Artist Colorizes 50 Old Photos, And It Might Change The Way You Perceive History

Keeping memories alive can be done in many ways, but photographs are probably one of the most common ones. Photos capture a moment in history, memory and serve as a reminder of how it used to be. However, really old photographs are in black and white, so it’s often hard to relate to them and see yourself in that time.

That’s where digital artist Sébastien de Oliveira comes in. Sébastien uses Photoshop to color old photographs and give them more life. The people in the photos look much more realistic and the pictures become so much more inviting.

More: Instagram h/t: boredpanda

“Sébastien de Oliveira, French, father Portuguese and mother French, I live in Paris, married, two daughters. For my background, I studied in a school of fine art in Orléans, with my specialization in illustration and photography, then I moved to Milan where I lived for 7 years and worked as an illustrator for architects and as an assistant for a fashion illustrator. I moved to Paris 17 years ago to become a retoucher for the fashion industry,” he told Bored Panda.

“I began 5 years ago to colorize some images and it became unstoppable. My three passions can combine themselves in colorization: painting, photography, and history. I spend lots of time finding images that tell a story. After spending some time on WW1 and WW2 images, now I am more interested in simple street views or peaceful ‘tranche de vie’ (pieces of everyday life) or colorizing portraits of actors from the golden age of Hollywood. I like to get into all the details that can be found in a photo and try to give my own interpretation.”

“I collect old color photos as references to inspire me and to avoid anachronisms, but my colorizations are more a dreamed version of the reality than a will to give the perfection of what would have been seen by a modern camera. My references are more the saturated colors of the cinema from the ’50s, or the Autochromes of the Lumière brothers, where the color is more impressionist than realistic. I recently worked for the Vuitton book Extraordinary Voyages, where 20 colorizations were published. I mounted an exhibition in Dunkirk with 40 colorizations of photos of a woman photographer from the town during the German Occupation in WW2. I began to share my work only 3 months ago on Instagram and already have encountered really good feedback.”

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