The Forgotten Art of Hand Colored Photographs

This short documentary spotlights Grace Rawson, an 83-year old New Zealander who, in her youth in the 1950s, worked as a hand colorist. Along with other young women, she was employed by a company called White’s Aviation to meticulously add color tinting to the company’s aviation photography. As she says in the video, each piece was created lovingly by hand, and though the technique is not generally looked back upon with great fondness, the care that Rawson put into them is evident. She demonstrates the technique here for the first time in many decades, and the results have a winningly imprecise charm that is rare in today’s age of highly manipulated digital color.

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