Migrant Mother in Black&White or Color

with 3 Comments

Migrant Mother colorized, 1937

This is the coloration of Dorothea Lange’s iconic ‘Migrant Mother’ photo. The stark reality of Dorothea’s original photograph is actuated by the addition of color, which I think brings out detail not apparent in the black & white original.

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is 8b29516u-821x1024.jpg

Quem entende de “colourisation” é a Marina Amaral

Color has the power to bring life back to the most important moments

She Resisted

I have long considered colourisation sacrilege… after reading this book, I’ve changed my mind.’

Gerard DeGroot, The Times

Continue a ver e ler, vale a pena! Eu garanto!

Archival Photographs: To Colour or Not to Colour?

It Depends!

After looking into this new modern colourization trend, I don’t feel that I am any closer to landing on one side or the other. I would say that like most things in the archival world – it depends! If properly researched and sourced, a colourized photograph can help to make a historic event more relevant to the present and therefore help a viewer to make a more emotional connection with the material. But there are issues of authenticity, context, and the photographer’s original intentions. Something tells me that Yousef Karsh did not envision a colour version of his iconic Churchill portrait.

Touching up: are we wrong to colourise old photographs?

Crucial to the controversy is the issue of historical accuracy. For colourists like Amaral there are difficulties to be overcome. Particularly time-consuming was her work on the photograph of nine European kings – in Windsor for the burial of Edward VII in 1910 – who gathered in one room for a group shot. Her challenge was the number of medals and uniforms in the picture. “I had to identify them correctly to be able to use accurate colours.”

Marina Amaral no Instagram

Sprucing up black-and-white photographs is all the rage, but there are questions to ask

Two versions of Dorothea Lange’s Migrant Mother by two different colourists appear in Retrographic and The Colour of Time. For Carroll, a famous photograph like this is bound up with the history of the mid-20th century. It is, he says, our knowledge of the adverse conditions of the woman in the picture that lends power to the image and he believes that colourisation, accurately performed, can only add to this history: “It is the history that makes the shot what it is, and allows us to emotionally connect with the subject.”

Conversely, a sublime timelessness can be attributed to Migrant Mother, situating it within a tradition of Madonna and Child images that transcends its documentary identity. If its socioeconomic setting was unknown and the title removed, the photograph could be seen in other ways without diminishing its aesthetic and powerful form.

Berenice Abbott took some colour images in the 1950s but deprecated their value, saying colour “crowds the picture and affects the composition”. This was her aesthetic choice and any colourising of her earlier work surely risks blurring a critical response to her achievement. For some, colourising Lange’s work is a monetising of art, on a level with the fridge magnets, mugs and the tea towels manufactured for major exhibitions around the world.

HOW THE ICONIC PHOTO “MIGRANT MOTHER” WAS STAGED AND CAPTURED

Dorothea Lange’s Migrant Mother is certainly one of the most iconic photos of the 20th century. And just as the photo is striking, so is the story behind it. In this video from Nerdwriter, you can hear more about how Lange took this photo and how it became one of the symbols of the Great Depression.

That Iconic ‘Migrant Mother’ Photo Was ‘Photoshopped’

“Migrant Mother” by photographer Dorothea Lange is an iconic image of the Great Depression and one of the most famous photos in US history. But did you know that the photo was “Photoshopped”?

Siga o enlace para o NYT na matéria!

PS: A PicturaPixel contou essa história em 2008, para ficar registrado.

PS1: A colorização de fotos em preto&branco é complicada. Como escreveu Emily Lonie na matéria enlaçada aí na nota: “It depends”. Colorizar registros históricos é muito interessante, traz outros aspectos que não se podem observar na imagem original. Porém fotografias autorais não deveriam ser tocadas. A não ser pelo próprio autor, no caso autora, como fez Dorothea.

O que autor ou autora pensou e propôs é sagrado. Assim pensamos!

3 Responses

  1. meg rodrigues
    | Reply

    Colorizar fotos históricas? Por que?
    Lange retocou a fotografia para não desviar a atenção da expressão desolada da mãe. Então, não tem “depende”. Colorizar a abordagem documental não traz vida, não traz outros detalhes. Você está correto em afirmar: “É sagrado”.

  2. meg rodrigues
    | Reply

    “Embora talvez haja uma esfera de ação em que a fotografia não pode nos dizer nada mais do que o que vemos com nossos próprios olhos, existe uma outra que nos prova o quão pouco nossos olhos permitem ver.” Dorothea Lange

    • admin
      | Reply

      Cara Meg, muito bom te reencontrar aqui. Esse assunto de colorizar ou não rende pano pra manga.
      Navegando pela rede fiquei tonto com tanta informação. Eu gosto muito de fotos antigas coloridas no pincel. Quando morava em SP nos anos 80, tinha um senhor que ficava ali pelo Masp que coloria fotos. Vc entregava um 3×4 preto e branco, dois na verdade, e ele transformava em uma foto de casal. Aquela foto que era tão comum nas casa dos brasileiros. Um trabalho maravilhoso! Até hoje me arrependo de não ter feito uma foto com ele.
      Bom, voltando ao assunto, acredito que no que está dito na nota. Registros históricos podem ser colorizados, como disse Jordan Lloyd no vídeo, a nova imagem não substitui a original, é só um complemento. Já a fotografia de autor, no caso de uma mestra como Dorothea Lange, é intocável, sagrada!
      A frase da Dorothea na sua resposta é emblemática! E porque contrariar a Berenice Abbott? Como está lá na nota…
      Berenice Abbott took some colour images in the 1950s but deprecated their value, saying colour “crowds the picture and affects the composition”.
      É isso. Grato pelos comentários. É esse mesmo o propósito do Photo Resistance, troca de ideias.

Leave a Reply