A set of newly colorized images from the D-Day landings has been released on the 73rd anniversary of the historical events of Operation Overlord, providing a new perspective on the happenings that took place on the beaches in northern France. The originally black and white photos have been updated using Photoshop.
As reported by the Daily Mail, one photo from the set shows soldiers wading through the waters as the work their way onto Omaha beach on the coast of Normandy while another features exhausted servicemen being pulled ashore by medics. The images include shots of US, British, and Canadian troops, including some that show a US parachute regiment prepping for their landings.
The photos were colorized by Brazilian artist Marina Amaral (who sells the prints and other art on her website).
The photos were updated by Marina Amaral, a Brazilian artist, who spent a significant amount of time researching the images and era before giving them new life through the addition of color.
Speaking with MailOnline, she said, “Besides the uniforms, I tried to reproduce the atmosphere of the places and get as close as possible to what these soldiers actually saw with their own eyes.”
Amaral continued, “The generation of World War II are almost all gone, so I think it is extremely important to rescue these photos through a process that interest the new generation, so may people will be able to better understand what happened. This is what I’ve been trying to do since I began colorizing the photos two years ago.”
She went on to say, “I like to keep in mind that I’m working with historical facts, and it’s not my job to change that story and make it look the way I want it to look.”
“I have to be respectful and, therefore, gather all of the historical information possible in order to create images as close as possible to the reality of the scene portrayed,” said Amaral. “So I am always in touch with historians, and they help me a lot to achieve this goal.”
The process of colorizing the photos using Photoshop was entirely manual. Amaral described the process: “I need to mask every object you can potentially see in the picture and assign to them a base color. Then, I go slowly, building up the atmosphere I want to reproduce, always keeping the original lighting in mind, through many different layers, exploring and using as many colors as I can.”
Operation Overlord saw approximately 156,000 Allied troops hit the beaches of Normandy on June 6, 1944, and it is estimated that up to 4,400 soldiers were killed during the operation, which Winston Churchill, the Second World War prime minister, referred to as “undoubtedly the most complicated and difficult that has every taken place.” It was the largest amphibious invasion in the history of the world.