Coloring B&W photos

Discussion in 'B&W: Film, Paper, Chemistry' started by jp498, Oct 18, 2013.

  1. jp498

    jp498 Member

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    It's not high class art, but it's fun. These are scrap / reject contact prints the younger ones are enjoying. One can actually mix quite a few colors into a big drop of water to get things pretty close with $0.99 paints.

    Matte RC paper was used here. The water dries and the paint sticks to the gelatin.

    1385690_10201628651545450_1940599156_n.jpg
     
  2. Richard S. (rich815)

    Richard S. (rich815) Subscriber

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    Blasphemy!! ;-)
     
  3. Light Guru

    Light Guru Member

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  4. Jeff Kubach

    Jeff Kubach Member

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    I have done this years ago and it is fun.

    Jeff
     
  5. momus

    momus Member

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    Actually, you can get beautifully unique results doing this. Don't let the stick in the muds discourage you. Creativity is boundless, and the more you go your own way, the better off your results. There are no rules, that's the only rule :} When I hear these tisk tisks, I always picture some miserable old grouch of a teacher (who should have been retired ages ago) hunched over their students papers, furiously lining through their hard work w/ a red pencil and muttering "no, this is NOT RIGHT". Bull.

    You can get nice, soft results using oil paints and a very soft brush, then blend w/ q-tips. Be careful not to abuse the emulsion. Use minimal to no solvent, as it will do just that....dissolve and discolor the photo over time. This is the sort of thing where less is more, so use a limited palette and soft colors.
     
  6. markbarendt

    markbarendt Subscriber

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    I've played with this and it is quite fun. The results can be really nice too.
     
  7. hdeyong

    hdeyong Subscriber

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    I really enjoy hand colouring, and some of the effects have garnered serious compliments. Lighten up, folks.
     
  8. pentaxuser

    pentaxuser Subscriber

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    I had assumed the "two critics" were joking by the trick of overstating their shock. One has a smilie attached but I don't know which one it is.

    I presume that the OP's method was designed for the younger members. If that is a picture of a younger member's hand and the prints that are coloured are the result then I'd say well done.

    I presume that the paint is mixed to one colour which is selectively applied otherwise it becomes a toning exercise for the whole print. Actually the latter is no bad way to get kids started at quite a young age.

    pentaxuser
     
  9. jeffreyg

    jeffreyg Subscriber

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  10. jp498

    jp498 Member

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    I did note the smiley face, and do understand there has been discord between photography and painting since the early days of photography. I'm apt to get non-smiley blasphemy for using RC paper.

    I've known of some other artists who have done this VERY well. It's been done well in some pre-color-photography times. I've done it myself with proper photo coloring materials.

    Pictured is a kids activity. It's a good way to show kids how to make the colors and tints they want with a limited choice of paint, a brush and a cup of water. Helping them, I can mix on the photo some water, yellow, and orange to make a pseudo-skin tone, or some different solid colors together for a brownish hair. It's liberating to focus on colors and tints without having to think about how to draw/paint objects, etc...
     
  11. Light Guru

    Light Guru Member

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    Bingo.

    I threw out the method in hurt link because it is a convoluted method to get color from B&W photos. Although iit is interesting and may be fun to try.
     
  12. pentaxuser

    pentaxuser Subscriber

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    jp498. Actually this grown-up and quite old kid is interested and one day his grand-kids might want a go. Given that kids might need be inclined to go beyond the area to be coloured by mistake, I presume that it is then just a matter of swabbing the colour off the print with a paper towel or cotton bud before it dries?

    How quickly does the coloured area dry? They might want to take it home to Mum and Dad but its a question of how long the print has to sit until it is dry

    Thanks

    pentaxuser
     
  13. jp498

    jp498 Member

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    you get plenty of time for it to dry. Probably England or Maine or Seattle you get hours unless a hair dryer is used. Probably dries within an hour in Arizona. Plenty of time to clean up mistakes or change your mind.
     
  14. Simon R Galley

    Simon R Galley Subscriber

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    Hand coloured Black & White prints go back to the start of photography, and were extremely popular for portraits.

    I have many personal hand coloured photographs of my relations and they are all in excellent condition including 2 on emulsion coated porcelain from the 1890's.

    When I worked for a photographic company in the late 70's we had one lady who could still do this with air brushes and she was truly an 'artist'.

    Simon ILFORD Photo / HARMAN technology Limited :

    Simon ILFORD Photo / HARMAN technology Limited
     
  15. eddie

    eddie Subscriber

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    I've been hand coloring for decades. It gives you an option for more creativity, allows emphasis on certain portions of an image, and makes each photo unique. It's also something that you can do in short blocks of time, so you can do something photographic when you don't have time to get in the darkroom. Most importantly, it's a lot of fun...
    I have a bunch of examples in the Gallery.
     
  16. Ian Grant

    Ian Grant Subscriber

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    It's worth looking at the quite different European approach to hand colouring which is/was more typically carried out using toners and retouching dyes in recent years. Probably the best exponent of this technique was the late Bob Carlos Clarke, he evolved his techniques while at the Royal College of Art, early publications were The Illustrated delta of Venus and Obsessions, but his best work was in the book "Dark Summer".

    Ian
     
  17. dwross

    dwross Member

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    Handcoloring with dyes is a very flexible toolbox. Unfortunately, there isn't much how-to information available for the technique. In a past life, I had to teach myself most of the techniques. I was lucky to have worked for a year as a photo retoucher for a major studio in Dallas, TX. As mentioned earlier, some of the retouchers (almost all women) were artists beyond belief with a working lifetime of experience. I just got as far as dust spots and acne removal :smile:. Anyway, many years ago, I worked up a bit of info for my personal website. I hope that it might be helpful for someone here thinking about taking up handcoloring. http://dwrphotos.com/Support/About.Art.htm
     
  18. Ian Grant

    Ian Grant Subscriber

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    This was my take on hand colouring, I gave some lecturers on the subject and general retouching a few years ago.

    Like Denise I had to teach myself but we used to do a lot of photo-montage and retouching for work so it was something I did on an almost daily basis for over a decade.

    Ian
     
  19. TheToadMen

    TheToadMen Subscriber

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    Hi Simon,
    I'm curious what these look like. Any chance you good post an image of these?
    Thanks,
    Bert
     
  20. Truzi

    Truzi Subscriber

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    My grandfather was into photography, and had developed and printed before my parents were born. We have some old hand-colored prints he did. I don't have that artistic skill, but my best friend does. I've asked if she'd be interesting in trying it, so that may be in the future. First I have to show her what little I remember about B&W printing.
     
  21. Rick A

    Rick A Subscriber

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    My grand fathers next door neighbor was a wedding photographer, shot everything with a crown graphic in B&W. His wife did all the coloring of the prints for wedding albums. Needless to say, they were exquisit and had a delicate appearance.