Matt Loughrey's My Colorful Past project bridges "the gap between history and art", using digital techniques to add colour to monochrome images. This week he's applied his skills to this photograph by Joseph Cashman from the Cashman Collection in the RTE Photographic Archive. Taken in 1919, it shows leading Sinn Féin politicians. From left to right in the front row you can see Tadhg Barry, Tomas MacCurtain, P O'Higgins and, in the back row, David Cotter, Sean Murphy, Donal Barrett, Terence MacSwiney, unknown.   


This image posed particular challenges from Loughrey. "Every image differs in terms of time required to bring it to life," he says.  "This one took an exceptionally long time because group photographs often do. There's a different level of complexity and many things to take into account. Light fall, shadow cast. degradation and depth of field to name a few. If you paint the light then the subject is revealed far better, it's a painterly approach and not a chore by any stretch." 

Loughrey enjoys the experience of spending time on this sort of image. "It's rather a pleasure to spend time looking into the faces of others and studying what you see. Photography is incredibly self reflective like this."