Matt Loughrey's My Colorful Past project bridges "the gap between history and art", bringing colour to monochrome images. Compare both versions with our interactive presentation. This week he's been working on another image from the RTE Photographic Archive's Cashman Collection.
The photo shows four of the Anglo-Irish Treaty signatories surrounded by supporters, Holyhead, Wales 6 December 1921. From left to right (after the woman in the foreground on the left) you can see Arthur Griffith, Eamon J Duggan, Robert Barton and George Gavan-Duffy.
An image like this provides its own specific technical challenges, says Loughrey. "Group portraiture is all about light fall and understanding that, while coats and jackets may be similar in colour, they react very differently to light depending on their material," he says. "I use a process named colour ranging to tackle the issue whereby only highlights and mid-range tones are affected."
This can take a while. "Ultimately and after quite some time the final image starts to gather itself and realism presents," he says. "All of these ideas and solutions come about through trial and error. In particular I have studied findings and methods jointly with John Breslin of Old Ireland In Colour for which I am very grateful. There are only a handful of people you can call upon when it comes to this craft; shared learning has been and continues to be an asset to us as regards realism and approach."