Vandalization Through Colorization

A few folks have sent me a link to a site that has colorized versions of iconic black and white images. I have resisted commenting or posting because … well … I don’t know that I could properly explain my feelings toward them.

Over the weekend, though, Michael Johnston did a pretty good job with it over at The Online Photographer.

The colorizers are guessing at and inventing the colors in their color versions. How does anyone know that Einstein’s shorts were blue? That’s a guess. I fail to see how fictitious details of a photograph add more realism to it. The colors added bear no relationship to whatever the reality might have been. They’re purely decorative, eye candy for those who crave their sugar. That one’s a really wrongheaded claim, in my view.

Mark E. Johnson

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