All Things Techie With Huge, Unstructured, Intuitive Leaps

Hidden Information in Digital Photographs

I am truly amazed at the amount of hidden information in a digital photograph compared to a silver print.  This holds true, even for actual silver emulsion photographs that have been digitized.  I will show you what I mean.

I was perusing the online obits from my hometown, and came upon the photograph below.
It was taken during World War II which was some 70 years ago now.  The fellow pictured above as a young seaman had just died at a ripe old age.  The photograph above, is a hand-colored black and white photograph.

I wanted to see how much digital information that I could extract, so I threw away all of the color information.  This is what the original photograph would have looked like (below).

Now, there were various grades of photographic paper and various types of printing-out emulsions.  Some papers were very contrasty and some were warm.  For hand coloring, the photo would be printed on a paper that wasn't light and warm, as below.  Then it was hand colored to look like the top picture.

So the hand colored photo was digitized and put online.  I decided to see what color information was still to be had.  I fed it into photoshop and adjusted the color and output levels automatically from the menu.  I was stunned at what came out, pictured below.
There was still enough color information in the digitized photo to look like a modern shot.  I am sure that the owners of the picture would be amazed to see their departed relative's pic in technicolor, compared to the limpid print on the obituary.

As a former owner of a darkroom, all that I can say, is that I am now a huge believer in digital photography and photoshop.

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