Color is an important element of the overall composition of a photo. We all know color can evoke emotions.
A recent update of Photoshop has some interesting new filters. ‘Neural filters’ for instance, artificial intelligence (AI) (beta) technology made available to us, photographers. One of them is filter ‘colorize’, it allows you to turn a monochrome image into a color version with just a single click.... of course, I tested it and was impressed... why? Look at this example - the image is a rephotographed image from our family album, original photo early 1950’s and monochrome. Honestly, just a one-click job… and it makes people so much more alive… amazing.
family album colorization
It also made me smile, because it means ‘colorizing’ makes a comeback... obviously, color is a photographic feature that connects to our emotions… adding color to the old captures evokes an intense experience and enhances our memory. People come to live…
Do you know the expression that ‘history repeats itself’? Well, that thought came up after testing this filter. During the 19th century photography had no choice, all images were monochrome. Fortunately, many photographers were also trained painters, so some of them took up colorizing their photographs themselves or hired a professional ‘colorizer’.
Colorizing portraits was an accepted practice... an example is just below...
A hand-colored daguerreotype by J. Garnier, c. 1850
The first hand-colored daguerreotypes are attributed to Swiss painter and print maker Johann Baptist Isenring. Hand-coloring remained the easiest and most effective method to produce full-color photographic images until the mid-20th century when color film was introduced.
Right from the beginning of this practice there was a debate if it still would be photography. Here is a quote from Alfred Henry Hall’s book ‘A manual of Artistic Coloring, as applied to Photographs: A Practical Guide to Artists and Photographers’ published in 1861 with lots of hints and methods for hand-coloring:
“Colored photographs occupy an undeservedly questionable situation: the artist curls his lip at them, because, as he says, they are not paintings; and the photographer sneers at them, because, as he says, they are not photographs. They are peremptorily denied admittance to galleries of paintings, and it is continuously and frequently urged that they should not be admitted to photographic exhibitions.”
The photographer admits the beauty of color in a painting, and admires it as warmly as need be. The artist admits the truthfulness of the photograph, and admires its wondrous delicacy of detail, faithfulness of drawing, and perfection of chiaroscuro just as warmly. Why, then, should an art which combines the truth of the one with the loveliness of the other be thus unsparingly denounced by these two important classes?
More or less a similar discussion we could have today about the new AI-filter options (or any other CGI and AI mixing with photographic images). Whatever we feel our think about these new technologies, the new filter is there and makes colorizing a bit easier, should you want to train yourself then an interesting starting point could be the book by Alfred Henry Wall one of the most influential authors of the late 19th-century.
Even today some contemporary artists specialize in colorizing old black and white’s using the modern digital tools. They do extensive research to discover what the correct colors are. Austrian photographer and digital artist Mario Unger is a fine example – his work is also evidence that human artists can still outperform AI solutions. Other examples are: Jordan Lloyd, Dana Keller. Google them and you will find some of the best colorizations.
I couldn’t find examples of real colorization in the 1x.com collection (I assume because it is because of the old reasons). Yet, there are many examples in which color has a key role, that wouldn’t be as interesting to watch if color wasn’t there…
The key word ‘colorize’ didn’t yield many hits, in fact only one:
However, there are quite a few photos where color features as a protagonist… Just to enjoy color as much as we can, I selected some images that prove color can play a key role in our pleasure of viewing…
'An old computer game' by Victoria Ivanova
'The waves of calmness' by Victoria Ivanova
'Let's Dance' by Kent Mathiesen
As always, your comments, criticism, or views are appreciated very much…
Marie-Lou Chatel has an 1X-account. She has a colorized version of an 1910 photograph published. https://1x.com/photo/988679/ The link to the 1910 original photo: http://www.loc.gov/pictures/resource/ggbain.19461 Cheers, Hans-Martin
Thanks for the interesting links, Hans Martin !
Thank you for this addition Hans Martin!
