Home / Photography21-Year-Old Breathes New Life into Historic B&W Photos by Adding Color

21-Year-Old Breathes New Life into Historic B&W Photos by Adding Color

colorized black and white photo

Archduke Franz Ferdinand of Austria, 1914

Brazilian artist Marina Amaral combines her love of history with creativity, creating colorized versions of historic photos. The 21-year-old artist can spend anywhere from a few hours to several months retouching each image in Photoshop.

Originally inspired by colorized photographs she'd seen on an internet forum, she decided to try the craft herself. And now, it's become a career. Calling herself a “very curious and creative person,” Amaral does meticulous research before beginning her work in Photoshop. “Research is essential,” she shares. “I never start a job without having gathered as much information as possible, because that's what makes the colors historically accurate.”

restored photo marina amaral

Czeslawa Kwoka, a 14-year-old Polish girl the Auschwitz concentration camp with her mother in 1942. Both died within three months.

The final colorized photos are formed from hundreds of Photoshop layers that create the atmosphere and mood Amaral is after. Her work often focuses on historic images of conflict, soldiers of yesteryear made alive through her colors. A series of portraits of 14-year-old Czeslawa Kwoka, who died in the Auschwitz concentration camp in 1942, is one of her most meaningful images. “Every day I get messages from people saying that they were able to truly understand the Holocaust only after seeing this image in color. That's always been my goal, so I feel really proud of it.”

Marina Amaral is known for her incredible skills at colorizing historic photos.

restored photo marina amaral

Dwight D. Eisenhower

She often focuses on images of conflict, colorizing black and white pictures in a process that can take months.

historic picture retouching

French soldiers during WWI

photo restoration

French soldiers during WWI

historic picture retouching

Massaponax Church, Va. “Council of War.” 1864 May 21

image restoration

Massaponax Church, Va. “Council of War.” 1864 May 21

Historic Pictures Restored in Color

Omaha Beach landing

photo restoration

Omaha Beach landing

Historic Pictures Restored in Color

Body of Confederate sharpshooter, 1863

photo restoration

Body of Confederate sharpshooter, 1863

The 21-year-old artist often retouches portraits of great historical figures. The final colorized photos can contain hundreds of Photoshop layers.

image restoration

Winston Churchill

colorized black and white photo

Lee Harvey Oswald

Historic Pictures Restored in Color

Lynn D. “Buck” Compton, Band of Brothers

colorized black and white photo

Senator John F. Kennedy and Jacqueline Kennedy, 1953

restored photo marina amaral

Martin Luther King Jr.

colorized black and white photo

Albert Einstein

Marina Amaral: Website | Facebook | Behance
h/t: [Peta Pixel, Business Insider]

All images via Marina Amaral.

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