An inter­est­ing fact: the first pho­to­graph appeared long before the advent of film. Its author­ship belongs to Joseph Nicéphore Niépce. Back in 1826, he had to work hard: accord­ing to mod­ern researchers, the expo­si­tion last­ed sev­er­al days. Instead of film, a pewter plate (an alloy of tin with oth­er met­als) coat­ed with bitu­men was used … The per­fect time to thank the cre­ator of a dig­i­tal cam­era.

A sharp jump in the devel­op­ment of pho­tog­ra­phy took place in the mid­dle of the 20th cen­tu­ry, and this is pri­mar­i­ly due to the human fac­tor. It’s not enough just to take a clear shot – the idea is impor­tant. In this arti­cle, we will high­light 5 pro­fes­sion­als whose work has earned pub­lic recog­ni­tion, as well as col­orize their black and white images using a pho­to edi­tor.

Dry­ing on the Eif­fel Tow­er, 1955. Source: cameralabs.org

Henri Cartier Bresson

Dur­ing his life, Hen­ri Carti­er-Bres­son trav­eled to many coun­tries: Ger­many, USA, Bel­gium, Spain and oth­ers. The French pho­tog­ra­ph­er often worked with well-known fig­ures — for exam­ple, he was invit­ed to cre­ate a report on the coro­na­tion of the British King George VI. His lens man­aged to cap­ture the leg­endary Coco Chanel and the bright Mar­i­lyn Mon­roe.

Rue Mouf­fe­tard, Paris, 1952. Source: mutualart.com

But Carti­er-Bres­son him­self was inter­est­ed in a dif­fer­ent genre. He liked to get out into the city and catch ran­dom moments. The writer Tru­man Capote, who had the oppor­tu­ni­ty to become his mod­el, recalled: “He gal­loped along the side­walk, like a drag­on­fly enraged.” Ladies in fan­cy hats, strict gen­tle­men — Carti­er-Bres­son is con­sid­ered to be the god­fa­ther of mod­ern street pho­tog­ra­phy.

Unti­tled, 1952. Source: 123ru.net

Richard Avedon

Richard Ave­don became famous for his uncon­ven­tion­al view of things. As a boy, he was drawn to art and intend­ed to devote his life to lit­er­a­ture. How­ev­er, this deci­sion has changed sig­nif­i­cant­ly dur­ing the ser­vice in the Amer­i­can infantry. Ave­don worked as an assis­tant pho­tog­ra­ph­er: his duties includ­ed shoot­ing com­rades. Thus, the for­ma­tion of a por­trait mas­ter took place — mak­ing frame by frame, he learned to notice the fea­tures of facial expres­sions and brought out unique tech­niques.

Shoot­ing for Dior, Paris, 1956. Source: juicyworld.org

Lat­er, he meets the art direc­tor of Harper’s Bazar mag­a­zine, Alex­ei Brodovich, and this meet­ing becomes the begin­ning of a twen­ty-year col­lab­o­ra­tion. The mod­els had to jump, dance, play in the casi­no, laugh — the moments cap­tured by Richard Ave­don for­ev­er entered the cham­ber of weights and mea­sures of the glossy world.

Adver­tise­ment for Balen­ci­a­ga hats, 1955. Source: juicyworld.org

Alexander Rodchenko

The hey­day of Alexan­der Rod­chenko’s cre­ativ­i­ty fell on the 20–30s of the last cen­tu­ry. After the Octo­ber Rev­o­lu­tion, sev­er­al areas of avant-garde art became wide­spread at once. Alexan­der Mikhailovich is right­ful­ly con­sid­ered one of the founders of con­struc­tivism, which is char­ac­ter­ized by strict­ness and con­cise­ness of forms.

Col­umn of fencers, 1936. Source: russiainphoto.ru

Rod­chenko’s pho­to­graph­ic exper­i­ments are notable for their spe­cial dynam­ics and real­ism. He pre­ferred unusu­al shoot­ing angles (such as diag­o­nal com­po­si­tions), which was often crit­i­cized because of this. How­ev­er, this did not affect his career in any way. He also cre­at­ed over a hun­dred posters and illus­tra­tions for mag­a­zines and books, includ­ing works by Vladimir Mayakovsky.

