Scenes From the Civil War, in Brilliant Color

Oct. 7, 2013, 9:59 a.m.

The Civil War looked a lot more vivid to pho­to­graph­ers on the side­lines than the black-and-white pic­tures they took let on. But, thanks to mod­ern tech­no­logy, scenes from Amer­ica’s blood­i­est war can be re­stored and re­cre­ated in full col­or.

Jordan J. Lloyd, a col­or­ist for Dy­nami­chrome, a di­git­al im­age-res­tor­a­tion agency, brings old pho­tos back to life, from grainy, glass-plate ori­gin­als to high-res­ol­u­tion JPEGs. For the fol­low­ing im­ages, Lly­od re­searched ex­tens­ively the Civil War era, down to the shoulder marks of com­mand­ers. He cleaned up scratches and blem­ishes and cor­rec­ted for light ex­pos­ure to re­store the im­ages to their ori­gin­al con­di­tion.

Lloyd then ap­plied mul­tiple lay­ers of col­or to the ori­gin­al, much like high­light­ing an im­age with a colored pen­cil. The more lay­ers piled on, the more real­ist­ic the photo be­comes, Lloyd says. Ex­tra lay­ers re­veal a slight flush in the sub­jects’ faces, sharpen re­flec­tions, and add gleam to metals in the scene.

Scroll down for fuzzy be­fores and stun­ning af­ters.


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