THE ESTATIC faces of people celebrating VJ Day have been brought back to life after being expertly colourised to commemorate the 73rd anniversary of the victory.
Vivid colour images show a delighted woman using paper as a makeshift megaphone to announce the victory to people on the street, two women holding a newspaper from the day war started and the announcement of peace and sailors and DC residents dancing the conga in Washington.
Other stunning shots show US soldier holding Japanese flags in celebration, raising the American flag in Okinawa and the iconic photo of a sailor kissing a woman in Times Square, New York.
Additional images from WW2 itself have been shown, including the 1941 Pearle Harbor attack by Japan on the US Fleet, and the Nagasaki nuclear bomb by the US against Japan in 1945, which led to the surrender by Japan and effectively brought WW2 to a close.
The original black and white photographs were painstakingly colourised by electrician Royston Leonard (53) from Cardiff, Wales.
“As time goes by I find I am doing more World War Two pictures and giving them a bit of colour helps the younger generation to connect and not just see them as something that happened long ago,” he said.
“The pictures show that community is all that matters, not buildings or material things.
“Their message is that the more people try to destroy us, the more we will smile and carry on.”
Victory over Japan Day is the day when Imperial Japan surrendered in World War Two, bringing the war to an end.
The term applies to the day on which the initial announcement of Japan’s surrender was made, August 15th 1945, and when the signing of the surrender document occurred on September 2nd 1945, officially ending World War Two.
VJ Day is commemorated on August 15th in the UK, while the US remember it on September 2nd.
Royston says that his passion for colourisation has helped him improve his photography skills.
“I have learnt so much from colourising, I feel it has helped my photography along the way,” he said.
“The message is already there for all to see in the pictures themselves but I do feel that colourisation helps the younger generation to understand that what happened was real.
“I love giving more life to the pictures and I think that colour improves the story that the photographs tell.”