A Colourful Past

There’s something special about looking through an old box of photographs, colours faded and over exposed. It’s also fascinating to look through even older photographs in black and white. Images of people, places and times gone by.
I remember teaching a primary class kerb stones painted black and white during World War 2. When I asked them why they thought this was, one child said that it’s because it was the of days and that everything was in black and white then!
Whilst the monochrome effect adds to the ‘age’ of the image, it would be interesting to see what history would be like in colour, for example the colour jacket Charles Darwin was wearing.
Patiently, Sanna Dullaway has added colour to many iconic black and white photographs, such as Charles Darwin and Anne Frank.
This is an interesting use of Photoshop and interpretation of a particular time or person. To what extent is it ethically acceptable to alter images in this way? Is adding colour more acceptable than adding or deleting part of the scene? Does colourising such images alter the reality in some way? Possibly this type of image manipulation is towards the bottom end of a ‘slippery slope’. Is it anymore justified to modify the saturation of a colour photograph than adding colour to a monochrome image? Conversely is it more acceptable to change a coloured image to black and white? This enpundit article has made me think further about the ethics of altering images and maybe that so long as both the viewer and photographer are aware of it’s context then it is acceptable.

About Matt Davenport

With over 20 years teaching experience in primary schools, I am an ICT Advanced Skills Teacher and Apple Teacher.
This entry was posted in DPP, Ethics, Project 3: Processing the Image and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

1 Response to A Colourful Past

  1. Catherine says:

    They certainly look different – like living people rather than captured in time.


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