Past Colours

Photo Services

Bringing the past back to life with realistic colourization

Colour adds reality, depth and relativity to a photo, it is so powerful that it can evoke an immediate understanding of an era or time in history, sometimes without the need for any other context.

As a result a great deal of responsibility rests on the shoulders of the Photo colorist to recreate the sense of realism that is required to successfully colourise old Black and White photos. It is not simply about picking pretty colours that look nice together, but must be true to the authenticity of the image.

Colorising photos is as sophisticated as planning an oil painting or other artistic rendition that is meant to replicate a place, time and presence authentically and with realism.

Each photo is a snap shot in time and each time had its collection of style, colour, atterns and textures. One must also understand that colours and patterns from previous eras always intersect or overlap with any contemporary colours in a photo.

Therefore a great deal of responsibility comes with creating an authentically realistic colourisation.

The difference between good and bad colourisation

Colourization properly applied, adds a more relatable look to family and history, it isn’t imply picking random colours.

Often studious research is required to ensure historical accuracy is maintained. The colours of varying eras of fashion, materials, infrastructure, vehicles and signage need to be well and truly understood prior to any attempt at rendering an image via digital means.

Having the right resources and access to historians, various archives, public and private museums is fundamental.

Relatives play an enormous part in assisting with such items as height, hair and eye colours as well as a number of other insights.

True authenticity and historical accuracy comes with having correct and true to era colours and hues, but also a clear understanding of a number of environmental factors that come into play. Each season presents different lights and intensity of light, for instance shadows and reflections that are evident on a hot summers day are altogether different to those that appear on a cold and frosty morning. They also affect the way a colour appears, both directly and by reflection.

Colourising Old Photos is not a replacement or substitute for the Black & White Photos, it is a supplement to Bring them back to Life.

Quality colourisation is an art form that can deliver truly amazing and beautiful results. The investment delivers images that you can really relate to and provide heirlooms that can be passed on to future generations.

Repair and Restore

Past Colours restores, enhances and recreates photo’s from across the decades. Peter has masterfully digitally restored and colourised family photos, corporate images, war time scenes and is renowned for his day to day life colourisations from the 19th century.
Each photo is well researched and the input of research and creative alchemy, deliver a photo that is as accurate as can be.

We repair a range of damage on photos that include

  • Colour variation
  • Fire and water damage
  • Silvering
  • Flaking emulsion
  • Sticky tape marks
  • Faded colours

This is how we do it

Whether you have a single photo or a collection, I can assist utilising the latest in digital enhancement and editing processes.

I always recommend sending your original images (where it is possible to) as we can extract the most information from your photos, slides, or negatives with our equipment. However, you can also send a scanned digital file you’ve created.

All original photos, artwork and materials are handled with exceptional care and our quotation is always confirmed with you prior to commencement of any restoration.

Once confirmed and restored we send you a digital proof so you can review the restoration and conrm you are satisfied with the results.

When you are satisfied with the end result we send you a digital file and or an archival-quality digital print, along with your original photo’s or artwork.

Refer to my scanning guide to ensure you deliver the best result.

We always initialize the process by creating a high definition copy of your image that we store as your backup and from which we also work for your restoration. This leaves your photo or scan in its original condition.

Feel free to look through our FAQ to learn more about my services or review my examples and sample pricing.

Recomposing photos, removing backgrounds or placing figures into other scenes

Past Colours can touch up or re-image your photos. We can clean up photos for you, improving skin and complexion issues, or remove distracting objects in a photo.

A favorite photo may have a distracting shadow, or object such as a pole or sign where you would like there to be a clear sky.

It’s not uncommon to be asked for us to remove unwanted people from a photo or include people that otherwise may have not been able to be in a shot.

Ask us how we can fix your photo.

Do you have family photos you’d like imagined into a Photo Collage or perhaps a special person reconnected with a sentimental scene?

Imagine that as a surprise for a friend or loved one, a totally unique and thoughtful gift.

This is how we do it

Example 1: (above)

Footballer in state guernsey attire and old poorly restored background. Player cut out, club guernsey and socks recreated and coloured accordingly, correct matching shorts illustrated and added.
Crowd from local ground inserted into background.


Example 2:

Assembling father, son and grandson into a single photo with a star AFL foothballer. Required digitally cutting out both sets of people, cleaning up their outlines, adjusting colour and setting them front of a heritage black & white grandstand.


Example 3:

Meindert was the first name of the man affectionately known as “Big John“. Big John Worked the tug boat “Yelta” on the Port River in Adelaide South Australia. The only photo available of this well know man was an extremely faded black and white image and I was asked to attempt a restoration. The end result after some manipulation and deep digital enhancement was the image I finally colourised and supplied to the client Meindert (Big John) is now reconnected with his beloved Yelta and is now a pride of place image for the family.

Prints Enlargements Posters Art Prints

Poster Prints with Fine Art Paper or Ilford Smooth Pearl Photo Paper come in sizes:
Poster PrintsSize (inches)Size (cms)
A411.69 x 8.2729.69 x 21.01
 12 x 1030.48 x 25.40
 14 x 1135.56 x 27.94
 16 x 1240.64 x 30.48
A316.54 x 11.6942.01 x 29.69
 20 x 1650.80 x 40.64
A223.39 x 16.5459.41 x 42.01
 24 x 2060.96 x 50.80
 30 x 2076.20 x 50.80
 30 x 2476.20 x 60.96
A133.11 x 23.3984.10 x 59.41
 30 x 3076.20 x 76.20
 40 x 30101.60 x 76.20
A046.81 x 33.11118.90 x 84.10
 40 x 40101.60 x 101.60
 50 x 40127.00 x 101.60
 60 x 40152.40 x 101.60
Photo Prints with Matt Paper or Satin Photo Paper come in sizes:
6 x 412.7 x 10.6
7 x 5 12.7 x17.78
6 x 812.7 x 20.32
8 x 1020.32 x 25.40
8 x 1220.32 x30.48 
10 x 1225.4 x 30.48
12 x 16 30.48 x 40.64
13 x 1933.02 x 48.26