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Early colour popping!

Discussion in 'Exhibition Lounge' started by dream_police, May 25, 2015.

  1. dream_police

    dream_police Well-Known Member

    Just clearing out my loft, and I came across a box of old photographs, some of which I have scanned. As I approach the 25th anniversary of my dad's death I thought i'd show his skills of colouring in old photographs. He was a keen photographer with a home darkroom. These were taken in the early 60's I think, before yours truly popped on the scene. Probably of no interest to anyone but me I suppose, but here you go anyway.

    https://flic.kr/p/sB6HQQdad 1938-1990 https://flic.kr/p/sB6HQQ https://www.flickr.com/photos/nigel_g/, on Flickr[/IMG]

    Mum, who's still with us.

    https://flic.kr/p/sBhbGemum https://flic.kr/p/sBhbGe https://www.flickr.com/photos/nigel_g/, on Flickr[/IMG]
    Last edited: May 25, 2015
  2. steveandthedogs

    steveandthedogs Well-Known Member

    Well, I think you're wrong there, they are of interest. They show what can be done by someone with talent. I like the one of your dad in particular. Self-portrait?

  3. dream_police

    dream_police Well-Known Member

    Thank you. I don't know for definite, but yes I imagine it was a self portrait.
  4. Catriona

    Catriona Well-Known Member

    I think that's brilliant. Sensitive use of very appropriate colours! Very well done.

  5. dream_police

    dream_police Well-Known Member

    Yes, he did do it well. Interesting showing them to my children, who have grown up mainly in the digital age and showing what could have been done without a computer. Funnily enough though, both have recently bought second hand film cameras.
  6. dream_police

    dream_police Well-Known Member

    Just to clarify Kate, it isn't my work. I only wish I could pass on your compliments to him. (sad smilie)
  7. Catriona

    Catriona Well-Known Member

    Yes, I understood when you replied. Sorry about that, I had thought you did it yourself (the tinting). He was a good photographer! These times are always tinged with memories and sadness, I know.
  8. 0lybacker

    0lybacker In the Stop Bath

    Kate is right but I also get something - can't think how to describe it - from looking at work like this. It's more than nostalgia. I think it's an expansion of appreciation of the wideness & greatness of the value of photography and the decades of style & culture & history that it has embraced & recorded. Malcolm Stewart's pic of London Wall is another recent example that got me going.

    One of my B&W group brought some of her late father's pictures to a group meet. They were introduced & shown and then passed around. Great pictorial or record images but I couldn't resist flipping them all over to see what was on the back. Helen had told us her father exhibited with his club & also submitted to Opens & Salons and sure enough there were stickers with names I recognised. Before my time, but the images connected me with past (& late) friends from my other club and the London Salon. One or two had been selected by a Panel that included an AP editor. I had the time of my life looking at the backs & stickers almost as much as the images! Each picture had its own life & history.

    Thanks, dream police. Cheers, Oly
  9. Roger Hicks

    Roger Hicks Well-Known Member

    Hand colouring (not "popping", please!) goes back to the very earliest days if photography and offers a very different way of seeing. Frances is one of the world's leading hand colourists, and has demonstrated the technique for manufacturers at trade shows including photokina. She has exhibited nothing else for years, and her next exhibition (Arles, July 7-12) is again hand coloured. For examples of some of her older work, see http://www.rogerandfrances.com/sgallery/g hc 0.html


  10. 0lybacker

    0lybacker In the Stop Bath

    Good work there, Roger! Compliments to Frances. Cheers, Oly
  11. Catriona

    Catriona Well-Known Member

    It's beautifully done, Frances.
    I don't mean or want to be controversial, but why?
    I think I know your own feelings (Roger) about taking the picture you wanted and not achieving the result by post processing - cropping, enhancing etc. I could, of course, be wrong but you appear to see darkroom work as acceptable and working on prints as acceptable, but digital enhancements - I'm not so sure you agree with.
    For me there is no difference. Yes, in the days of film I felt more in control of the result. Silly, really, since it was all dependent on your choice of film and processing prior to and including printing. It is no different now with digital, although it seems harder to put one's own stamp on the procedure.

