You never know what you’ll find when you buy something that’s vintage. When photographer Alex Galmeanu bought a rare 50-year-old camera off eBay, he never expected to find an exposed (but undeveloped) roll of film inside. “Of course I had it developed right away,” he wrote, “and, as a surprise again, I was able to recover 10 quite usable images, especially when considering their age.
When you come across black and white photographs from the past, do you ever wonder what colors are meant to replace the varied shades of gray? Sweden-based artist Sanna Dullaway re-imagines photos from yesteryear in vibrant, realistic hues. The series features portraits of well-known people throughout history including Abraham Lincoln, Che Guevara, Albert Einstein, Mark Twain, Anne Frank, and a young Charlie Chaplin without his signature mustache.
Dullaway’s color restoration project breathes new life into these aged, colorless images. Though many of them are wonderful, in their own right, there’s something new and fresh about the photographs after the artist has reworked the coloring in Photoshop.
Dullaway, who is also known as MyGrapeFruit, is an active member of Reddit, where she takes requests for re-coloring old personal images. Hoping to make a business out of this masterful skill, she is in the process of constructing her website called Past in Colour (or Frr i Frg in Swedish). In the meantime, the ongoing restoration works can be viewed on Dullaway’s Flickr photostream.