These images were shown on a CNN report on color images from WWII. You can see the article HERE. We are all very used to seeing images of WWII in black and white which somehow separates us from what is happening in the image. As soon as we see a color image, we immediately associate it with our own time. That brings the images into our daily lives.
The image above was shot after the liberation of the Netherlands, and you can see all the nationalist sentiment reflected in the orange scarves and hats. But the image might have come from a reenactment as the color of the image brings it closer to our own lives. You can picture yourself walking through that very crowd of people. Aside from the clothes and hair nothing would seem out of place.
The image above is amazingly powerful. We see Eisenhower with the leaders of the D-Day Invasion that took allied forces on the first true offensive in the European theater. But we see that as if they were there today. The detail in the shadows, the cabling on the lights on the ceiling, the grey metal chairs they are sitting on and the rough wooden tables used. Event he blue velvet coverings of the table top is clearly seen.
It is powerful because we understand the context, it is powerful because of the consequences but it is also powerful because it is taking us to that moment sixty or so years ago. The historical nature gives these photographs strength.
Below is an image I took earlier this year visiting a room very similar to the one shot above. The velvet color is the same, the ashtrays are the same, and the lights above are the same. One was taking sixty years ago while the other was just a few months. Powerful because the color brings it to life for us.
Images however do not have to have historical context to be powerful. They can capture family, friends or a moment of emotion that we can relate to. These are powerful images. Gone are the discussion of the composition, lighting and the like. The subject trumps all other discussion, no one notices the noise, shadows or imperfections. The image stands alone due to the subject.
Here a US Mustang plane with the kill marks on her fuselage, again brings the historic moment of the image into sharp relief. Here there is no gesture, no monuments decision being made. Here we see an escort aircraft doings its duty just as we have seen in thousands of black & white images. But this time the kill marks are in color. The deep red and black lines of the Nazi flag.
Patrick...confirmed film & digital photography addict.