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Digital Colourisation

Fascination with colourising


Dave Davis, CODIJY User & Community Member, UK

When I was a child, oh so many years ago, the world was a brightly coloured place yet, when I look at photos from that time, it seems so dull. Adding colour, for me, brings that past, and photos from long before I was born, into the present. People and places seem more real to me, not just vestigial footnotes from history.

Family photos

I’ve been messing around with images on computer screens for at least two decades, so I’m not sure when I first colourised a photo, but the first colourisation I do remember clearly was of a picture of my mother as a child, and her sister who had died shortly after the photo was taken.

I hadn’t realised at the time that it was just an enlargement of a bit of a larger photo, though it seems obvious looking at it now. Then, via a Facebook page of mum’s home town, I got that larger picture. I hadn’t done the more recent photo in Codijy, so I gave it a go. I’m very happy with the result!

 Methodist Hall in a small Cornish town called Looe, 1939

A couple of years before she died, in 2010, my mother gave me a suitcase full of photos. I started digitising them, and doing some repairs to scratched, torn and faded photos. 

I discovered that the software I was using had a brush that changed whatever you painted to whatever colour you chose, without losing any details. Thus was born my fascination with colourising.

Colourised photos from the Dave’s family album. Mom, grandma, grandpa and Dave. 

fascination with colourising

Once I’d done all the family photos I could find I moved on to local history, then history in general and the movies.


Browsing Dave’s blog you will enjoy many of the photographs of the UK royal family. 

Then health problems kicked in, threatening to curtail my hobby. Glaucoma in both eyes which, even after successful treatment, left me feeling eye strain very quickly, and arthritis prevented me from holding a pen or mouse for long periods.

Which is where Codijy came in. I had already used a program that used a similar process of turning a few painted lines into blocks of colour, but the instability of that program was as bad as the arthritis!  

Codijy has allowed me to work on even very detailed photos, giving me tangible results quickly, so I don’t get bored, even if I have to keep stopping to give my eyes and joints a rest.