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20 Interesting Vintage Photos Colorized By Sébastien De Oliveira

Published 2 months ago

Even though photography has been around since as early as the first half of the 19th century, for the bigger part of its history pictures were mostly captured in black and white. And while the monochrome photographs still give us a unique glimpse at the way things looked back in the day, you can’t help but wonder how they really looked like, colors and all. Well, your prayers might have just been answered.

For the past five years, Paris-based digital artist Sébastien de Oliveira has been giving old photos new life by colorizing them, and his works are simply stunning. In a recent interview with Bored Panda, the artist says that colorization allows him to combine three of his biggest passions: 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,” says Sébastien. “I like to get into all the details that can be found in a photo and try to give my own interpretation.”

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#1 Circus Girls In Sarasota, Florida, By Nina Leen In 1949

Image source: sebcolorisation

#2 Happy Anonymous Couple, 1948

Image source: sebcolorisation

“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,” revealed the artist and added that his references are the saturated colors of 1950’s cinema and the Autochromes of the Lumière brothers.

#3 Jacqueline Cochran, (1906-1980), 1939

Image source: sebcolorisation

#4 Blue Island, Illinois. The Senise Family Going To The Movie, By Jack Delano, Feb 1943

Image source: sebcolorisation

Sébastien says that the colorizations initially started out as a hobby but have become a big part of his activity today as he works as a retoucher in the fashion industry. “I have a background in Fine Arts studies so I paint and I take photos. My other passion was history, so I found a way to combine my three passions in one,” says the artist.

#5 Parisian Girls Enjoying The Fun Fair, Paris, 1935

Image source: sebcolorisation

#6 Audrey Hepburn (1929-1993) In 1956

Image source: sebcolorisation

The artist says that his favorite period to work with is the ’40s and ’50s as its very cinematographic. “My favorite time period is the American ’40s and I don’t know why, but I like that era for the lack of plastic, the beauty of the cars and clothes, and the link it makes with the cinema of this period,” says Sébastien. “My least favorite would be the beginning of the century 1900, you never know how to color the people’s clothes!”

Check out more of Sébastien’s amazing colorizations below!

#7 Chicago, 1941

Image source: sebcolorisation

#8 War Time Beach On An English Coast, 1941

Image source: sebcolorisation

#9 Cars And Girls, 1942

Image source: sebcolorisation

#10 Althea Gibson Winner Of The Wimbledon Championship With Her Compatriot Darlene Hard, 1957

Image source: sebcolorisation

#11 Saturday Afternoon In Florence, Alabama, June 1942. By Arthur Rothstein

Image source: sebcolorisation

#12 New York In 1942, By Marjory Collins

Image source: sebcolorisation

#13 Rainy Day In Pittsburgh, By John Vachon, June 1941

Image source: sebcolorisation

#14 Family Of Cherry Pickers By John Vachon, 1940

Image source: sebcolorisation

#15 Bar At Central Park In New York By Marjory Collins, 1942

Image source: sebcolorisation

#16 Marilyn Monroe Resting On The Set Of The Misfits, By Eve Arnold, 1960

Image source: sebcolorisation

#17 Along The California Highway Us99, 1937. By Dorothea Lange

Image source: sebcolorisation

#18 Anonymous, France, 1967

Image source: sebcolorisation

#19 Young Actresses Having A Sun Bath For A Film Promotion During The Cannes Film Festival, 1955

Image source: sebcolorisation

#20 O’reilly Bar, New York, By Marjory Collins. 1942

Image source: sebcolorisation

Aušrys Uptas

One day, this guy just kind of figured - "I spend most of my time on the internet anyway, why not turn it into a profession?" - and he did! Now he not only gets to browse the latest cat videos and fresh memes every day but also shares them with people all over the world, making sure they stay up to date with everything that's trending on the web. Some things that always pique his interest are old technologies, literature and all sorts of odd vintage goodness. So if you find something that's too bizarre not to share, make sure to hit him up!

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colorization, colorized photos, old photos, Sébastien de Oliveira, vintage photos
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