Color Highlights on Vintage Photographs

If you’ve spent much time sifting through collections of vintage photographs, no doubt you’ve seen samples of the hand-crafted art of photo colorization. For many decades, various techniques were used to colorize parts of all of a photographic image. When done well, the process created a rich, high-end look that stands the test of time. It is possible to digitally apply these effects to images today, but there’s something about these old photos that make them heirlooms.

As you will see in the gallery below, samples from our photo archive vary in sophistication. Some look almost like watercolor paintings, others like pastels and some appear to be airbrushed.

©2016 The Hanneman Archive

3 thoughts on “Color Highlights on Vintage Photographs”

  1. HI, I have several photos like you speak of and what it was is this: We purchased a photo painting kit with all you needed to color photos because at that time there were only black and white. I and my cousins, Pearl and LaVon each had one. In fact, I still had mine up to about 2 years ago when I finally was able to rid myself of it. We took up painting the black and white photos. In fact, I worked for a studio in Eagle River and painted several wedding pictures and graduation pictures back in the 50’s. I painted my wedding photo and my graduation photo and several others and so did my cousins and many other people as there were no colored prints from cameras or studios back then. It was the in thing and fun. You had to have a little talent but if you messed up , you could get it off if you did it right away and try again. A friend took some colored shots of my wedding and that was in 1955 so the start of colored photos was just starting then Your Ruby probably did he same or some of he kids or other family members. I enjoy your many articles and finds. Keep up the good work. Now if you could only find the Ladicks or however it was spelled overseas, I would be elated. I am always trying. Love Shirley

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