Nowadays, photographers use black and white photography to convey emotion by playing with tones, contrasts, and shadows, but it wasn't always an option to choose. Color photography brings photographs to life and reveals every little vivid detail that creates a compelling image. Photographers from the past could only convey the world they were living in in black and grey. Have you ever wondered what these photographers saw that very moment? I have.

Digital artists spend hours trying to recreate old black and white photographs in realistic colors with impressive results—just check the incredible work of colorists Marina Amaral, Andrea Erali, or Olga Shirinina previously featured on Bored Panda. It's intricate and time-consuming work that requires not only great editing skills, but a lot of knowledge and research of historical context to color the image as accurately as possible.

I wondered if, with the fast advancement of artificial intelligence and machine learning, this scrupulous job can be done by technology as well as by humans. Well, only time can tell, but it seems like the future is near. I have found this image colorization API called DeepAI that allows you to colorize black and white photos and videos in a few seconds.

I tested the program with these iconic B&W images of celebrities from the golden age of Hollywood. The result is far from perfect and in most cases needs to be at least touched up in Photoshop or other programs, but I was surprised by how much a deep learning model can achieve!

More info: deepai.org

#1

Marilyn Monroe

Marilyn Monroe

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HappyPig1723
Community Member
10 months ago

She looks so happy! Not enough people actually appreciate her acting skills and her boss-lady'ness. (I know that isn't a word)

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I love all arts and entertainment. I have been drawing pencil portraits since I was a child, and later, I discovered digital art and started participating in several Photoshop contests. But I can't wait to see what technology can offer—that's why I explore what's new in the industry and try it myself. I have recently played with AI to see what the kids of famous ex-couples would have looked like.

I also regularly post articles on Bored Panda about the most amazing artists I come across, both world-class and aspiring, as well as animal stories. Putting their art in the spotlight makes me proud and inspired. Check out some of the recent posts I made here, here, and here.

#2

Katharine Hepburn

Katharine Hepburn

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Mustn’t eat the mango 🥭
Community Member
10 months ago

First woman wear pants when it was illegal, so proud of her

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#3

Ingrid Bergman

Ingrid Bergman

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Justin G
Community Member
10 months ago (edited)

That globe doesn’t even have the countries on it ... it just says AFRICA

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#4

Audrey Hepburn

Audrey Hepburn

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Charlie Anderson
Community Member
10 months ago

She's rocking that hair?

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#5

Lucille Ball

Lucille Ball

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Danni
Community Member
10 months ago

she's so beautiful but what's going on with her feet? is that just a glitch in the photo or are they that damaged from walking in high heels? what these wonderful talented women had to suffer.

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#6

Kim Novak

Kim Novak

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HappyPig1723
Community Member
10 months ago

I love her hair and her dress, they match so well!

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#7

Elizabeth Taylor

Elizabeth Taylor

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Happy Days
Community Member
10 months ago

Her hair looks so pretty *0*

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#8

Elvis Presley

Elvis Presley

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Justin G
Community Member
10 months ago

He so funké

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#9

Sophia Loren

Sophia Loren

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HappyPig1723
Community Member
10 months ago

Her hairstyle is gorgeous, and I'm in love with the color.

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#10

Judy Garland

Judy Garland

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Sofia Cohn
Community Member
10 months ago

What a pretty colored dress! It's a shame you couldn't see the color in the first.

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#11

Shirley Temple

Shirley Temple

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HappyPig1723
Community Member
10 months ago

She looks adorable!

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#12

Jayne Mansfield

Jayne Mansfield

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GlassHalfWay
Community Member
10 months ago

Beautiful, talented woman with a beautiful and talented daughter.

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#13

Charlie Chaplin And Virginia Cherrill

Charlie Chaplin And Virginia Cherrill

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HappyPig1723
Community Member
10 months ago

They look so cute :)

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#14

Judy Garland And Gene Kelly

Judy Garland And Gene Kelly

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HappyPig1723
Community Member
10 months ago

Were they a thing?

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#15

James Dean

James Dean

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HappyPig1723
Community Member
10 months ago

Giving me country vibes. (If he was a country person don't judge me I'm only 12)

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#16

Grace Kelly

Grace Kelly

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Robert Thornburrow
Community Member
10 months ago

...picture of a beauty queen...

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#17

Frank Sinatra

Frank Sinatra

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Awkward Manatee
Community Member
10 months ago

wow i love seeing the color

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#18

Rita Hayworth

Rita Hayworth

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Kathrin Rabenstein
Community Member
10 months ago

Somehow an awkward and uncomfortable posture...

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#19

Marlon Brando

Marlon Brando

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BeazleBug
Community Member
10 months ago

Nice to see the real Brando. Everyone seems to only remember fat Brando.

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#20

Bette Davis

Bette Davis

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Rachel Agge
Community Member
10 months ago

Lipstick was extremely dark so it would contrast well with the camera.

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#21

Julie Andrews

Julie Andrews

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Sofia Cohn
Community Member
10 months ago

Gorgeous both ways!

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#22

Marlene Dietrich

Marlene Dietrich

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izzy.kitsune
Community Member
10 months ago

both versions are nice, but it feels like the actual mood shifts in the transition i love it

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#23

Clark Gable

Clark Gable

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BingeFest1
Community Member
10 months ago

This man was a certified badass

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#24

Shirley Maclaine

Shirley Maclaine

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Violet Van Valkenburg
Community Member
10 months ago

thats a very ummm... OUTLINED world you have there miss

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#25

Ava Gardner

Ava Gardner

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CrunChewy McSandybutt
Community Member
10 months ago

missed her foot.

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#26

Charlton Heston

Charlton Heston

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Cathy Jo Baker
Community Member
10 months ago

Classy, classy, classy! He came to Indiana to visit the Lew Wallace Study and Museum (where Wallace wrote Ben-Hur) many years ago! (I had to mention that because the pic seems to be from that movie. Movie is good (the 1959 one) but the novel is wonderful!

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#27

Betty Grable

Betty Grable

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Savannah Mcquillan
Community Member
10 months ago

Clam

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#28

Fred Astaire

Fred Astaire

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Demongrrrrl
Community Member
10 months ago

Everyone says he was such an amazing dancer, but Ginger Rogers did everything he did, in heels and backwards.

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#29

Greta Garbo And George Brent

Greta Garbo And George Brent

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Awkward Manatee
Community Member
10 months ago

interesting hat?

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#30

Gary Cooper And Helen Hayes

Gary Cooper And Helen Hayes

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Becca Gizmo the Squirrel
Community Member
10 months ago

....super duper...! (Puttin on the Ritz, anyone?)

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