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For Remembrance Day - Colourized Photos First World War

Discussion in 'WWII' started by MisterCairo, Nov 10, 2017.

  1. I know this is the thread for the second of the "great" wars, but here is another set of black and white photos of the Canadian Army, etc., that have been colourized. I am not a fan of this process for films, but I do find that doing this for photos tends to make the images look recent, thus making them more relatable to current generations.

    They have those sliders to see the original and edited versions.



    3fingers and Cooper A-2 like this.
  2. This is even more awe inspiring - colourized film from the preparations for the Battle of Vimy Ridge, 1917. This was done by the National Film Board of Canada.

    Colour images and slowed down speed (to avoid that Keystone Cops silent film effect) makes this incredible to watch.


    3fingers and DNO like this.
  3. BlueTrain

    BlueTrain Call Me a Cab

    There are original color photos taken during the war, although they are the exceptions.
  4. I've seen a number of these of kilted Highland soldiers and they have some of the colours wrong.

    Having seen, handled, and owned a large number of original military kilts, sporrans, bonnets, and hosetops I have a clear sense of the precise colour of things. Whoever colourised the photos was evidently not as familiar with those items.

    For example, the kilt colours in the photo above are too light and too bright. Here's a postcard from c1960 well showing the actual colour of the kilts of the Argyll & Sutherland Highlanders, the tartan seen in the photo at top.


    Here's a vintage military kilt of the same tartan as the photo at top showing just how dark the kilts of The Black Watch are.


    Other photos show soldiers of the Argyll & Sutherland Highlanders and their sporrans had been colourised as dark brown. I've seen dozens of original A&SH sporrans, and I have one here now, and they're dead black with no tinge of brown.
    Last edited: Dec 1, 2017
  5. BlueTrain

    BlueTrain Call Me a Cab

    I believe the tartan for the A&SH is--or was--different from the Black Watch tartan. While it's very likely the colorization of the tartans in the first photo (of the men in the railroad car) is wrong and too light, it's also possible that the colors may have faded. Notice also how all the colors (colours!) in the first photo are both brighter and more vivid than the one of the men in the trench. The khaki jackets are also darker. I don't know how those photos are colorized but the one of the men in the trench (the one with the sign "Old Hun line") looks very natural and just about right.

    Actual original color photos, although you probably won't see any from WWI, should be seen as suspect from a color standpoint because of the tendency of some types of film to fade, even in the dark.

    Today, the Royal Regiment of Scotland presently uses the lighter Sutherland tartan, as was used by the A&SH and it is a lighter fabric, too, I believe.
  6. In addition to being astounded that colour coordination is your primary concern with these wonderful photos, you may have not noticed that the first set of photos are of CANADIAN soldiers, not British.

    There are many Canadian highland regiments, each with its own tartan sett.

    And the Argyle and Sutherland Highlanders OF CANADA were initially raised as the 91st Highlanders, part of the Canadian Expeditionary Force in the Great War. And I am not aware that the photo at the top is of the 91st. Which in any case is not the British Army's Argyles.

    But hey, perhaps you're right. It's all about the colour.

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