Color the Past

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I’m inspired by the transformation of black-and-white photos into color recently by Photo colorization specialists at Dynamichrome  featured by Buzzfeed. So inspired that I’ve decided to have my students color the past (literally).

The Dynamichrome folks colored portraits of the “12 million men, women, and children who arrived at Ellis Island, New York, between 1892 and 1954 to start a new life in the USA, often dressed in their finest clothes. The portraits show immigrants wearing the national dress of their country of origin, including military uniforms from Albania, bonnets from the Netherlands, and clothing of Sámi people from the Arctic regions. The photographs were taken between 1906 and 1914 by amateur photographer Augustus Francis Sherman, the chief registry clerk at Ellis Island, then the country’s busiest immigration station. In 1907 some of the photos were published by National Geographic.”

Have your students paint monochrome photographs from the past into color.  As Paul Simon shared

“When I think back
On all the crap I learned in high school
It’s a wonder
I can think at all
And though my lack of education
Hasn’t hurt me none
I can read the writing on the wall

[…]

Everything looks worse in black and white
Kodachrome
They give us those nice bright colors
They give us the greens of summers
Makes you think all the world’s a sunny day”

Check it out:

ellis island.png

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