Colorization Exercise

March 12, 2007

Original ShieldAs part of further efforts to complete my image assignment, I’ve combined hand-coloring with a matted engraving.  The picture here is a scanned image of the coat of arms for Fort Kamehameha.  The original black and white image was xeroxed from a book and then faxed, so I scanned that image into a jpeg and colorized it in accordance with the description that was in the book.  I used HTML definitions for silver and gold (which show up as light grey and yellow-orange).  The background color is from the fragment of the Kam Zero shown in the March 5th entry, which I sampled in photoshop and then copied to the image here.

Colorized ShieldBefore colorizing the shield, I adjusted the whites and blacks to make the light grey background on the original go away.  I would like to make the black outline more definite, because thin lines tend to disapper when the picture size is reduced.  The larger originals look a lot better.  The final step will be to add the motto “Defender of the Pacific Pearls.”  I did this once before using PowerPoint word art (which allows me to curve the words to fit the scroll), but I’m not sure I can do the same in Photoshop.

Different Images

March 8, 2007


The best laid plans of mice, men and HI697 student gang aft agly, so the best one can do is be flexible.  In my last entry, I posted the images I intended to work with for the image assignment and wrote about what I planned to do with them.  Unfortunately, the Zero picture in the banner proved to be a challenging subject for colorizing, since it was a very grainy image and much of the detail in the fuselage was hidden.  I opted to try another Kam Zero image for restoration.  This original (above) was posted on a personal website by the family of William Vigus, a soldier at Fort Kam on December 7th 1941.  The picture was one he took after the attack, and as you can see it was not in good condition with some harsh tonals and a tear down the middle.  I liked this photo because it was taken from a wider angle than some of the others and shows some of the wreckage still stuck in the palm tree, so I took a stab at enhancing it.  First I used levels to set the image tone, and set the blacks and whites using the procedures outlined in Eismann Chapter 2.  I used gaussian blurring to offset the graininess and polished it off by removing the tear with the clone tool.  The result is seen below.


Image Assignment Musings

March 5, 2007

Kam Zero FragmentWell, if I didn’t exactly slay the first two assignment dragons I at least forced them to vacate the battlefield for a while.  Now I face the next assignment, which is to colorize, distort and otherwise improve digital images using Photoshop.  It’s going to be a bit of a stretch to find an image associated with my dissertation that requires restoration, since photographs from the early 40’s are generally clear due to the use of exceptionally large (by modern standards) frames.  What I’ve elected to do is to colorize one of the black and white pictures from the Kam Zero site.  I’m going to do this because if you ask any casual historian of the Pacific War what color a Japanese naval Zero was, chances are he will say light grey.  That’s how they look in black and white photographs, and the Kam Zero is no exception.  But fortunately, some fragments of the Kam Zero still survive in various places, and color photographs of them appear on the web.  The Kam Zero wasn’t grey, it was a sort of brownish green, the color shown in the upper left corner.

Three MusketeersFor the other parts of the assignment, I’m going to work on a portrait associated with one of my minor areas in applied history.  In my field statement I’m going to propose the editing of a diary kept by a WWI flier by the name of John MacGavock Grider.  After he was killed on June 18, 1918, Grider’s friend Elliot White Springs combined the diary with letters and Springs’ own diary into a book called “War Bird – Diary of an Unknown Aviator.”  The story behind the diaries and the book is an entry unto itself, but I do have a good portrait to mess around with.  This photo is of (from left to right) Grider, Springs, and Laurence Callahan.  They are all in different uniforms, because Grider (and Callahan I think) were actually volunteers in the Royal Air Force while Springs ended up in the US Army Air Corps.  So I will have to do some color matching using some sites that document WWI uniforms.  My guess is that the RAF uniforms are brown and tan, while the US uniform is dark green.