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June 2008 Contest Discussion

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  #21  
Old 06-08-2008, 04:20 PM
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laura.lala laura.lala is offline
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Re: Choosing Colors

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Originally Posted by LonK View Post
I know that when doing a "realistic colorization", it's important to apply colors to the entire image. Leaving any monochrome remnants would be considered incomplete. In that regard, appropriate color selection is probably the most difficult aspect of preparation.

In most cases one has absolutely no clue what the original colors might have been.

My methodology is to find a color image that has a palette similar to what I envision. I search for sources similar to the time period portrayed. I then extract the entire palette and reference it in selecting appropriate colors for the target image.

My question is: How do you choose the colors you will use?
As you do, I try to envision the period in time when the photo was taken. Afterwards I close my eyes and imagine the colors I like. If the subject/story is not quite inspiring then I go to the net and search for similar images. When we speak about older times when we only had the sepia an B&W photos, then I try to see some paintings.

Anyway sometimes we don't really know up to what point we are influenced in our personal tastes by art, by media and even by the place we grew up or we live.

I am always searching for an equilibrium; my personal taste and the "historical truth".
That doesn't mean I always succeed. My lapses are betraying me sometimes.
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  #22  
Old 06-09-2008, 01:51 PM
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LonK LonK is offline
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Re: June 2008 Contest Discussion

You've made some good points, laura.lala.

I often find myself looking at paintings by the Dutch Masters for color inspiration. Vermeer in particular uses palettes that I find quite pleasing for colorization purposes.

Another great source for accurate colors are costuming (Hollywood) sites. For period clothing, they do extensive research and are usually reliable in terms of color and style.

I've also found historical clothing sites to be valuable resources.
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  #23  
Old 06-09-2008, 03:25 PM
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laura.lala laura.lala is offline
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Re: June 2008 Contest Discussion

Quote:
Originally Posted by LonK View Post
You've made some good points, laura.lala.

I often find myself looking at paintings by the Dutch Masters for color inspiration. Vermeer in particular uses palettes that I find quite pleasing for colorization purposes.

Another great source for accurate colors are costuming (Hollywood) sites. For period clothing, they do extensive research and are usually reliable in terms of color and style.

I've also found historical clothing sites to be valuable resources.
I'm thinking how easy is for us nowadays when we have the internet and the search engines. We are practically at a click distance from getting the information we need, no matter where we are.
In the past these studies were time consumers.

Those Hollywood sites you mentioned are a great idea to get inspiration.
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  #24  
Old 06-09-2008, 06:11 PM
Maggie42 Maggie42 is offline
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Re: June 2008 Contest Discussion

Hello all,
I also had problems with the link......... here's how I did it.

Make the browser window as large as the image... as big as you can get it.
Hit alt printscreen and it will copy.
Go to your image software and paste into new blank image. It will be the size you need.

Erase the browser and the image is left.

Worked for me. Good luck
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  #25  
Old 06-09-2008, 06:39 PM
dweekley dweekley is offline
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Re: June 2008 Contest Discussion

i want to thank you too Matthew. I am working on completing the picture and really appreciate the comments and encouragement. i honestly didn't realize it would be 'wrong' to leave some of it without color. i'm trying not to look much at other's pictures until i finish mine but from the quick peek i've taken it looks like there are some wonderful colorizations!
doreen
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  #26  
Old 06-09-2008, 10:56 PM
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Panpan Panpan is offline
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Re: June 2008 Contest Discussion

I went looking for the image on the Library of Congress site. This is what I found.

In 1902, the Ullman manufacturing co made thirteen large photographs showing a series of tableaux by a group of pretty girls dressed in ballet costumes or bathing dress, sentimentally posed in front of stylized backdrops, to represent the typical clichés of about 1900. The one we're working on is called "After the encore". Search for 3b21347 on the "Search by number" part of the LOC site
http://lcweb2.loc.gov/pp/mdbquery.html#Number if you want to find out more.

