I have been seeing these pop up all over the Internet. And I have to say that at first I was intrigued, particularly by the Civil War images.
But once I thought about it a little, I began to wonder how any of this was all that different from tampering with historical evidence. What may seem a harmless and interesting activity could just as easily add up to falsifying documents. Indeed – information in colorized images – no matter how seemingly accurate, might very well mislead or misinform analysis.
Oh sure, leaves are green. But are they always? Not in Virginia in the fall. The wear of an individual’s military uniform or civilian clothing (dirt, fading, etc) can tell us quite a bit about that person’s life experience. A colorization artist could thus very easily – if unintentionally – create dubious information regarding time, place, social station, or any number of things.
I’ve included a few images here from this site for your consideration. What do you think?