Hand colored photography

Today’s post covers the beautiful art of hand colored photography. Whether it’s a touch of rose on the cheeks or a lavishly full colored portrait, hand coloring sought to bring life’s sparkle to an, at that time, strictly black and white medium.

Hand coloring refers to any method of manually adding color to a black and white photograph, generally either to heighten the realism of the photograph or for artistic purposes.

Typically, watercolors, oils, crayons or pastels are applied to the image surface using brushes, fingers, cotton swabs or airbrushes. Hand colored photographs were most popular in the mid to late 19th century before the invention of color photography and some firms specialized in producing hand colored photographs.

Although hand coloring photographs is not at the level of popularity it once was, there are still some who keep it alive and well. Please watch this wonderful video featuring the Ansari Photo Studio, in Afghanistan, where hand colored photography is still a cherished medium.

Till next time…

Le Petit Phantom
February 2014

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