Retouching image editing photograph vintage old 1970s couple

In Need of a Splash of Colour

Our family archives of precious objects and old photographs are a treasure trove of memories from yesteryear. Today I would like to share another photo from our family albums with you so I can show you what I can do here at ReClick Photo to bring it to life. let’s take a look.

Retouching image editing photograph vintage old 1970s couple
The Photograph of My Gran and Grandpa before Recolouring.

Out of all the images we have, this is one of my favourites of my Gran and Grandpa. It really captures the spirit of them both, especially my grandpa. He is, and always has been a bit of a character. When looking at old photos of himself he usually points at himself and says “who’s that handsome chap, he looks a lot like Robert Mitchum.” In truth, I think he bears a strong resemblance to the British comic actor Terry Scott! This image was taken in the 1970’s at one of my Grandpas works parties held by Andrew Barclay Sons & Co, the locomotive builder and engineering workshop in Kilmarnock, Ayrshire.

Many times I find myself taking a picture and turning it into black and white because I feel that the image is best suited without any colour. Today, colour photography is the norm, so when it comes to recolouring images it is only usually older photographs that need to be done. In my opinion, not all images are suitable for effective recolouring. Please don’t misunderstand me, you can recolour any image you please, but for it to be truly effective some black and white images are better candidates than others. I have seen many attempts of recolouring, sadly not all favourable. It can be a lengthy process, but when completed successfully it can be well worth the time and effort put into it. When looking again at this image I felt that the expressions on both of their faces are really quite colourful, even in black in white! This image is, in my eyes, is a prime candidate for recolouring. Would you like to see the finished result before I explained how I achieved it?

Retouching image editing photograph vintage old 1970s couple
The Photograph of My Gran and Grandpa after Recolouring.

What do you think? Personally I think it really highlights the sense of fun that you can see on my Gran and Grandpas faces. So what steps did I have to take to achieve this result?

  1. When working with any image editing software, work like this is always carried out on a series of layers. The most important one in this project is the colour adjustment layer.
  2. To begin I cleaned up the original image by removing the dust, scratches, marks etc.
  3. I then selected an other image to use as a colour reference so I could recolour the skin tones effectively. Recolouring the skin is the most important aspect of recolouring an image with people in it , because if peoples skin doesn’t look right then no matter how hard you work at the image the rest of it will not look right.
  4. After retouching the skin, I move on to the hair, again drawing reference from the colour reference image.
  5. My attention then went to the clothing. In some case recolouring clothing can be quite simple, but as you can see in this case it was a laborious task. When clothes have a pattern each part of that pattern needs to be recoloured separately. As you can imagine to recolour this highly patterned skirt took time. Needless to say I did have to stop for a break and a cup of tea halfway through as I could feel my eyes going a little fuzzy! but I hope you agree, it was definitely worth the effort.
  6. Now the hardest part was over, the only thing left to do was the background. Sadly I didn’t know what the colour of the flooring or the wall was, so I decided to use colours that would complement the other elements of the image.
  7. To finish the image I applied a few adjustment such as brightness/contrast, vibrance, levels etc.

I hope you have enjoyed reading about this recolouring project. If you have any treasured photographs that you would like to recoloured just like the image featured in this post please email me with your image to info@reclickphoto.co.uk for a free no obligation quote. recolouring old images can be a great gift idea for family and friends, so why not treat someone you know! Here at ReClick Photo I want to give you the image that your treasured memories truly deserve. For more information about ReClick Photo and the work that I do please visit the website at http://www.reclickphoto.co.uk.

Hugh at ReClick Photo.

P.S. If You haven’t entered our Halloween Prize give-away yet, please click here for information on how to enter!

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