Historic photos get a color makeover (20 Photos)

18-year-old Artist Mads Madsen has an amazing skill for colorizing old black and white photographs. Even beside their original counterpart the results are impressive, bringing a new dimension of realism to historic images. An American Civil War buff, Madsen’s 450+ portfolio of images can be seen on minus.com.

Madsen says it takes him about 20-30 minutes for a portrait but that the outdoor shots and images with lots of people and background take substantially longer. For a video tutorial of the process involved, you can check him out on YouTube.

Via Twistedsifter

  • J Nichols

    #9 Thought he would be more black than white.

    • gradaddy

      didn't he invent peanut butter?

  • Treeguy

    Impressive work!

  • Chuck Schick

    There are about a dozen smart phone apps that can do this.

  • tv_paul

    #8 We had a history teacher is High School that judged reports on weight and rarely read them so we'd put in things like "Abraham Lincoln was so tall he had to stand on a chair to tie his shoes" just to see if he would notice. He never did.

  • Philip Pliskin

    # 6 Is General Hiram Ulysses Simpson Grant seated. On The right is General Philip Sherdan

    • http://ColorizedHistory.com Mads Madsen

      Sorry to say, nope.

      It's General Katz. The 2 look similar only in facial-hair, but they are infact widely different, as Grant wasn't in the same theater as Sheridan was.

  • Danica SmashYA

    #16 I absolutely love Dorthea Lang ❤

  • Kodos


    That's 'Douglass'.

    2 'S's…

  • who dey

    guys didn't bald in the 19th century…..

  • kirah

    #9 Totally looks like Lando Calrissian!!!!!!

  • johnq

    #2 is Robert E. Lee…..duh. LOL

  • Spelling Police

    It's as simple as clicking the paint bucket thing on their face, right?

    • http://ColorizedHistory.com Mads Madsen

      You got me…

  • GuntherSquirrel

    Thats awesome!

  • Dagan

    #7 Why is Couch sitting on a chair?

    • http://ColorizedHistory.com Mads Madsen

      I snickered silently to myself, I'd have never thought of that, but I'm stealing it.

  • Eder

    This kid is BARELY 18?!?! Kudos, he has a bright future ahead of him… now I feel like I haven't done much with my life :/

    • http://ColorizedHistory.com Mads Madsen

      I'm 18½!!111

      Nah, but I jest, but thank you man, I appreciate it. I've been doing this for a few years, so I've obviously had time to practice, and if you ever wanted to do something, like drawing or whatever, just do a little bit each day. I've done a colorization each day, give or take, and I started with this – http://i4.minus.com/iOl7kh3tHaUhe.jpg – so judge for yourself, my good Sire. Practice makes perfect.

  • Kayo

    #20 that picture gets way weirder with color

  • LeftFlasherOn

    #2 There are about 6 of these original plates. I was flabbergasted to hold one.

  • Jawbone

    OF COURSE the experts are all here. You have an 18 year old kid doing shit that's making the attempt to do something creative. Most of his peers are screaming obscenities over XBox live and you're lambasting his skill level?

    KCCO you dumb shits.

  • Canucks_Rule

    #8 – nice.

  • K-1

    #12: I wish more of them had the before and after thing, like this one did… really let's you appreciate the work that went into it!

  • Schafland

    I love the pioneers of total war Phillip Sheridan d U.S. Grant in pic 6 not getting any credit.

    • http://ColorizedHistory.com Mads Madsen

      I'm sorry to say Schaf, but the man you're thinking of is General Katz, you are spot-on with General Sheridan though, and in the 'total war' pioneering business you're forgetting Sherman for doing most of the dirty work and taking the whole load of the blame, and Winfield Scott to have given the basis of the idea. Also I like history, I'm sorry if I come off as a bit of a tit.

  • indeed

    Fuck the cival war. Red coats FTW. Nice work btw

    • http://ColorizedHistory.com Mads Madsen

      If there were ever pictures of the Revolutionary war, I would kill to be able to colorize those.

  • https://www.facebook.com/allan.luomala Allan Luomala

    I am an advanced beginner at Photoshop, and I think he did an outstanding job. It's too easy to say "I coulda done that!" or "there are programs that do that….". Everyone is a critic. Put up (as he has done) or shut up.

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