By Rebecca Drew
STRIKING Victorian portraits have been brought into the 21st century in vivid colour.
The series of stunning photographs show a young couple dressed in opulent clothing, teenage girls with their hair in ringlets and children all with a solemn look on their faces. Other breath-taking shots show a heavily bearded man and a young man casually leaning for his photo opportunity.
The images were expertly colourised by French bank technician Frédéric Duriez, using Gimp editing software. Frédéric has been doing colourisation for three years now.
“I was fascinated by these portraits without expression because all the looks are frozen in time,” said Frédéric.
“It was very difficult to colourise these images because they are without relief and contrast.
“I was attracted by the beauty of the clothes and especially the dresses of this period.”
Exposures were long in the early days of photography. The daguerreotype method took fifteen minutes, which is why Victorians were rarely pictured smiling. Victorian portraits were more focussed on capturing the essence of the individual as opposed to the capturing the moment in time.
“I get good reactions from people and I am surprised by this, many people tell me that they are impressed with the colours that I use because they highlight the characters,” added Frédéric.
“I have always had an interest in history and I started out by colourising war pictures.
“Now this is a passion that I like to continue.”