Charm of Daily Life in Old-Time Maine Revived in Colorized Photos (Photo Gallery)
Charm of Daily Life in Old-Time Maine Revived in Colorized Photos (Photo Gallery)
Children of homesteaders in Wichita Gardens in 1936.  (Colorized by Patty Allison)

Children of homesteaders in Wichita Gardens in 1936. (Colorized by Patty Allison)

Children of homesteaders in Wichita Gardens in 1936.

Children of homesteaders in Wichita Gardens in 1936.

An Oldsmobile dealership in Maine.

An Oldsmobile dealership in Maine.

A colorized photo of an Oldsmobile dealership in Maine colorized by Patty Allison and first published in Epoch Times.

A colorized photo of an Oldsmobile dealership in Maine colorized by Patty Allison and first published in Epoch Times.

"Swim Suit Police," 1922.

"Swim Suit Police," 1922. (Colorized by Patty Allison)

(Colorized by Patty Allsion)

(Colorized by Patty Allsion)

A filling station in Maine, 1928.

A filling station in Maine, 1928.

A filling station in Maine, 1928. (Colorized by Patty Allison)

A filling station in Maine, 1928. (Colorized by Patty Allison)

Fore River in Portland, Maine.

Fore River in Portland, Maine.

Fore River in Portland, Maine. (Colorized by Patty Allison)

Fore River in Portland, Maine. (Colorized by Patty Allison)

Forest City Landing Peaks Island, Portland, Maine, circa 1910.

Forest City Landing Peaks Island, Portland, Maine, circa 1910.

Forest City Landing Peaks Island, Portland, Maine, circa 1910. (Colorized by Patty Allison)

Forest City Landing Peaks Island, Portland, Maine, circa 1910. (Colorized by Patty Allison)

Congress Street in Portland, Maine, circa 1910.

Congress Street in Portland, Maine, circa 1910.

Congress Street in Portland, Maine, circa 1910. (Colorized by Patty Allison)

Congress Street in Portland, Maine, circa 1910. (Colorized by Patty Allison)

Betty White and her dog.

Betty White and her dog.

Betty White and her dog (Colorized by Patty Allison)

Betty White and her dog (Colorized by Patty Allison)

Looking down Congress Street from Congress Square in  Portland, Maine.

Looking down Congress Street from Congress Square in Portland, Maine.

Looking down Congress Street from Congress Square in  Portland, Maine. (Colorized by Patty Allison)

Looking down Congress Street from Congress Square in Portland, Maine. (Colorized by Patty Allison)

Middle Street in Portland, Maine.

Middle Street in Portland, Maine.

Middle Street in Portland, Maine. (Colorized by Patty Allison)

Middle Street in Portland, Maine. (Colorized by Patty Allison)

An abandoned garage on Highway 2 in Western North Dakota in 1937.

An abandoned garage on Highway 2 in Western North Dakota in 1937.

An abandoned garage on Highway 2 in Western North Dakota in 1937. (Colorized by Patty Allison)

An abandoned garage on Highway 2 in Western North Dakota in 1937. (Colorized by Patty Allison)

Old Orchard, Maine, circa 1904.

Old Orchard, Maine, circa 1904.

Old Orchard, Maine, circa 1904. (Colorized by Patty Allison)

Old Orchard, Maine, circa 1904. (Colorized by Patty Allison)

State Street in Portland, Maine, circa 1907, looking toward the Henry Wadsworth Longfellow Monument.

State Street in Portland, Maine, circa 1907, looking toward the Henry Wadsworth Longfellow Monument.

State Street in Portland, Maine, circa 1907, looking toward the Henry Wadsworth Longfellow Monument. (Colorized by Patty Allison)

State Street in Portland, Maine, circa 1907, looking toward the Henry Wadsworth Longfellow Monument. (Colorized by Patty Allison)

Photographs capture memories, but black and white photos sometimes don’t bring the moment back to life for the viewer the way color does. Patty Allison adds living color to scenes of daily life and photos of historical places in Portland, Maine. Though she focuses on Portland, she also colorizes photos of classic scenes in old-time American life from other regions. 

It’s an intricate process and a single photo can take as long as 10 hours to colorize. Each color requires a different lithographic stone. Photography and photo restoration is a hobby for Allison, who works as a self-employed dog groomer. She taught herself digital colorization.

“If it’s a great picture, I love to work on it. And when the color goes on, it’s a whole different ball game, the photo just comes alive,” Allison told the Portland Press Herald last year. 

Allison researches to find just the right color. She’ll try to match the real color of a storefront, for example, so people can recognize it and connect to it. When people see their city as it was in the past, adding this veracity helps draw a true connection between that scene of the past and the present experience. 

In addition to her website, she posts the photos to social media, and the feedback she gets has helped her greatly as a self-taught artist. She told the Herald that some social media users pointed out, for example, that one of her restorations looked too dull for a sunny day. 

“The critics started saying, ‘You need some yellow in those trees,’ and when that was done, it looks great,” she said. “It’s simple but not something you think about if you don’t know, that the sun shining makes things yellow.”

To see more of her work, visit her website, ImbuedWithHues.com

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