Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Charlie colorized

This photo has been making its rounds on the internet. Whoever colorized it did a nice job, but personally I prefer the original b&w version (below). I have never been a fan of colorizing movie stills or photos of Chaplin (or anyone else for that matter).  I think b&w is beautiful all on its own and personally I find colorizing to be disrespectful to the original photographer. Chaplin himself preferred b&w & when asked about color photography in 1931 he said he could "do without it." I will also point out that the Chaplin family themselves do not approve of colorized photos of Charlie & once asked someone who was posting their "artwork" on Tumblr to please stop.

Ok, I'll get off my soapbox now.


  1. Hear! Hear! Someone needs to put a stop to these atrocities.

    1. I'm glad someone out there agrees. I realize that colorizing was going on back in the day and I even have some very tastefully done hand-tinted postcards from the 1920s. But when I see these amateurish colorizations of beautiful b&w photos of Charlie by Witzel and Steichen, I just want to cringe. I have a feeling Witzel and Steichen themselves might cringe as well.

  2. I absolutely agree. Seriously, what's the point? To imagine how that person would look in "real life"? It's specious, as the colors always look faded and washed out. I've always loved this picture of Chaplin, even though he thought it made him look like a "bleary-eyed murderer".