Colorization Of Black And White Photos Of Historical Icons

Black and white or color? Some photos look better in one or the other. In the past, it wasn't much of a choice. With modern tools, we can re-envision what some of the photos would have looked like in color. We posted this series in the past that started quite a discussion. We found some more amazing black and white photos of icons of the past that were colorized.

If you're unaware of the process, you can check out a 'how to' here. Do you feel that these photos look better in black and white or do they give an added value in color?

These were all done by the talented artist, Mads Madsen. He goes by Zuzah and you can see his own post and process here.

Be sure to also visit his site for more:



Albert Einstein


Albert Einstein


Audrey Hepburn


Charles Darwin


Charlie Chaplin


Edgar Allen Poe

Frederick Douglas


George Henry Thomas


Ulysses S. Grant

Winston Churchill, 1941 by Yousuf Karsh

Winston Churchill


[Via MyModernMet via Mads Madsen]

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Joseph Teeter's picture

Wow, that first one of Albert Einstein is amazing in color. The lighting is impeccable, it looks like a modern day shot with a H4D or something.

Ludo_vic's picture

I like the Darwin one very much
Impressive !

Christopher Hoffmann's picture

Wow! Probably the best "colorization" I've seen. I'd say much better than the last bunch!

Ralph Hightower's picture

Is Ted Turner back at it again? Has he colored Dorothea Lange's "Migrant Mother" yet?

PS: Last year, I made a decision to photograph the year exclusively using B&W film. This was a year of growth for me to visualize in B&W and to experiment with different B&W contrast filters.

Have I had regrets about shooting exclusively in B&W? Sure! I've seen beautiful pastel sunrises driving into work and thought "Darn! I'm shooting B&W." But next year, I will resume using color film, but I will also still use B&W film in 2013.

This is some awesome wizardry!

Jb Themummy's picture


Jason Vinson's picture

the churchill one is my favorite!! 

John Rogers's picture

These are incredible! I don't know if I've ever seen a portrait of Edgar Allan Poe before, but if they make a movie about him he needs to be played by either Bill Murray or Bob Newhart...

Lauren Burch's picture

There was actually a movie called "The Raven" and he was played by John Cusak.

Niklas Johansson's picture

Nicely, but there's a Swedish girl who is at least as good Sanna Dullsway

Anne Perry's picture

Hi Mads,
We really enjoy your work. We currently finishing a feature documentary set in 1912 and use a considerable number of black and white images from the period. Would you be interested in colorizing an image of our subject, Abdu'l-Baha, for the film? Please check out our Trailer at (You can leave a message through our site.)
Thanks, Anne & Tim Perry


Hey look what I found !
Colorizing black and images in just 1 click using colorsurprise pixbim AI tool