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.