By Mark McConville
THRILLING pictures of Special Forces soldiers in action during World War Two have been brought back to life after being painstakingly colourised.
The incredible images show Britain’s Special Air Service (SAS) patrolling in their jeeps in Germany and the desert in Tunisia.
Other striking shots show a Special Boat Squadron soldier sharpening a knife during the Aegean Campaign in 1943, French SAS members posing for the camera and Army Rangers taking part in target practice.
The black and white images were expertly colourised by design engineer Paul Reynolds (48) from Birmingham, UK, to bring them into the 21st Century.
“I think colourising detailed photos really brings them to life, you notice detail that usually gets missed due to the monotone background,” he said.
“I don’t really have a message to convey, the content of the photo does that, however I am glad that by colourising these photos more people are aware of the happenings of WWI and WWII.
“I always get a positive reaction to all photos I post, people are amazed at what can be achieved with even the most damaged of photos. I love showing off my photos and it’s a real boost to get that positive reaction from people.”
Mr Reynolds uses a digital pen and pad to layer on the colour as you would with a painting but can often run into some problems with the old photographs.
“I’ve painted from an early age so this transition to digital was quite easy for me,” he explained.
“The only problems I come across are the condition of the photos especially private commissions, most are torn, folded, creased, water damaged, dust spots and discoloured which then has to be digitally repaired with a brush.
“This process usually takes longer than the paint, but the finished photo is 100% sharper and more pleasing on the eye.”