In her view, color has the power to close the gap between the subjects of musty public domain photos and their modern viewers. A before and after comparison of her digital kolesnikova math for kids on Nadezhda Kolesnikova, one of many female Soviet snipers whose vintage likenesses she has colorized bears this out. The color version could be a fashion spread in a current magazine, except there’s nothing artificial-seeming about this 1943 pose.
Shirnina reflected in the Daily Mail. When I colorize uniforms I have to search for info about the colours or ask experts. So I’m not free in choosing colors. When I colorize a dress on a 1890s photo, I look at what colors were fashionable at that time. When I have no limitations I play with colours looking for the best combination. She also puts herself on a short leash where famous subjects are concerned.
Eyewitness accounts of Vladimir Lenin’s eye color ensured that the revolutionary’s colorized irises would remain true to life. And while there may be a market for representations of punked out Russian literary heroes, Shirnina plays it straight there too, eschewing the digital Manic Panic where Chekhov, Tolstoy, and Bulgakov are concerned. Even the unsung proletariat are given a chance to shine from the fields and factory floors. Browse an eye popping gallery of Olga Shirnina’s work on her website. Venice in Beautiful Color Images 125 Years Ago: The Rialto Bridge, St. Ayun Halliday is an author, illustrator, theater maker and Chief Primatologist of the East Village Inky zine. We’re hoping to rely on our loyal readers rather than erratic ads.