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Evening Picnic at Huntington Beach, 1937.
Original black and white photo comes courtesy of The Huntington Digital Library and was taken in 1937 by photographer Dick Whittington. If you look closely at the newspaper the young man is reading in the bottom right of the photo, you can just make out the headline “Nazis behead U.S. citizen in bomb plot”. This refers to Helmut Hirsch who was executed on June 4, 1937 for his part in a bombing plot intended to destabilize the German Reich. A second headline reads: “Nine trapped & burned to death as big California bus crashes”. This refers to a Greyhound bus crash near Redding, California which was also on June 4. This information was noticed and pointed out to me by redditor notbob1959.
This photo provided quite a few challenges. Since the photo was taken at night, it was somewhat difficult to work with. To avoid a “flat” looking colorization, the color opacity must be adjusted accordingly with the shadows. Sometimes lowering the saturation in the shadowed areas will provide a decent result, but this photo required a bit more work to pull it off. Another challenge in this photo was achieving the lighting from the fire. With the help of multiple vivid light layers and some creative trial and error, I was able to reach a result that I was satisfied with. Let me know what you think.
Below is the full size original black and white photo as well as my full size restoration and colorization.