To show their appreciation of the prima ballerina's dancing, the fans threw flowers on the stage and presented her with a bouquet. The other dancer is bringing her an admirer's calling card. At least, that's my interpretation of "After the encore".

The other photos in the set make it clearer that the girls are wearing the traditional white tights. One of the other dancer's leg shows a seam. Indeed, even the girls in bathing costumes wear tights. This is 1902 in America after all!

I started with colored costumes, but decided white was likelier. I also feel the polar bear rug makes a better design element if the dresses are white.

I still cannot make sense of the backdrop. I finally decided on something vaguely sylvan. The other photos in the series don't help there; they do make it clearer that it's a painted backdrop.

I found I preferred the settee and chair without gilt. Their style don't match exactly, but using the same wood and cushion colors helps harmonize them. The settee cushions seem decorated with some kind of Egyptian motif instead of flowers. I didn't colorize the former to make them more similar.

Those are some of the reasons for the colors I chose. It was fun.
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  #27  
Old 06-10-2008, 04:28 AM
HelenC HelenC is offline
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Re: June 2008 Contest Discussion

Panpan, thank you for the info on the Library of Congress images. I just might play with another of those group images from this series.

I tried for a subtle effect by using a soft palette of colours to give the look and feel of a bygone era, long before the use of chemical dyes and synthetic colours and fabric.

While my skills are more in the photoart area I nevertheless found that colourizing the ballet image was an interesting challenge and extremely difficult and time consuming to do a good job. I could easily become addicted to colourizing.

I have admired the colourizing of Vikki Hansen who has a gallery of images on PBase. They are so well done. Does anyone else know of a colourizer of similar skill and sympathy for images from particular eras?

Good Luck guys.
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  #28  
Old 06-10-2008, 12:05 PM
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T Paul T Paul is offline
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Link Troubles?

Many browsers do not support the TIFF format so if you are having trouble downloading the image make sure you are right-clicking on the image link and selecting your save option instead of clicking on the image link. This will allow you to download the image and hopefully avoid any browser issues.

If you still have trouble, send me a PM.
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  #29  
Old 06-10-2008, 02:19 PM
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LonK LonK is offline
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Re: June 2008 Contest Discussion

It's always interesting to find out historical details about an old photo for hints about how to restore/enhance/colorize it.

You've certainly done your homework, Panpan.

Here are some additional factoids I found that may relate to the source photo:

- Mature polar bears (and the genuine rugs made from them) are not pure white. More often than not, they are more of a dirty tan.
- Turn of the century jacquard upholstery fabrics typically used earthy, monochromatic palettes.
- Unpainted wood used for most Victorian furniture was either mahogany or walnut, both quite dark, especially after aging.
- Early black & white films leaned toward orthochromatic, rather than panchromatic, sensitivity. Red (warm) tones, therefore, recorded much lighter than their actually luminosity.
- Roses thrown on stage (representative of a tip) were usually red, symbolizing a "job well done". Bouquets offered were often yellow, symbolizing joy, friendship and "promise of a new beginning".
- While white was common, pastel colors were not usunual in ballet costuming at the time. Even Degas used such colors (even multi-color) in his paintings of bourgeois ballet dancers.

The bottom line, of course, is that the colorist has many decisions to make. The key is to be convincing by reproducing realistic color as closely as possible as if the photo had been taken with an archival color media.
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  #30  
Old 06-11-2008, 07:58 AM
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laura.lala laura.lala is offline
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Re: June 2008 Contest Discussion

Thank you LonK for the interesting details. In my opinion the chair in the right is a French Baroque style (perhaps Luis XV or XVI). To give value to the furniture it was not unusual to paint it with gold and to use purple in coloring the fabrics, besides the earth colors or pastel you mentioned above. Until the synthetic pigments appeared, purple was considered the "color of the royalty".

Very nice colorings in this contest. LonK when will you load your version?
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