Ryan Urban, a young EMT and nursing student from Colorado, has been crafting incredible colorizations of historical black and white photographs. With the addition of color, the images are suddenly full of life, giving the viewer a glimpse at what the scenes depicted in these photographs would have looked like at the time.
Colorization is not a new presence in the world of photography; early colorizations required painstaking work as photographers literally painted their photographs, usually with obvious and over-saturated results. However, advances in digital technology have enabled talented colorists like Urban to create incredibly realistic color representations.
Urban’s graphic design background and experience with photo restoration has helped him ensure that his work is as accurate as possible. Urban says he does as much research as possible ahead of time, relying on pictures of surviving items from the time period of the photographs to match the colors of military uniforms or other clothing. Using Google Street View, Urban says he will often “take a virtual drive around town to see which (if any) buildings are still around.” Although he does as much research as possible, Urban admits that “a lot of educated guess work comes in to play”; guess work that Urban says at times “will test my sanity to its limits.”