Tim Wager: Book, 'Bennington History' Volume 4
Bennington History - A Colorized Journey Through the 19th-20th Century - Volume 4
by Tim Wager
Being a self described, self taught computer NERD with a need to try anything once, this is my new venture, the Art of colorizing historical Black & White images of my home town, Bennington, Vermont. This Art died out shortly after WWII with new developments in color print processing, but is seeing a comeback thanks to the numerous computer software programs coming on to the market today.
Almost every image shown here is cropped from the original Black & White glass plate negative. This expands the finer details which would otherwise be lost in the background. The dates given in the comments are those used to identify the dates of service in the Bennington area for each photographer and NOT necessarily the date the photo was taken. If a known date is available, it will be placed at the beginning of the comment.
Because I wasn't around 120 years ago, the colors I used are my personal preference in what I envision they would have been. All colors used come from various color palettes of the era.
I would like to thank Callie Raspuzzi of the Bennington Museum for her constant help on this project, Lisa Verschoor for her help in creating the cover and page layout.
Colorizing black and white photos can be traced back to 1839 just after the invention of the camera. This practice started in Europe and quickly spread to Japan where it became a respected art form with photographers often teaming with an artist. Flash forward to the United States where photo studio hired young single women as colorist. The best selling hand colorized photographer of all time, was Wallace Nutting, a New England minister who took his hobby and turned it into a full time business that spanned nearly 40 years. It's been noted that Nutting sold millions of his colorized images grossing his company nearly $1000 a day.
For those who think colorization removes the historical value from an image, think of it as placing history into the present as you stand shoulder to shoulder with the photographer as he focuses in on his subject matter, which was in color.
Flash forward to my mission: Using various software programs with modern technology, a few years of trial and error, and I'm off to colorize as many black & white images as possible. This task ls more than simply colorizing, it requires preparing the images by adjusting light levels, contrast, shadowing and eliminating haze from images created by the glass plate negatives. After that there is the research to create the proper era color palette. Personal note, images can take from a few hours to many days to complete. It's not a hobby for the impatient minded.
Publication Date: 2019
Publisher: Tim Wager
Product Dimensions: 8.5 x 11 x .125 inches
Format: Soft Cover