    So, although I really admire Frances' work, I am just as admiring of the photography behind it. Would it be the same if taken in colour and post processed? I guess a good manipulator would say so.

    Is it the end result? Or is it a mastery of the technique which is being shown? Does the portrait matter equally? Or should the portrait matter above all?

    I love the portraits shown of DreamPolice's parents. I particularly love the one of his father. That would shine in b&w or colour and surely that's the essence of a portrait.
  12. dream_police

    dream_police Well-Known Member

    The "colour popping" was said tongue in cheek.

    Excellent stuff, Roger, or should I say Frances. I had no idea this was still done, but having said that, why not, it's just another art form.

    I found another piece by him. It looks like a water colour drawing, certainly not a photograph, yet it is also on photographic paper, so quite clearly was produced that way (although what that way is, I have no idea!)
  13. Roger Hicks

    Roger Hicks Well-Known Member

    Dear Kate,

    No, it wouldn't -- and any manipulator who said it was, would not be a good one. Selective decolouring is subtractive: taking away the colours that are already there. Hand colouring is additive -- and the colours you add need not be the ones that were originally there. There are inevitable small losses of detail; the blending of the colours is nothing like the same. That's before you get into the impasto and the paper textures. Selective decolouring and hand colouring are completely different: far more different (for example) that watercolours and oil.

    And again no, I don't think you have correctly read my views on digital manipulation. I have no problem with any of it -- as long as it's well done. Cropping, I don't even regard as manipulation: I do it whenever I have to. I also "dodge" and "burn" electronically, add "graded filters" in Lightroom, and occasionally, depending on the picture, even clone out stuff I don't want. The exhibition I am working on at the moment, "La Vie Secrète des Chaises/The Secret Life of Chairs" relies on quite high contrast and saturation, plus text.

    Basically, I have the same problem with digital manipulation as I do with ultra-shallow depth of field: too many people do it "because they can" (except that they can't, at least not artististically).

    It's always and only the end result that matters. As soon as the technique becomes more important than the picture, it is a technical failure. It's like the fashion designer -- I forget which one -- who said, "If someone enters a room wearing one of my dresses, and everyone says, 'What a beautiful dress', then I have failed. If they say, 'What a beautiful woman', I have succeeded."


  14. Roger Hicks

    Roger Hicks Well-Known Member

    Dear Nige,


    Marshall's Transparent Oils, applied with Q-tips

    Various transparent photo dyes, especially Fotospeed, applied with a brush

    SpotPen and other colouring pens

    Coloured pencils

    Water colours (rarely), again applied with a brush

    Frances says thank'ee kindly (and to Kate too)

    Can you post the other picture your father did?


  15. beatnik69

    beatnik69 Well-Known Member

    Apologies for letting the thread drift slightly, but what would your opinion be on digital 'hand-colouring' Roger?
  16. dream_police

    dream_police Well-Known Member

  17. Catriona

    Catriona Well-Known Member

    Thanks Roger (and Frances). I disagree that digital translation of the technique means (only) selective decolouring. I can take a b&w digital image and selectively colour it in whatever colours I choose from a palette. Careful painting and blending can be done in this way.
    Anyway, none of this is to detract from what Frances does and has done. If I still had a darkroom, I could be doing the same thing as well. For me, it's a mixture of Art in the form of taste, colour, technique and the finished result you saw in your head - and the raw material you start with. You end up with a beautiful result which is Fine Art and I think that is the perceived difference between all digital and a more hands-on procedure to the end result.
  18. steveandthedogs

    steveandthedogs Well-Known Member

    I'd like to see the other(s) as well, Nige.

    Roger - I do like the church - very Van Gogh - and the castle. Odd that, one highly coloured and one very delicate, but I like the extremes. And the other non-portraits.
    The people don't seem to work for me; it took a while, but I think it's the clothes. What's left of my brain expects older fashions, probably.

  19. steveandthedogs

    steveandthedogs Well-Known Member

  20. dream_police

    dream_police Well-Known Member

    Out of the ones I found, only the three I have posted are tinted. The others I have are just B&W. I am hoping that my mum has his others, he had thousands of slides too, I haven't got them and mum doesn't think she has them either. Just leaves my brother.

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