The year is 1862. For Memorial Day Weekend 2015, we remember the fallen troops of both sides in the Battle of Antietam. This is one of the images American Photo Colorizing created for The History Channel TV presentation, “Blood & Glory – The Civil War In Color”.
This unique look at the American Civil War in full-color, featuring many highly-detailed colorized images by our own David Chrenko, was created by Executive Producer, Kevin Burns for Prometheus Entertainment. It’s no exaggeration to call this film the Breakthrough Moment for Historic Photo Colorizing.
The year is 1844. That’s right, we’re looking at a gent reading his morning newspaper 170 years ago. From the look in his eye, he may be a bit camera shy. Cameras were, after all, fairly new contraptions. Photography had just been introduced to America in 1839.
This is the era captured in print by Charles Dickens> His tale of Ebenezer Stooge, Jacob Barley, and Bob Scratchit had just been published the previous December. The hat resting proudly atop the gentleman’s head was known as a “stove pipe hat” or “topper”.
The year is 1888. Jacob Riis, who took the original photograph was a newspaperman, who used both his pen and the camera lens to expose the upper class to the plight of New York City’s huddled masses. He could often be found in the most deteriorated and dangerous slums in the city – particularly Mulberry Street. This photo, “Bandits Roost” was taken at 59 1/2 Mulberry.
Jacob, and his dedication to social reform, left an indelible impression on Theodore Roosevelt. The two became lifelong friends. I took liberties with Bandits Roost, adding a sunrise not in the original image. For my own tastes, the lighting and color really drive home the harshness of this alley. Jacob Riis was a very brave man to take the photo – and fortunate to live to talk about it.
Like Thomas Kincaid, one of my favorite parts of colorizing, is working with light. As you can see, I’ve taken artistic liberties by working-in a sunrise for dramatic effect.
The year is 1873. How cool is this picture! Lotta Crabtree was one of the wealthiest and most popular entertainers of the late-19th century. The actress, singer, and comedienne was known as “The Nation’s Darling”. And of all the photos I might have colorized – I decided on an elderly character 25 year-old Lotta played in “The Little Detective”.
Lotta’s career began in 1854 at age 6, performing at mining camps in Northern California. At the peak of her popularity in the 1870s and ’80s, Lotta was commanding $5,000 per week. Here’s a “Before” photo of Lotta sans scary old lady makeup, then a black & white/color comparison of her in character.
Since Lotta retired before the advent of motion pictures, we can only imagine her performance in The Little Detective – but her makeup artist certainly deserves an award.
To close out our American Photo Colorizing blog for today, here’s one more photo of Lotta Crabtree wearing her real face.
The year is 1956. The King of Rock & Roll is riding a bicycle around the Paramount back lot in Hollywood, greeting fans along the way. This is a very relaxed moment for Elvis – a chance to just be the fun-loving Memphis boy from 1034 Audubon Drive.
The year is 1914. Rural mail delivery by horse a buggy. This was how the mail was delivered in much of America 100 years ago. The original image was shot by prominent Washington, DC photographers, George Harris and Martha Ewing. The likelihood is this photo was taken in rural Virginia or Maryland.
Here is a dedicated mail carrier who lives up to the unofficial motto of the U.S. Post Office: “Neither snow nor rain nor heat nor gloom of night stays these couriers from the swift completion of their appointed rounds”.
The History Channel documentary, “Blood & Glory- The Civil War In Color is PREMIERING TONIGHT – and American Photo Colorizing is a part of it!
We’re very excited to be on the team that created colorized pictures for the first ever Civil War documentary to feature a wide selection of photos. This is going to change the way we look at History – especially the young people, who never grew up with Black & White.
Back on July 4th, 2002, American Photo Colorizing kicked off what has become a genre – Historic Photo Colorizing. We’ve waited 13 years for this moment – and to have our colorizing work included just blows us away.
Tonight, Part 2 of “Blood & Glory – The Civil War In Color” airs – and we at American Photo Colorizing are thrilled to be part of it! Check your local cable provider for air times. Then gather the family around the TV for this exciting History Channel presentation.
Now, here’s a Civil War “Before & After” to hold you all until show time. The year is 1865 – and this Confederate locomotive sits amidst the ruins of Richmond, Virginia. A lot of time was invested in color-rendering the damage to the locomotive itself
You’ll see American Photo Colorizing at the Grand Review of the Troops – Washington, DC’s final hoorah to the 150th Anniversary of the American Civil War! One of our colorized images has been selected as the official logo image for the city-wide celebration. There will be a Grand Review Parade, a glamorous ball – and a selection of our colorized Civil War photos and lithographs will be on exhibit at the African American Civil War Museum in the heart of Washington, DC. Here’s the lowdown on the hoedown: https://www.grandreviewparade.org/