Denmark-based creative Mads Madsen, aka Zuzah, masterfully colorizes old black and white photos of well-known men and women throughout history. As a self-proclaimed history buff, he’s known to focus most of his efforts on photos of political and military figures from the American Civil War, but of course he also extends his expert craft to revitalizing portraits of iconic stars and classic writers from yesteryear.
Like Sanna Dullaway, the creative photo editor breathes new life into the images he adds color to without devaluing their historical significance. The weathered and scratched photos retain their scars, allowing the viewer to recognize their age while offering more visual insight into each subject’s coloring. He says it usually takes him anywhere from 5 to 30 minutes to add color to a standard portrait, though additional details like a busier outdoor background can take him up to 6 hours to complete.
Zuzah’s meticulous process is driven as much by his knowledge as it is by his keen eye. While he knows that Joseph Hooker was a blonde, he is also able to recognize the colors that should be present in a monochromatic photograph by the shade of gray presented. Additionally, he has a method of coloring that differs for men and women. Be sure to check out his tutorial video, below, to get an idea of how the skilled photo coloring expert restores these old photos.
Top photo: Abraham Lincoln
George Henry Thomas
Ulysses S. Grant
Edgar Allen Poe
Butch Cassidy and the Wild Bunch