BBA Student Project Adds New Life to Old Photos
Alex Vincent’s digital photography students at Burr and Burton Academy recently collaborated with the Manchester Historical Society (MHS) to colorize black and white portraits of local people from the past. The students gathered old portrait photographs from the archives of the Manchester Historical Society, scanned them into a digital format, and used Adobe Photoshop to colorize the images, bringing them back to life. They met with MHS curator Shawn Harrington, who provided several boxes of photographs dating as far back as the mid-1800s. Harrington provided the history of each image chosen by the students.
The project was a time-consuming process. Each image was scanned into the computer then was cleaned up to remove spots, fill in missing areas and adjust the contrast to restore faded visual information. After the images were cleaned, colorization began; each color needed to have its own layer, with some images requiring dozens of separate layers to produce the best-looking final photograph. The results of the student’s patient work are on display at the Manchester Community Library through the month of March. Visitors to the exhibit who wish to learn more about people in the photographs are invited to head downstairs to see Harrington at the Manchester Historical Society, located on the lower floor of the Library.