Friday, January 13, 2012

Worth a visit: Different in Colours

Dorothy Counts Came across this set of photographs on Chive (and yes I don’t just look at the FLBP sets, but when I do (cough, cough, every flippin day) it does make my day ‘most brilliant’). Their posts always declare the source, so I followed their link to a set of photos within Imgur (try it, it’s good :) (

“Putting colours into black and white photos” would be my simplest description, I would love to mention his/her name here but couldn’t find his/her identity, for all I know it could have been Batman or Wonder Woman.

The best thing is that, this person doesn’t just transform historically important photos or portraits of famous people, he/she also does requests.

There are several reasons why modern photographers choose to take photos in black and white or transform colour photos into black and white before publishing them. To give it a somber tone (imagine a clown without make up, lol), to rid it of distractions (imagine a clown with black and white makeup), to highlight the subtle effects of textures, lighting or contrasts, and probably the most frequent one of all, giving it ‘timelessness’ quality to a photograph.

But to see these iconic photos, that most of us have seen a thousand times before, in colour, just made it more real for me, take this one (above) of ‘Dorothy Counts’ (probably was one of the bravest girl (fifteen at that time) in the entire galaxy). I don’t know, seeing it in colour just made me feel the pressure that she must have faced multiplied by about a billion (same thing for the Ann Frank’s portrait, of course it does help if you have the knowledge of who these people are).

Of course I haven’t got a clue how the ‘Architect’ of these photos had chosen the colours for the clothes, hair, chairs, background, necktie and so on. I’d guess he/she could have made research into the colour of the eyes and hair, and may be there is a tool revealing how different greys represent different colours (or am I just dreaming here).

None the less, this site is definitely worth a visit, please NOTE, parental warning, there are some iconic ‘graphic’ photos in the set.

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