Colorized Photos from WWI on Display

The process of creating colorized photos has been somewhat refined over the years, due to increasingly better technology. Not only are they becoming much easier to create, but the end result is staggeringly better than it once was. One such series of images from the First World War is now set for public display in honor of the centenary, with the colorized photos in question depicting British soldiers in their prime.

Almost all of these particular images were captured in the summer of the war’s first year, and as such do not depict any of the more harrowing events that soldiers might have experienced while on the battlefield. Instead, these show young men who are still in training for the conflict which lies ahead. Some of the other colorized photos depict more promising events, such as the young men being honored even before they march off to risk their lives in one of history’s bloodiest conflicts. This lends a tragic air to some of the images, given that it can statistically be assumed that many of the pictured men never saw their homes again.

Not all of the images, however, are of proper soldiers. Despite some of the anti-war sentiment present at the time, there were others who were incredibly proud of their men at arms. Some of the colorized photos are images that were taken as a show of patriotic support for these men. For instance, one image in particular depicts a young boy, dressed up in a child-fitting approximation of a soldier’s uniform. Though meant to be patriotic and perhaps a bit humorous, there is something now solemn about the image given the young age at which many soldiers died.

At least one or two images also come from after the war ended. For instance, one shows tribute ceremonies occurring on the anniversary of Armistice Day. It makes sense for such an image to be included among the colorized photos, as such images depict a very important part of war culture. Even after the war was over, leaving millions in its wake, many celebrated the sacrifice of their young men in defense of their nation and their allies, the Mail Online reports.

The colorized photos are creating by digitally adding color to the original images, one pixel at a time. The series in question, which includes a number of such images that have been painstakingly rendered in new form, is to appear at a public exhibit that is being put on by a project called Herts at War. Premiering in early August, the colorized photos will be available for public viewing for a currently undisclosed period of time.

Ian Harvey

Ian Harvey is one of the authors writing for WAR HISTORY ONLINE