By Ben Wheeler
Media Drum World is proud to present the first book, Retrographic produced by the agency’s founder and director Michael D. Carroll.
From the dawn of the photographic period of the early 1800’s to the political turmoil of the 1970’s, through the careful selection of striking images and dedicated colourization research, Retrographic takes the reader on a visual tour of the distant past.
Eclectic but informative highlights include the iconic kiss at Times Square between a sailor and nurse celebrating the end of WW2, legendary boxing champion Mohammed Ali meeting Britain’s most famous pop-group The Beatles, a glimpse behind the chaos of The Somme during WW1, the Nazis plotting war with America, and the rise of global popular culture.
Many of these moments are already burned into our collective memory through the power of photography as shared by people across the 190-year long Age of the Image. And now, these visual time capsules are collected together for the first time and presented in living colour.
Michael Carroll explains why hours of research to go into preparing an image to be colourised and the different approaches various colourisers take.
“Retrographic is the ultimate celebration of human civilization’s most impactful medium,” he said.
“We can justify the colourisation by recognising that we share the photographic moment more authentically with the photographer, and the subject, when we view it in colour.
“To contemporary eyes, the original versions of historical images, no matter how iconic, can be more distant, and therefore less accessible.”
With a forward by Royal Photographic Society Ambassador Jeff Vickers, MBE, Hons RPS, Fenton Medal, Retrographic is littered with informative gems and a powerful narrative that bounces themes of conflict, exploration, progress, regression, culture and hope across the Age of the Image.
120 images including the following topics:
19th Century: the Victorians, exploration, colonialism, indigenous people, science, warfare 20th century: lifestyle, WW1, Great Depression, WW2, Hollywood, US, Russian, German, French and British history, the Cold War, 50’s and 60’s icons and the social revolution.
“Many people express a preference towards black and white for aesthetic reasons, and indeed people, objects, and scenes look excellent when viewed through black and white photography,” said Mr Carroll.
“However, as one of our contributors, Matt Loughrey argues, authentic colour imagery brings us closer to the, “truth”, as far as any historical record can be said to recreate the past.
“Aesthetics is not entirely irrelevant to history, but it is certainly subservient to accuracy, in terms of what the witnesses to history would have seen when the image was taken.”
The book is currently available to buy on Amazon for £13.31.