Is it possible to restore the color of black and white photos? Do not paint them, but exactly to restore the color! Can we see what people saw in front of the camera many years ago?
Up to last days the colorization (color-coding) was the only process that can make black and white photos in color. Note, do not restore the color, only make it colorful. By other words - to paint it. The result of such work eventually became quite perfect and good looking. However, the idea, that this is someone's imagination but not true color, prevented to perceive colorization as a real scientific achievement. Black and white photography was still black and white. In 2008, we began work on a method that would allow us to restore the original color of the image without painting or color-coding.
Experiments with color, including changes of intensity of rays, analysis of color systems and works of scientists S. Prokudin-Gorsky and A. Munsel forced us to review the idea of known methods of color reproduction. It was found that the color does not disappear. The physical properties of the light are huge, and the color is relative. A series of experiments led us to the conclusion that the black and white image is a primitive way to transfer full color! Think about it!
At the present we have color recovery algorithm which is applicable to any image without pretreatment. Works that we publish on the website and elsewhere haven't been improved by designers. Our task is to show the true color that photographer and his camera saw in front of him.
Comparison colorization (right) and Color recovery of Solar Green process (left).
On the right picture we can see that background is still black and white and colors depend of designer's imagination.
We have lost part of beautiful Carole's makeup and the most of shadows on her face and neck due to covering with color.
The method, which we have called Solar Green color process, has several advantages:
1. The truth of color without painting pictures.
2. Speed. Having a standard algorithm for each image allows us to do the work in short time.
3. The cheapness. Compared with the colorization Solar Green color process is much cheaper because the technology does not require a large number of Web artists and other staff. The process may be carried out in several standard steps.
4. Solar Green color process does not require special equipment.
We hope that Solar Green color process will replace the colorization and will reveal the secrets of old photos. We will be able to see pictures and movies of yesteryear differently, we can look back and see it as it was seen people of old years.