In this Vox short about the colorization of photos, they interview Jordan J. Lloyd of Dynamichrome about his process of coloring photos. He claims that a good colorizer has a good network to call upon when trying to stay true to what colors the subject of the photo might be donning. This takes loads of research into old advertisements, diaries, clothing descriptions from tailors, etc. After researching, the color artist can grasp what shades and color types they’re going to use in their restoration.
Take his colorization of King Tut’s tomb for example. He dug through old archives of the archeologist’s journals and cross-referenced those with pictures of the preserved artifacts on display currently in Cairo. This research allowed him to create a true color image of what we would see on that day if the photographer had used a color camera.
Dynamichrome also makes sure to keep lighting in mind when recreating old photos. Since light alters our perception of color, the colors would need to darken or lighten depending on where the source is coming from. The intensity of light also plays a role.
Jordan’s team at Dynamichrome primarily focuses on photos, though. The real juggernaut of the craft is restoring footage.