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Civil War Photographs, Colorized

That's General George Custer there with the dog.

Stephen Green


October 11, 2013 - 8:00 am


Via Business Insider, some Reddit “colorizers” are doing their thing to Civil War photos. The quality of the photography — and the colorization process — is amazing. Digital is easy, but nothing (yet) can reproduce the results of a big slab of film inside a big box camera.

As fine a job as the Redditers are doing, there’s still something missing, because you know the color was added later. For the real deal, check out this collection of rare color photographs from the First World War.


Cross-posted from Vodkapundit

Stephen Green began blogging at in early 2002, and has served as PJMedia's Denver editor since 2008. He's one of the hosts on PJTV, and one-third of PJTV's Trifecta team with Scott Ott and Bill Whittle. Steve lives with his wife and sons in the hills and woods of Monument, Colorado, where he enjoys the occasional lovely adult beverage.

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All Comments   (5)
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Only one clean shaven - looks less odd today than it would have mid 20th century. Also I am a B&W photographer by choice but I welcome adding color back to an image from before it was technically possible to record color. Time's mystery is more palpable because credible color has been added back in. There is 16mm footage of American soldiers in WW2 following the Normandy invasion and when I look at the men I remember the way those men looked in '46 when I saw them with 4 year old eyes - in THOSE uniforms and THOSE exact haircuts and more subtly THAT body language.

I would also add that this recreated color is not less real in terms of our experience of the scene. Color film or even today's digital sensors produce an interpretation of the colors the eye sees. By adding color back in the colorist allows us to recapture something of the impact of the original scene that is simply lost in B&W. Those uniforms really were blue and those faces were not shades of gray. You know those people actually lived, fought and died. Time's mystery is more palpable because credible color has been added back in.
48 weeks ago
48 weeks ago Link To Comment Pictures of imperial Russia using three glass plates each of a different color filter, later combined. The colors are striking. And here I thought the world didn't do color until my birth... who knew?
49 weeks ago
49 weeks ago Link To Comment
Love the colorized photos . . . they make history seem so much closer and relatable. On a silly side note, the guy center left totally looks like Chandler Bing (actor Matthew Perry).
49 weeks ago
49 weeks ago Link To Comment
I love the look on the face of the officer sitting on the middle-right with the map: "You either hurry up and take that danged picture now, or I'm-a gonna have to shoot ya." :)
49 weeks ago
49 weeks ago Link To Comment
I wish my dad was alive to see this. He would've been a fan.
49 weeks ago
49 weeks ago Link To Comment
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