Saturday, July 08, 2017

Sepia Saturday 365 : Diving Into A Too Blue Sea


Our Sepia Saturday theme image this week shows a brave swimmer about to dive into what appears to be a cold sepia lake. Even on a globally-warmed summer's day, the prospect is enough to send a shiver down my spine, so I stayed indoors instead and searched through my ever-growing collection of old and unwanted photographs in order to find something that fit the bill. I eventually found a small, old faded photograph of five men in a boat along with a sixth man who is already in, what appears to be, an equally cold sea.

On a whim - and because it is the kind of thing that you can do when you are retired and trying to avoid mowing the lawn - I decided to see whether I could make the sea a little more inviting. There was an App which claimed to automatically "colourise" monochrome prints that I had been meaning to try for some time, so I subjected my little grey print as an experimental offering. The result (see below) was quite good - it reminded me a little of those early twentieth century "colourised" picture postcards where blocks of slightly inaccurate colour appear to have been applied by a pig-bristle brush. There were, however, two drawbacks to this approach to turning the sea blue: the process reduced the size of the original image to a scale fit only for a mobile phone, and - more importantly - you had to pay 10 pence for the magical transformation.


Being a Yorkshireman, I quickly moved on to a second approach and that was attempting to colourise the image myself by inexpertly manipulating various brushes, layers and filters in Photoshop. The result (see below) was not too dissimilar to the App conversion, except that it retained the original size of the image and cost 10 pence less. Perhaps I should practice more, because it must be said that there is something not quite right about the results I achieved. The sea is a little too blue, a little too inviting. It might work for Malibu Beach, but not for Cleethorpes.


12 comments:

  1. Your boat became pink, not blue. But no mind; I love the woman holding the sale for balance.

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  2. You are so right. The "colourised" photos do indeed resemble those old postcards!

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  3. I like the black and white best but your colorized do-it-yourself version is the best of the two colored ones. Lake water in my experience never is that blue color. More of a greenish gray.

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  4. If Jerome K. Jerome ever wrote a sequel to his celebrated book, this would make the cover of "Six Men in A Boat". The photo's lack of horizon and the line division of water and boat makes it look like a theater stage set waiting for mermaids to float by.

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  5. Adding color to a photo gives it depth and more personality to the subjects involved - generally speaking. Both attempts here are pretty good. I like your version a little better, I think. Being used to Lake Tahoe's VERY COLD water, cold water doesn't deter me much. In fact I love the refreshing, invigorating (you have to MOVE or freeze to death) part of it.

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  6. Well done in matching the theme and enhancing it. Another experiment to try when you don't want to mow the lawn is just spot colorizing where you leave most of the photo black and white but colorize something you want to highlight. Of course, this might take less time requiring you to mow the lawn anyway.

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  7. I always wonder if people in the 20s and 30s felt the cold less than we do today with our strip-down-to-your-vest-in-winter central heating? And thus happier to leap into cold water.

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  8. I'm with Kristin: I like the original best of all; it seems almost sinful to me to colorize one of these lovely old shots...but I have to confess to liking the pink boat!

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  9. Good attempt, and if it keeps you from mowing, more power to you! I agree, the water i seldom blue anyway.

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  10. LOL. You know how to waste time too. I'm a champion at it but haven't been awarded a medal yet.
    I like the original photo as well. The photographer must have been standing in the water (or on a boat).

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  11. You know, "Five Men in a Boat with One Man In" would make a fine title for a drinking song.

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  12. I like the colorized versions. The boat looks on the verge of sinking but they all look like they're having a grand time.

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