Marie-Lou Chatel from Belgium is another very good "colorizer" in these days. I already saw a lot of impressive works by her. Her "Migrant Mother" by Dorothea Lange: https://world-street.photography/en/photo/200328 Cheers, Hans-Martin
Fine and interesting article, Wicher !!! Great choice of colourful images to document it. Thanks and congratulations to all the authors. Have a nice weekend ahead. Cheers, Yvette
Published the 10th of June 2021
People say that photography is the art of painting with a camera. Being a photographer myself, I can easily say this is true. As an experienced free-form author, I also feel that the same applies to writing. When I write, I see the story as a series of images as opposed to a string of words, and I believe that a successful writer merely transforms this imagery into words to convey a message that re-forms as imagery in the minds of readers. For me, photography is a form of poetry, written by the camera.
It was the 2014 holiday season, and the Christmas lights created beautiful bokeh. I glanced at the leaves, as if they were still living. They were dry but contained endless stories in their fleshless veins, stories filled with sunshine, gentle breeze, smiles and love. I thought to myself: Why not capture such wisdom in the form of a picture?
The wind is almost impossible to photograph but its effects aren't. The purpose of this contest was to try to visualize the wind through dancing patterns on the water, grasses sigh with the motion of the wind, clouds flying across open skies, or flags, kites, scarfs and skirts blowing in the wind. The submissions were very diversified and all an excellent visualization of the wind.
The winners with the most votes are:
Congratulations to the winners and honourable mentions and thanks to all the participants in the contest 'Wind'.
'Conceptual Art' is the currently running contest theme.
Conceptual Art is basically creating images that illustrate ideas.
This contest will end at midnight on Sunday the 20st of June 2021.
The sooner you upload your submission the more chance you have to gather the most votes.
If you haven't uploaded your photo yet, click here.
Good luck to all the participants...
by Isabelle Dupont
by Stefan Buder
by Fernando Alves
by Adolfo Urrutia
by Piet Haaksma
Bulgarian artist is a fine art photographer who specializes in moody portraiture with a strongly recognizable characteristic. I have always been emotionally connected with the subjects in her works. I see sadness, joy through their eyes. At other times, it was a mixed feeling, combining unspeakable subtlety with mysterious excitement. Learn more about her through this fine interview!
Please tell us about yourself, your hobbies and other jobs?
Professionally, I am an engineer, but over the years I have done graphic design and advertising. The skills I have gained in that field now help me with photo editing and the overall tone that I want to achieve.
How has your history and life experiences affected your photography?
The good and the bad moments, which we experience in our everyday life, inevitably affect our mood and therefore our art. For that reason, the emotions my photos convey are sometimes more dramatic or more relaxed.
What first attracted you to photography?
Probably my love for art. I have always wanted to be good at drawing, but sadly I cannot say I am that good at it. So, I found out that through photography I can do what I want to do on a canvas. I am a big fan of cubism and Picasso, so I am often making my photographs like paintings.
I got into photography by accident. After the birth of my second child, I took a camera and started taking pictures of my kids. Soon after that I realized how much I enjoyed doing it!
You have your very own style but your work is very diversified. Can you explain why this is?
Usually, I prefer the more dramatic style of editing – mainly black and white images.
I like art photography, which is why many of my photos are unrealistic. I want them to look more like paintings.
I truly admire beautiful landscape photos, but I am personally more drawn towards people and the emotion they carry. Their facial expressions change all the time, and it is important for me to catch something typical of them, to show their feelings and the things that excite them in that precise moment.
I enjoy different things. I don’t think I have a “niche”. My photos express what I am feeling at that moment.
What is more important to you, the mood/story behind your images or the technical perfection?
A technically well-edited photo always makes a good impression, but the only thing that will make me look at a photo again and again is the emotional charge. I need something that can make me experience the moment, together with the person in the photo, even if the technical rules are not followed.
Do you carefully prepare the locations where you are intending to photograph?
Very often, I take pictures of people I know and who are close to me. I think the more personal approach is easy to notice.
On the other hand, if I find someone interesting and decide to take a picture of them, and I am most likely going to have a conversation with them afterwards.
Sometimes, I have a specific idea that I try to achieve, in which case I always try to find the best setting and model. Most of the time, however, I do not have a specific idea and just take photos where I am.
What gear do you use?
Currently, I am using a Nikon D700 and I have different lenses for it. In the near future, I hope to get a full frame camera.
What software do you use to process your images?
Can you tell us something more about your workflow?
I use Adobe Photoshop for editing. I do not think I have a specific workflow. Through the editing I give the expression I want. I approach each photo differently. I use filters by Alien skin. I rarely use textures, but I often mix two or more photos.
