Following feedback on my initial proposal and research, I began to move my project forward by experimenting with colourisation. Previously, I had acknowledged that this was a process I wished to incorporate into my design, yet I was still unsure of how I could use it alongside the museums archival material, to produce something that was more than just ‘colouring images’. As well as this I worried about how effective it would be in terms of bringing ‘familiarity’ to these found images, as was my original proposal. Despite this I decided to continue, and began looking through the different material I had collected from my visits to the library and archive as a starting point. Initially, I used the journal of C.W.L Mason as my primary material, which recorded his time as a Royal Engineer in Mombasa, Kenya in 1942-43. My decision to use this journal as my main resource was due to the assortment of material it included, such as photographs of Mason’s time in Kenya, his own personal images of himself and his family, alongside handwritten notes and illustrations; all of which I felt were relevant in producing a piece of work that highlighted his narrative, which I could use to engage an audience to think about this individual as a real person.
Once I had chosen my source material, I then selected an image which I could use to get accustomed to the process of colourisation. For this, I selected a self-portrait of Mason that featured on the first page of his journal (see top right), and begun researching different colourisation techniques until I found one that matched my abilities in Photoshop. From here, I began by correcting some of the main damage on the original image (as to make it easier for myself to distinguish between the different components), before moving ahead with the colourisation. At this stage, I changed the image mode from RGB colour to CMYK colour, and used separate curves layers to produce my chosen colour palette, as was suggested in this tutorial. I then began filling in each individual element separately (i.e. skin-tone, clothes, background etc.) using a tablet, until the image had been completely coloured (see bottom right).
Although satisfied with the outcome, I did feel as though something was missing from my finished image, and after bringing my development forward at a group tutorial it was suggested that I could perhaps only colourise some of the features within the image, as to bring in some interest to the photograph. Additionally, it was also suggested that I could experiment with different layouts following my research into found/archival photography, and start considering different textures and placements, that could again provoke more interest into the work. On reflection, this criticism seems constructive to the development of my project and has produced some interesting ideas to move forward with in the following weeks.
Dynamichrome. (2017). About. [online] Available at: http://dynamichrome.com [Accessed 27 Sep. 2017].
Rice, T. (2017). How to colorize a photo in Photoshop in a way that looks lovely. [online] Digital Arts. Available at: http://www.digitalartsonline.co.uk/tutorials/photoshop/colorize-photo-in-photoshop/ [Accessed 27 Sep. 2017].
Sanna Dullaway. (2017). Colorizations. [online] Available at: http://sannadullaway.com [Accessed 27 Sep. 2017].