Two examples: Bachelor Mother and Champagne for Caesar in color?!)

Anonymous said...

While the colourized pictures are gorgeous, I personally feel that if the film was originally presented in b&w, then it should be kept that way, otherwise I get the feeling that they're compromising the integrity of the film. If it ain't broke, don't fix it, right?

That colourized Notorious promo pic reminds me to ask you, Alexis: Have you ever written a review of Notorious, anywhere? I'd love to read your thoughts on it, as it's my favourite film!

Alexis said...

I agree with you both that the 1980s should have left those B&W's alone! I love B&W and though Colorizing has a certain mystique to it, it's definitely a little cheesey too.
I have written a review of Notorious, it's actually an essay I wrote for a Grad School application, I'll have to post it... I may write a general review with places to find lots of reading and reviewing material on the movie as well. Notorious is my favorite movie of all time and this will give me a legit excuse to re-watch and talk about it.!

If you guys have any other movies or films you would like to comment on/ read about/ get info about/ start a forum... I'm more than happy to facilitate that! :)

Anonymous said...

Haha, I've long given up making excuses to rewatch Notorious ;)

I am curious to hear what you think about Indiscreet, if you've seen it. Given it's Cary & Ingrid, I really, really would love to love it. But I don't, and it makes me feel bad. I do blame it on the script, though. I don't hate the film... it just underwhelmed me, unfortunately.

Have you seen all of Ingrid's films? There are so many I'm missing. Same for Cary. I only discovered classic films exactly a year ago (during exam time...for shame!) so I'm a newbie!

Alexis said...

I actually LOVE Indiscreet. But I love Stanley Donen (because he's fantastic and Hitchcock-esque). Cary Grant is my favorite male actor of all time. He's so gorgeous, hilarious, gentle and fantastic.
Actually if you want--feel free to email me about this stuff so we can have an ongoing conversation about this! I would love to talk shop!

I have seen almost all of Ingrid's films-- I'm missing a couple of the Swedish films, 2 Italian and like 2 television shows.

Like I said, feel free to email me and we can talk more! :)
Alexis :)

About Me

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An avid Ingrid Bergman fan, I am a student of her life and work as well as film, filmmaking and Classic Film in general. I have my M.F.A. in TV/Film Production from USC School of Cinematic Arts and have been making a living in the business they call show. Feel free to follow me on Twitter @alexis_morrell