Matt Loughrey's My Colorful Past project bridges "the gap between history and art", using digital techniques to add colour to monochrome images. And you can compare both versions with our interactive presentation. This image from the National Library of Ireland's Hogan collection shows a member of the British Crown Forces, most likely an Auxiliary, on duty in in Gloucester St., Dublin in February 1921, with a cigarette in one hand and a Lewis gun in the other. 


So how did Loughrey work on the image? "There's some superb ambient light right through this image and it glances on the colour detail of the coat, which looks black but is in fact a very deep and dark green." 

Loughrey also learned a few things about fashion history." A few times I have coloured uniforms where head gear sports a pom-pom, this too was one of those occasions," he says. "It acts as a protection element for the wearer as well as a height gauge in confines, I did not know this until recently and I, like many others, always assumed a pom-pom was decorative. These are the things you learn when studying imagery in detail."

Original image courtesy of the National Library of Ireland