Playing With Photoshop’s New Feature

35mm analog digitization process progression

Original black and white version
Original black and white version

Here’s a black and white and colorized version of a photo from 1989 I shot at Rio’s nightclub in Point Loma. It was shot early in the night on a weekday evening where I used to go out every single night and drink and shoot at various clubs and bars and Revolt In Style would use the photos in it’s scene pages. “Society” pages is what they’d be called in richer or more pretentious publications.

Trevor Watson, Revolt In Style’s publisher, used to throw these cheeky Soviet-themed events during the height of the Cold War here in San Diego, a heavily military-industrial city where the majority of the whole economy at the time was dependent upon the Department Of Defense. It was a snarky punk rock thing to do but also rather forward-thinking because the brinkmanship was dying down and growing efforts were being made at détente. A lot of people wanted to make friends with the Russians. Plus it was just counter cultural thing to do.

I’ve found this new Photoshop add-on feature where it was automatically colorize a black and white photo. It’s not perfect by any means but here’s a first effort. The color isn’t even along the length of the wrap-around drink banister and the girls are more tanned than I remember them but the app got the hammer and sickle flag color about right. It could have been less tomatoey and more fire truck red but at least it’s not green or blue. I mean, how does the code even know where to start? It’s fascinating to me.

Leave a Reply