Vladimir Mayakovsky, 1924. Source: news.myseldon.com

Sabina Weiss

The main tal­ent of Sabi­na Weiss is the abil­i­ty to con­vey human emo­tions. In her opin­ion, pho­tog­ra­phy should be “sim­ple in terms of com­po­si­tion, but at the same time have the abil­i­ty to hook you emo­tion­al­ly.” This posi­tion can be traced in every work of Weiss, regard­less of who is depict­ed on it — a rest­less boy or a tired work­er.

Unti­tled, 1955. Source: pinterest.ru

Sabi­na fell in love with pho­tog­ra­phy as a lit­tle girl. At the age of 8, she spent all her sav­ings on a cam­era. And although the father, a chemist, sup­port­ed the inter­ests of his daugh­ter, every­one was sure that she was des­tined to become a lab­o­ra­to­ry assis­tant. But the dreams of the par­ents were not des­tined to come true. For the sake of a “friv­o­lous” hob­by, Sabi­na left school and went on an intern­ship in Gene­va. Since no one thought about orga­niz­ing train­ing cours­es then, she had to learn every­thing in prac­tice.

Day after day, shoot­ing after shoot­ing, the girl grew up and became the bright­est rep­re­sen­ta­tive of the human­is­tic school. New York Times, Elle, and even NATO — you didn’t have to wor­ry about the lack of clients. And yet, pho­tographs where she “peeps” at passers-by are of par­tic­u­lar val­ue: the cozy atmos­phere of the shots, in which, it would seem, there is noth­ing remark­able, gives off warmth in the viewer’s chest. What could be more amaz­ing?

Lit­tle Gyp­sy, 1954. Source: dasfotoportal.de

Sergei Levitsky

Nev­er heard this name? Nev­er­the­less, his pho­tos are famil­iar to every school­child. Sergei Lev­it­sky was the per­son­al pho­tog­ra­ph­er of the impe­r­i­al fam­i­ly. 4 gen­er­a­tions of the Romanovs posed for him, start­ing with Nicholas I. Gogol, Tur­genev, Ostro­vsky, Gon­charov, Tol­stoy, Herzen and oth­er promi­nent per­son­al­i­ties vis­it­ed the lens of the daguerreo­type appa­ra­tus (in 1839 one could only dream of cam­eras).

Emper­or Nicholas II and Empress Alexan­dra Feodor­ov­na with their daugh­ter Olga, 1896. Source: romanovs-russia.blogspot.com

Sergei Lev­it­sky stood out for his unusu­al approach to work. He liked to exper­i­ment — as much as tech­nol­o­gy allowed then. Inter­est­ing col­lages with dou­ble por­traits (“Herzen against Herzen”) required incred­i­ble skill. Also, Lev­it­sky was one of the first to mas­ter the retouch­ing of pho­tographs to elim­i­nate defects in the neg­a­tive. More­over, he was able to find a way to pho­to­graph under elec­tric light­ing — the pro­fes­sion­als of that time were forced to shoot dur­ing day­light hours. Fail­ure after fail­ure, but Sergei Lvovich was able to bring his favorite art to a new lev­el.

Fam­i­ly of Emper­or Alexan­der III, 1888. Source: zen.yandex.ru

Photo coloring software

The fastest way to use online ser­vices: com­put­er vision from Mail.ru, Col­orize, MyHer­itage. In them, the col­oriza­tion of images is com­plete­ly auto­mat­ic, and its results are impres­sive. How­ev­er, the capa­bil­i­ties of such plat­forms do not allow man­u­al cor­rec­tion of the result, crop­ping, or remov­ing seri­ous defects such as gaps. If the pho­to is bad­ly dam­aged, it is bet­ter to install a mul­ti­func­tion­al edi­tor for image restora­tion.

In this case, you can use Pho­toV­IN­TAGE. The func­tion­al­i­ty of the pro­gram allows you to make auto­mat­ic col­oriza­tion, as well as inde­pen­dent­ly change the result. Sep­a­rate­ly, you can restore an old pho­to, make col­or cor­rec­tion and apply fil­ters.

Pho­toV­IN­TAGE pro­gram inter­face. Source: author’s prop­er­ty.