No announcement yet.

Colorizing a Black and White: a request from a Drag Racing Buddy

  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

  • Colorizing a Black and White: a request from a Drag Racing Buddy

    Thanks for the nice Birthday email, folks! It's nice to be born...sure beats the alternative! Here is a project I decided today is finished. I am a contributor to, and I have made a lot of friends over there from all over the world...we share a passion for drag racing and Draglist is the keeper of statistics and information on the subject with over 10,000 links that provide an online encyclopedia on the sport. Although schooled in art and music, I grew up in a culture of hot rods...drag race cars and people. To make a long story as short as possible, my buddy Doc in St. Louis had this picture of his uncle Curt Wasson match racing the King Cuda in Tulsa back in the late 60s, when Funny Cars were just beginning to come into their own as a legitimate class of drag race car. Curt unfortunately lost his life a few years later in a traffic accident while riding his motorcycle, and Doc has to this day held him up as his life's role model and hero. I have taken in Curt's vibe from the pictures Doc showed us of him, and he was an outstanding man. I can see why Doc loved the guy...he was a free spirit and risk-taker and a very kind and generous fellow to those he loved...So, Doc posted the picture and said "I wish I had this in color"....Ding, I downloaded it and began a lengthy and sometimes frustrating colorizing of the snapshot. I am not extremely pleased with the results for a number of reasons, mostly that it looks surreal instead of real. I used brushes and paint bucket at 10% opacity and liberally schlepped the background with the blur tool until it looked sorta like the cars were blasting off the line at around 60 mph, which they did...supercharged, nitro-burning fiberglass-bodied cars with tube chassis went extremely fast from a standing start, even back then. Anyway, that, and Curt's choice of lettering on a solid bright-yellow car...I downloaded some gold leaf from a Google image search, outlined the letters over the gold leaf, copied from the gold layer and pasted back in, then went into layer styles and did the bevel-emboss, inner glow, outline etc and made the layers 75% was tedious...and this is what I came up with. Doc is happy, that's all I care about for him, but I'm ready to take my lumps in here for what I did...I was referred to this site a while back by the administrator of Draglist, who told me there were a lot of people like myself here...well, once I joined and saw what you guys can do, I thought, I hope they don't laugh me out of the place! As it turns out, you're great folks. Here are the before and after links. The thumbnail thing wouldn't work that well on this deal. Check 'em out at Glowfoto if you'd like to see this. Thanks, everybody have a great weekend! John
    Doc's pic:
    My color version:
    Last edited by pctalent; 09-23-2006, 06:49 PM.

  • #2
    Re: Drag Racing Buddy Project

    Very good job!


    • #3
      Re: Drag Racing Buddy Project

      Thanks, Swampy. I got in there this morning and remembered to do Auto Levels, Auto Color and Auto Contrast, and I think it might have made a difference. I put a couple of white swabs on Curt's fenders and roof; I also applied a little gradient to the sky, which I can take out if I don't like it tomorrow...I don't know if this happens to you folks, but when I work on something for a long time, I am so close to it, I end up going inside of it and I don't see it from out here anymore...I'm in there mingling around in the crowd, walking over to the time-slip booth, etc, and I am no longer objective with it. Anyway, here's this morning's version...John


      • #4
        Re: Drag Racing Buddy Project

        Hey, John...

        Welcome to RetouchPRO. Nice job on the colorization. Brings back pleasant memories of when I was a lad "wishing" I had a hot car like these.

        FYI: I retitled and moved your thread from "photo art" forum to "photo retouching," where it will attract more eyeballs.



        • #5
          Re: Colorizing a Black and White: a request from a Drag Racing Buddy

          Thanks, Danny...good call! JB


          Related Topics


          • Trimoon
            Story Time
            by Trimoon
            In the past, I have mentioned how my monopod has been useful in more ways than normal. The incident with the alligator comes to mind.

            Today I was out at Rodman Dam photographing the flora and fauna and anything else that would sit still long enough. I got this beautiful, beautiful...
            11-11-2002, 05:22 PM
          • pctalent
            Another Drag Racing Project
            by pctalent
            Hello, all: I have a friend who races an '84 Camaro in the NHRA up in Washington State. It was suggested that I do a concept picture on his car. I took the original photo and using Photoshop in layers, I first chopped the roof down 4 1/2", then I narrowed the whole car by around 7". I...
            11-12-2006, 05:09 PM
          • 1STLITE
            Just thought I would share...
            by 1STLITE
            Took some pics Santurday night, well, early Sunday morning. THought I would share with you all. Think they are any good? You know, as insurance claim pictures go. Yep, my car got stolen. From right under our living room window and we never heard a THING (we live upstairs). Luckily we happened...
            08-23-2005, 01:07 PM
          • jeaniesa
            Hey Arura! (about travel in Viet Nam)
            by jeaniesa
            Hi Arura,

            I thought I'd move the discussion of VN travel over here so that we don't clutter up the Critiques thread with off-topic discussion. Anything goes over here in Salon though!

            Wow - 5 weeks to see VN! That sounds about right. I brought my mother with me in...
            06-14-2002, 12:28 PM
          • jeaniesa
            Artwork from Viet Nam
            by jeaniesa
            I haven't yet had a chance to scan my slides from my latest trip to share with you. However, I've always been amazed by the talent of the artists in VN. The mediums range from lacquer paintings to embroidered paintings to water color, oil, charcoal, pen and ink, not to mention weavings by the various...
            03-28-2002, 12:17 PM