What is your most important advice to a beginner in Photography and how do you get started?
It is difficult to give advice. Each person should find their own way. It is normal to make mistakes, or to change from one style to another, but the more you practice, the more you will succeed. The most important thing for me is to try not to copy each other, no matter how much we like someone’s work. It is normal to be affected by other people, but it should not overshadow our own personal perspective.
Who are your favourite photographers and more importantly, how has your appreciation of their work affected how you approach your own photography?
I follow many websites and I admire the old-school photographers. I cannot pick a specific name, but the black and white photography is definitely my favourite. I am still developing and trying to find myself, so I do not have any specific directions yet.
Photography is a hobby for me, so I have not thought about realizing a specific project yet. I deeply hope to continue doing this.
Describe your favourite photograph taken by you and why it is special to you?
The photo to which I am deeply and emotionally connected is one of the last photos I took of my mother, while she was battling cancer. This photo also gave me the first place in a competition in my country, which proved to me that I had really managed to express my love for her.
Are there any specific directions that you would like to take your photography in the future or any specific goals that you wish to achieve?
As any artist, the way people see my photos is important for me. 1X is a place where a lot of great photographers are showing their work. Even from my first steps, I was influenced by the variety of styles and ideas. Personally, I believe this is one of the best (if not the best) photography websites. It has been a favourite place of mine, long before I even started uploading my own work. I have learned a lot and I am continuing to do so.
Great work and insight, like the moods you create.
Beautiful photography and thank you for sharing your thought on your work Congratulations and look forward to seeing more of your work.
Congratulations with this well deserved attention for your work.
Great photos and interview. Congratulations.
Strong and outstanding work, Desislava! Thank you so much for revealing more about yourself and your work, dear friend. I'm a bigger fan then ever now that I know you a little better. Thanks to Des for leading this excellent interview too. Cheers, Yvette
Thank you so much Yvette. The pleasure is all mine. I am feeling extremely happy and pleased to hear that people are enjoying my work.
“I don’t photograph what I SEE, I photograph what I FEEL” – Bobby Joshi
is a full-time traveler, entrepreneur and photographer based in Bangalore who calls himself a “world traveler and nature admirer”. While for the others, photography can be a way of life, for him photography is life itself! Travel and nature photography that he pursues allowed him to explore the world, connect with nature, express himself and make new friends!
I invite you to enjoy Bobby's work and personality through the interview below!
Bobby, I would like to thank you so much for taking your time to answer my questions! To begin, please introduce yourself briefly!
My Name is Bobby Joshi, I am a travel and landscape photographer based in Bangalore India. I am also the founder and Chief Mentor at GoodShotz Photography Lvt. Ltd., a photography learning, and company based in India.
Let’s start from the beginning: when and how did you start your photographic journey?
I have been photographing since I was in 8th grade. Started out with film-based photography and moved to digital in 2010. I used to be in corporate world earlier (have worked with tech giants like Ingram Micro, IBM, Dell, etc.) Most of the roles I did was global in nature and provided me lot of opportunities to travel around the world. That allowed me to pursue photography. In 2016, I moved into photography full time into photography and started GoodShotz Photography. Today I am a full-time traveler, entrepreneur, and photographer.
For many of us photography is either a hobby or a way of life. How would you define your relationship with photography
For others photography may be a hobby or a way of life, but for me photography is my life! It allows me to do so much in life. It has allowed me to explore the world, connect with nature, express myself through my photographs, appreciate the nature and beauty, friends I have made in the world of photography, income that I generate for my living. Everything!
What would be the most important experience so far that has influenced your steps in photography?
Of all the things that I have learned in photography one thing that has helped me more than anything else is “The Art of Slowing Down”: patience is a big teacher and teaches a lot of life lessons. I am by design an impatient man. I like to “get on” with everything in life. I realized quickly in photography that impatience can be my biggest pitfall. I had to learn to be patient - for the right season, right light, right timing.
Art of slowing down also allows me to best “See-Absorb-Compose” the shots I want. It allowed me to appreciate more, absorb more, observe more and photograph less. That has not only helped in the frames I shoot, but also in the hassle of storing those big fat RAW files. It has helped me to hone my skills better.
