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True Colors – Volume III (Part B)

End Part 1_p12

By Phil Hecken

Last weekend, I featured one of our extraordinary colorizers, Gary Chanko, who presented a the first half of a Colorization Tutorial, Part I. If you missed that, you can check out the entire article here. Today, Gary is back with the second half of the tutorial.

As with Part I, all you need to know is contained in the link that follows. So, without further ado, here’s Gary to describe the second part:

In Part 1 of the Colorization Tutorial we walked through the steps to colorize the Phils pitcher (still trying to identify this player). This week in Part 2 we complete the colorization tutorial by adding the image background. We’ll use all the tools and techniques covered in Part 1 plus a few new ones.

At the beginning I suggested that after completing this tutorial you’d be equipped to tackle any black and white digital image. Hopefully you find this tutorial improves your digital image editing skills and provides confidence to take on future colorization projects.


I can’t say how thankful I am to Gary for doing this — colorization may not be of interest to some (or many) of you, but it is really a neat (if time-consuming) hobby. And if done correctly, and skillfully, it can add another important chapter to the historical record, particularly in the area of uniform research. So much of our opinion is formed by our visual impressions of uniforms, and even the most skilled among us can only gaze upon a black and white photograph — and even if we know the colors — yett can’t truly comprehend how said photographic image must have appeared to those who saw the games live, or to the artist who took the picture. Colorization provides that “gap filler” so to speak.

Again, I realize Gary’s tutorials may have been rather complex (to the uninitiated at least) and may seem difficult — but they truly lay a solid foundation upon which all colorization is based. It is efforts like his and George Chilvers and others which have and will continue to allow us to appreciate how uniforms (and the games, stadia, fans, etc.) really looked in the days before color photography.

Here then is Colorization Tutorial, Part II which is a google doc of a PDF created by Gary specifically for this project. If anyone would like me to E-mail them the actual PDF, drop me a line and I’ll send along a copy.

Happy colorizing!

And stay tuned for a special Saturday edition of “Colorize This!” which will show off some new readers who’ve used Gary’s tutorial already. Hope more of you take the plunge after reading this one!


Benchies Header


by Rick Pearson


In a tournament, sometimes you play out of position…

5-28-11 s-rifleshot

And, here’s the full size.


all sport uni tweaks

Uni Tweaks

We have another new set of tweaks today.

If you have a tweak, change or concept for any sport, send them my way.

Remember, if possible, try to keep your descriptions to ~50 words (give or take) per tweak. You guys have been great a keeping to that, and it’s much appreciated!

And so, lets begin:


We start with “Phil A. in Phoenix” who has some crossover concepts:

I am a recent reader of your column and enjoy the uni tweaks. I really like the concept 3 of the Pittsburgh teams follow using black and gold “city colors”. In an effort to duplicate that and add a little variety to the typical red and blue in MLB, I tweaked a few unis to match the local NFL team (or in the case of the Red Sox an NBA team). Since my editing skills are not as good as many on this site, I stuck to the current alternate uniform in most cases, which gave me a larger color block to deal with.

1. I think the Red Sox are one of those untouchable teams, but I I thought I’d see how they look with Celtics colors.
2. Twins: I know you are not a big fan of purple, but the Vikings colors jazz up the look a bit.
3. Rays: Currently they have a pretty generic uniform, but the old creamsicle Buccaneers uniform colors would look great.
4. Brewers: Every team in Wisconsin should be green and yellow and the Brewers should stick with the old ball glove logo.
5. Rockies: Old Broncos colors.
6. Astros: I would like to see them return to the classic tequila sunrise jersesy, but I tried out a new look with the old Oilers colors.
7. Nationals: If any team has the right to use red and blue it’s the Nationals, but I think the Redskins colors would add some variety not currently in the league.
8. Indians: Gotta go with the simple look of the Browns.
9. Padres: I know someone else can mix these colors better, but there isn’t a better looking NFL uniform than the Chargers light blue unis.
10. Detroit: Lions colors.


In the two-hole is Josh Lassiter, who has some college hoop tweaks, Jim Vilk-style:


I had some uni tweaks for Baylor basketball. I think these would look great. We got the three stripe look or being an Adidas team. Simple but nice. Your thoughts?





And finally, we have Walter Helfer, who takes on the “untouchable”:

Dear Phil,

My first Yankee grey uniform uses the sublimated flannel pattern Under Armor used for their Mizzou throwbacks. I included vertical arch lettering on this one; think of it as “value added” for all those dollars the Yanks pump into their product.

The second road uniform uses their pinstripes (stop cringing, Phil) as a backdrop. I stuck with the plain arched “New York” because the angled letters need to better stand out from the parallel pattern. Simple, elegant, traditional.

Thanks as always.



