By Mark McConville
A SERIES of stunning colourised pictures has shone a light on the brutal weapons used in warfare.
Vivid colour images show a 6th Airborne Division sniper on patrol in the Ardennes, a soldier using a flame thrower in Korea and the 2nd Hungarian Army with a 29M Bofors 80mm AA gun in firing position in Stary Oskol, Russia.
Other striking shots show a German soldier with “Geballte Ladung” (a concentrated charge), an explosive device concealed in the head of a cabbage in Okinawa and Ordnancemen moving 16″ shell from its storage stall to ammunition hoist on board the USS New Jersey.
The original black and white photographs were colourised by design engineer Paul Reynolds (48), from Birmingham, UK.
“I mostly colourise war photos because each photo usually has a story to tell, stories of real everyday people,” he said.
“I think colourising detailed photos really brings them to life. You notice detail that usually gets missed due to the monotone background.
“The content of the photo conveys its own message; however I am glad that by colourising these photos more people are aware of the happenings of WWII.”
Paul explained how he added colour to the old photographs and the problems he ran into along the way.
“I use a digital pen and pad and basically layer on the colour as you would with a painting,” he said.
“I’ve painted from an early age so this transition to digital was quite easy for me. 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.”
Striking images like these are featured in British author Michael D. Carroll’s new book, Retrographic on the colourisation of historical images. It is available on Amazon now for £16.85.
For more information visit: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Retrographic-Historys-Exciting-Images-Transformed/dp/1908211504