Just a little BLUSH IN THE SKY

I love this photograph. It was given to me by my best friend. She gave me a stack of photos that she'd bought many years ago at a flea market. She finally decided maybe she'd better get them out of her house before circumstances in the future had her kids sorting through her belongs saying "Do you know these people? Are we related to these people?" So now they're all settled in with all the people I've found.


A lot of people might look at this shot and just think it's a mess, but I think it's lovely. The choice made to hand tint the sky and buildings is interesting. The woman is left colorless, except for a small amount of the brown on her neck. Because of this it almost has an appearance of a collage. It's as if she's simply been cut-out and stuck in the midst of the snowy park. There's a painterly feeling to it. And knowing someone labored over this, made specific choices as to where to use color, makes it even more special because it really is one of a kind. There isn't another one in existence just like it even if many prints were made from the negative.

Today tinting of black and white photos can be easily done in Photoshop, but it often loses the spontaneity that real hand tinting created. There was a delightful messiness that often happened. And if you screwed up, so be it, there was no way to delete and try again on the same print. To read a little about the history of hand tinting click here.


  1. I have some hand tinted photos. They're lovely, aren't they? Truly a piece of art.

  2. They really are special. Imagine all of the ones that were thrown away because the people were dissatisfied with how they turned out. You just rarely see them.

  3. Great photograph - very painterly like. Kim

  4. It really is. And I like the way the blue sky just blurs off the edge. Most likely unintentional, but it breaks across the white barrier and just keeps going.

  5. Anonymous2/19/2009

    Oh, it's Rosa!. isn't it?

    I think the second tall building looks like a double expousure.Making it, you noted, collage- like.


  6. I was wondering if you were out there. Yes, our gal Rosa. Dear sweet world traveling Rosa.

  7. Anonymous2/20/2009

    I like looking at this picture.
    It looks also like she might be cut out and placed on top of the other picture. She is sharp and intense in black and the background is dream like.
    I don't think this is the case, but it is another way to see it.

    Dia Monde

  8. That's what I like about it. It's very organic. It pulls you in as if you're just on the edge of another world.

  9. There is another figure in this photograph - towards the rear of the foreground. It is just plain eerie. It's like Rosa was photographed twice using the same plate (or negative as the case may be.

  10. I think it's just the gloppy hand-tinting. A bit of a messy job, though charming. Probably done by Rodrique.