How do you maintain and grow your passion for photography? What inspires you?
I think PASSION is directly related to PURPOSE. I find newer purpose in photography. One of the keys is not to look back and be content with what you have shot and achieved. If your best work is behind you then you won’t find a purpose (because you’ve already been to the pinnacle), and hence you will lose your passion and your inspiration. I am inspired by nature, the sheer diversity and beauty it has. I won’t rest until I have each frame of it in every possible way. And I know 7 lifetimes won’t be enough to do that. So, for this life – I have a solid purpose in photography. That continues to drive my passion and inspiration!
Can you please describe in a few words your photographer philosophy and mission?
My philosophy and mission in photography hasn’t changed since the time I started it. It is: “I don’t photograph what I SEE, I photograph what I FEEL”. I know that I will get older and older – but time will always stay young. My memory will start to fade, I’ll lose touch with lot of those feelings. A photograph will then be a moment frozen in that time – that I can always revisit. It will remind me of the place, people and time that’s never coming back again. I want to be able to see those pictures and FEEL what I felt when I photographed them. An offshoot of this philosophy also helps in connecting with my audience. I want them to feel what I feel when they see my images. I have often got feedback that my audience has found my photography emotional and evocative.
You are exceptionally proficient in landscape and travel photography! These are the areas where many photographers try to stand out, but very few even succeed. What first attracted you to these photography types?
From my childhood I have been traveling, and to some of the most beautiful and scenic places. Every summer and winter holidays, we used to go to beautiful mountains and lakes. It was therefore normal and natural for me to gravitate towards landscape and travel when I picked up my camera and started photography. I have been into photography for a long time now and I was one of the earliest adopters of social media platform to showcase my work. Thankfully, my audience has stayed with me and grown over the years!
What do you think are the top three secret ingredients for a remarkable landscape photograph?
Chasing the right light,
Post-processing in perfection to create a frame that looks almost 3-Dimensional.
What do you think that makes your photo works different?
What I have tried is to evolve a distinct style in photography. That be the landscape, travel or even portraits that I do. Also, I try and stay off from the “touristy spots” when I travel to a place and photograph. Driving around endlessly to find a previously unexplored places (even in a famous destination) helps making “different” images. I also think that I have a distinct post-processing style.
Can you please tell us something more about your workflow for landscape and travel photography?
I think my work is marked with bright, contrasty, and vibrant highlights and muted shadows. I pay attention to the flow and fall of light in each element of the frame. I strive to make viewers feel as if they’re part of the frame. Almost like a 3D scene. My workflow is based on the principle of “Follow the light – Create the light – Enhance the light”. Everyone knows it is important to get the right light while on the field. But if you don’t know how to process it later in the post then it'll fall flat.
What would be the main features of a successful landscape photographer in your opinion?
Besides a solid technical knowledge and a skill – both photography and post-processing (that can be learned), landscape photography also requires you to continuously develop and improve your skills. Besides that, landscape photography also requires you to develop the right MINDSET. Some of the mindset that I think are important:
Don’t be lazy – learn to push yourself and push boundaries;
Spend longer hours in observing than photographing;
Learn to work with nature. For every beautiful light, there will be many more washed out or bad weather. Learn not to get disheartened;
Develop strong pre-visualization. That will automatically lead to better composition;
Train your eyes to not just LOOK, but to SEE. This will help you pick out more elements around you that you can use to create better frames;
Learn to read light that you can use in the best ways for a scene in your images;
Don’t stop at “good photo”, strive to get a better (if not best) photo. This might mean coming back to the same spot or place;
Wider lens and narrow aperture will help you create more striking images;
Always create depth in your frames.
Good knowledge of the location for shooting travel and landscape photography is a must. How do you approach a new location when shooting for the first time there? Are there specific subjects or compositions you are looking for during your trips?
Preparing a trip for shoot is the most important part and the first step towards getting stellar images. I begin by choosing the right season and weather conditions that I think is best suited for my kind of photography. Then I spend a lot of time studying photographs and maps of the region. I divide my time in any place into morning and evening shoots (and nights if I am looking to get some astros). I pay attention to the position of sunrise and sunsets. It allows me to place sun in a best way in my compositions. I sometimes connect with photographers and travelers who have been to the place before to figure out best places to park the car, best vantage points for shoot and “must haves”. I go as far as marking GPS coordinates so that I minimize my time when I am in the field.
