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.