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Colorization of Second Lieutenant R C F Besch
R C F Besch served in World War I as a Second Lieutenant of the 28th Battalion, London Regiment. This photo was posted by the Imperial War Museums on Flickr in the “Commons” section in the hopes that people can help identify more information about the soldiers. Some of the photos found there are sourced from glass negatives and the definition is stunning, especially considering the time period it was taken.If you have some free time and are interested in that kind of thing, you can check out the Imperial War Museums photostream here
This colorization didn’t take too long, considering its just a simple portrait. I do always have a hard time settling on the green or yellow of the uniforms when colorizing a photo of a World War I Veteran. When researching the uniform colors, paintings and still existing uniforms found in museums seem to appear more of a mustard yellow mixed with brown rather than green, but I’m never sure if this is caused by fading over time. Regardless it can be a difficult color to achieve correctly. I generally use three different layers of green, yellow and brown and then fiddle with them until it looks right.
I also noticed the pin on the lapel of the uniform and could not seem to identify it anywhere, so I opted to stick with gold for now.
Just a quick tip for fellow colorizers regarding colorizing gold jewelery or anything with a extra shine. I generally use two low-opacity solid color layers for gold, the gold color I use Overlay or Soft Light blending mode and then a silver layer set to Vivid Light blending mode. The gold color is for the fill and the Vivid Light silver layer is to add the sheen. Make sure its set to really low opacity though or it will look silly. Perhaps I will post a tip or tutorial on colorizing shiny metal objects in the near future.
Below are the full size black and white photo along with my full size colorization. Feel free to share this post on Facebook, Twitter or whatever your social network of choice is. Feel free to leave any comments or questions in the comment section below.