What would be your favorite location from the last years and why?
I have been to many countries in last few years (pre-COVID era). It’s hard to pick a favorite from so many beautiful locations. But two places that remain my all-time favorites are Kerala in India and Italy. I am always ready to go back and spend time there photographing to my heart’s content!
Many are of the opinion that the gear is not very important when the passion for photography is strong. However, can you please share with us what gear do you use (camera, lenses, tripod)?
I think that right gear has its own place in photography. Gear may not dissuade you from pursing your passion, but without the right gear you will also not be able to create images that require advance controls and features. I am a Nikon user. I have both mirrored camera - D850 and mirrorless – Z7. Most of my landscape lenses are completely manual. I have slew of wide-angle lenses (11mm, 12mm, 14mm, 15mm, 16-35mm) and few mid-range zooms and teles (24-70mm, 50mm, 85mm, 105mm and then big zooms. My fav travel lens is NIKKOR 28-300mm. It’s one lens that does it all.
I’m sure that many of the beginners in travel and landscape photography would like to follow your way. What is your advice for them?
Travel and landscape may be a relative easier genre of photography to start because we all travel sometime or the other. But as you start to get serious and up your game, it can get seriously expensive. It is also a genre where physical fitness is important (all those hikes, climbs, long walks require you to be good at cardio). As a beginner it is important to learn to be patient. Patient in your photography, patient with growth, patient with social media proliferation. Don’t look for shortcuts. Respect the nature and understand its way. Connect with as many photographers and industry peers, keep learning, keep horning your skills. Always have goals and purpose. Have a short-term, mid-term and long-term goals. Plan for each of them. Your short-term goal could include things like buying the right gear, learning photoshop skills, doing 3 courses in photography and post-processing. Your mid-term goal could be something about places you want to cover first (hopefully near your city/country), may be to expand your social media presence, get published in at least 10 international publications. Your long-term goals could be about expanding your photography scope, going commercial with your work etc.
Which aspects of your photographer life do you find the most challenging? How the pandemic influenced your photographic activity?
Weird it as may sound – I find the ability to detach myself from places the most challenging as a photographer. Let me explain why and how. As I said, I photograph what I feel and not what I see. To be able to “feel’, I need to connect with the place. I need to fall in love with it, I need to be familiar with it, I need to vibe with it. And every time the project is done, and it’s time to move on, I find it hard to immediately emotionally disconnect and move on. I walk away with a longing, a nostalgia and with a promise to myself that I will be back. I leave a piece of me everywhere I go and that’s the hardest part. As for the pandemic that has changed all our lives: initial months were very hard. I couldn’t condition myself to stay indoors and not travel (something that comes naturally to me). But gradually over the months, I have started taking smaller steps and travels with utmost carefulness and protection. One thing that pandemic has taught me is to appreciate and cherish more than ever the gift of nature and freedom that we have, and we take for granted all the time.
Who are your favorite photographers or mentors whose works have influenced you and your photography?
It’s hard to name a few of them here. Spending time on Instagram and Facebook, I get to see lot of photographers and artist’s work. Young and old. And I think I don’t get influenced with personalities anymore, I get influenced by the work. So, in my head I have thousands of images from artists all around. Having said that, some of the photographers who’s work I continue to admire over the years consistently would be , , Mindz Eye (Michael Sidofsky), Ilhan and few others.
Now, since we almost reached the end of this interview, please share with us your plans or photographic projects you would like to involve.
Before COVID hit us and shook our lives, I had two tours to Europe, and 1 to USA. Once this is over and we can travel freely, I’d like to resume where life has gone into a PAUSE mode and finish those pending projects!
Amazing interview ...Great work !! Thank you so much dear Marius.
Both the images and the insights are invaluable! Tnx.
Wonderful images, thank very much Marius !!!
You are welcome, Thierry! However, all the credits go to Booby!
Awesome images. I love the work and I love the light in the photographs. So nice to know more about Mr. Bobby Joshi through the interview and the in-depth interaction on landscape photography, the mind preparation and the light. A very well curated article. Thank you.