True Crime Books by Jason Lucky Morrow

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Vintage Mugshot Colorization Video Project by My Colorful Past

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First, I want to say Merry Christmas to everyone. I hope that you all are with your families, friends, loved ones, and enjoying this special holiday as it was meant to be.

Today, I have a special video feature for everyone. This blog has provided me with the wonderful opportunity to make special friends all over the world. Recently, I became acquainted with Matt Loughrey, who lives in rural Ireland with his family. Matt, through his own industry and self-education, is one of the top black and white photo colorization experts in the world. Among the many subjects he takes a personal interest in is – mugshots.

“There’s a brimming human element to this type of photography, moments captured of sheer frustration, regret, sorrow or even complete disdain,” Matt recently told me.

I think he’s right. And I think we, who care about historical true crime, look deep into these photographs with the vain hope they will tell us more about the individual. While we may not always get the answers we’re seeking , his work at colorizing them–with software that can accurately predict black and white hues to their true color at a rate of 90 percent–allows us to get as close to them as we’re ever going to get. We can read their stories in black-colored words on a white background, but we don’t really know who they are until we see them in color. In black and white, they are doomed to exist as nearly forgotten figures; regarded as someone dead for so long, they don’t even seem real. In color, they are human again. Bad or good, they are human again.

Matt’s website is still under-construction, but his Facebook page, My Colorful Past, and Youtube channel are his go-to repositories for his work, where he shows you his process in videos on crime and non-crime related photographs.

Below, is a video project he worked on exclusively for blog readers featuring prisoners from the Nebraska State Penitentiary during the early 20th Century. When you’re done watching the video, I encourage you to check out his facebook page and youtube channel.



I hope you enjoyed this video. Please share with others, and have a wonderful, Merry Christmas.

Black and white images courtesy of the Nebraska State Historical Society.


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