The colourisation of monochrome images is usually a meticulous process that requires specialised training and expensive software; however, the latest technological advances allow people to bring history to life within a few seconds and see the world with the eyes of our great-grandparents or great-great-grandparents.

The idea of adding colour to a monochrome image dates back to the beginning of photography. Early black and white photographs and postcards were coloured by hand with varying results as the colours and shades chosen were not always true to life, 24 wrote. In the 1880s, a Swiss chemist Hans Jakob Schmid invented the photochrom process that allowed for the production of vivid colour photographs approximately 50 years before colour photography was generally available.

Hungary-Budapest-Keleti Pályaudvar-postcard
Keleti pályaudvar on a postcard from 1912
Photo: Wikimedia Commons

In the second half of the 20th century, these techniques were replaced by different computerised methods and automated colourisation technologies.

The photos of Budapest Colourised illustrate the magical process of bringing monochrome photographs to life with the help of artificial intelligence.

The Hungarian blogger transforms photos from the copyright-free and community-based photo archive Fortepan and posts the unique images on Instagram. We have gathered some of the best photos:

Did you know that Hungarian photographers had a significant influence on modern-day photography? Read about the Hungarian pioneers of 20th-century photography!

Read alsoA 9-year-old’s photos of the 1956 Hungarian revolution in Budapest


1 comment
  1. Beautiful article.
    We trust there are increasing numbers of aged photographs that are made available to ALL transformed into colour.
    These pictures capture our history, and the changing face of Budapest, Hungary over the past century and a half – 150 years.
    They can be used as a educational tool to younger generations of Hungarians, displaying the past, what the structure of our national City of Budapest, and country cities and villages represented in the past 150 years.
    Looking forward muchly to further photographs reproduced in colour, of Hungary.
    Stay Well – ALL.

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