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Hand-colored Black and White Pictures

First Online: February 21, 2007
Page Last Updated: January 10, 2018


Since the advent of digital touching of photographs, the hand-coloring of monochrome photographs is a dead art form. However, to document a glorious era in the world of black-and-white photography, and to do justice to the laborious hours of the artist/photographer K.L.Kamat, who used transparent photo colors to hand-color the photographs, we bring you this online exhibit. 

The transparent colors that Kamat has used were actually "see-though" colors that you apply in coats to enhance or manipulate the black-and-white photograph. Cotton stubs and hairline brushes were used to apply the colors. Excess colors were washed and then the photograph was glazed in a glazing machine.

Artificially Colored Photographs

R.K. Narayan is one of the foremost Indian writers
Portrait hand-colored by K.L.Kamat
Modern Indian Writers
Tribal Man, Madhya Pradesh
Tribal Headgear
Central India, 1976. Photograph hand-colored by K.L.Kamat

Coloring of Monochrome Photographs Yields New Form of Art
Detail of temple sculpture from Bhatkal, circa 16th century.
Use of Transparent Color
Tribals of Bastar
A Youngster Belonging to Muria Tribe
Photograph hand-colored by K.L. Kamat

Portrait of a Tribal Boy, Bastar
Photograph hand-colored by Kamat
Tribals of Bastar
Pounding of Grains
Halakki Gowdatis in Synchronized Rice Pounding
(Photograph is hand-colored by K.L.Kamat)

Transparent Color Enhances the Beauty while Preserving the Original Definition
Picture shows medieval musicians of Bhatkal
Medieval Musicians
Hand-colored Photograph
Young Couple
Picture of newly wed couple, 1980

Tribal Man, Madhya Pradesh
Hand Tinted Photos
Touched Photography
Tribal Woman, Madhya Pradesh

Parents and their Child
Detail from a medieval sculpture, Bhatkal
Depiction of Family Life
Hand-colored  Photographs
Woman Churning Curds
Hand-colored photograph of a Bhatkal sculpture

See Also:

  • Vintage Advertisements -- Showcase of old and successful advertisements from India. Includes advertisements for clothing, telephones, vehicles, and condiments.


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