Great stuff, fellas. Back with more tomorrow.


colorize this

Colorize This!

Occasionally, I will be featuring wonderful, high-quality black and white photographs that are just begging to be colorized.

After last weekend and this weekend’s colorization tutorial by Gary, I thought we might have some interesting colorizations this week — turns out we do, but it’s not quite what you’d think.

You see, reader Bruce Utzig had sent in a photo of his dad and was hoping someone might take a stab at colorizing it. Some”one” might be an understatement. I received several colorizations, which is great — it’s very interesting to see the different interpretations.


The first colorizer, who sent this even before his first tutorial appeared, was none other than Gary Chanko:

Maybe Bruce will be surprised with this one. Would be interested to know if any of background coloring turns out to be accurate.


Next up was Jeremy Kelly:

Dear Phil,

Here’s the colorization that Bruce Utzig requested of his father.

I hope that he is pleased with the result!


Jeremy Kelly

Also trying his hand at this photo was Bill Maselunas:

Here’s my freshman attempt at colorizing Bruce Utzig’s photo of his dad… I cropped out the Chinese carpet for sanity’s sake.

Bill Maselunas

We also had one from Efra Sanchez:

Hi Phil,

My name is Efra Sanchez and this is my submission to Colorize This!

I really liked the photo sent in by Bruce Utzig and I gave it a try.
Hope you like it, but more importantly I hope Bruce likes it.

Efra Sanchez
Chamuco No.1

And of course, no Colorize This! would be complete without George Chilvers trying his hand at this one as well:

Not the best quality photo to work on, but hope he likes this.



Of course, the colorization tutorial also yielded some new blood who didn’t colorize Bruce Utzig’s dad. Our first non-Bruce colorizer is Keith Conforti, who checks in with this:


Great write-up on colorizing photos. I do some of my own colorizing from methods I developed by trial and error, so I’d love to see this pdf to compare it with my way of doing it. Thanks for sharing!

By the way, I attached a sample of my colorizing wok. If its up to muster and you’d like to feature it on Uni, feel free. My goal was to create a “Card That Never Was” of Paige in the 1952 Topps set. The black and white photo I found was of about the same era. I simply needed to alter it to a Browns uniform. I wasn’t after a truly colorized photo, but a 1952 Topps rendition of how their artists colored black and white images for baseball cards. I hope you like it.

Keith Conforti


Next up was Jon Kamide, who had this to contribute:

Hi Phil,

I love the site, and as a freelance artist wanted to take on the colorization of some classic B&W photos. My family has a direct lineage with Miller Huggins, therefore naturally wanted to start off colorizing one of him. The colors aren’t a shock (it’s the Yankees after all); but nonetheless it certainly adds detail and expression that are sometimes lost in grayscale, vintage images. Attached is the JPEG color version. Original B&W link is here. Looking forward to doing another.

Best regards,

Jon Kamide


And to come full circle, Gary couldn’t resist one more — and I think Ricko will approve:

I continue to find amazing colorizing opportunities in the collection of wire service photos. This photo of Billy Joe was highlighted in last week’s No Service Like Wire Service, Vol. 30.

Incidentally, Billy Joe, I discovered is likely one of the greatest football coached you never heard about. After 33 seasons, he retired from coaching last October at age 70.

So back to image. Uni archaeologists will be thrilled to know the photo conclusively shows the helmet decal was actually blue. Anyway I think I will try to contact Coach Joe, send him a copy of the colorized photo, and see he can clear up the mysteries of this great image.


Thanks, Gary — Oh, that the pony is indeed blue…let’s hope you can truly clear this one up!


And finally, we have another reader submission FOR a colorization. This comes from frequent contributor Chris Bisbee:


Saw this in LA Time today with this caption:

Aug. 26, 1950: Hollywood Stars’ infielder Jim Baxes gets plunked in the back by a pitch from the San Francisco Seals’ Chet Johnson during eighth-inning action at Gilmore Stadium. Seals won 13-3. The Seals’ catcher is Ray Orteig.

Chris Bisbee


So colorizers — now that you have the benefits of TWO tutorials, how about taking this one on? Of course, any and all “off the board” colorizations are welcome as well. As always, give me a holler with questions, suggestions or colorizations.

And don’t forget, just go back and take a look at any of Paul’s No Service Like Wire Service posts. They’re a fantastic source for great high-res B&W images.

Thanks again to all the colorizers who sent in their efforts this week. Hope to see even more of you back next time!



From The E-Mail Bag

Got an interesting E-Mail yesterday from Geoff Koleff, that I thought I’d share:

Hi Phil,

I noticed what seems like an awful lot of crap going on with Clemson’s alt home? jersey top. Shoulder stripes, pit stain color splash, logo creep on front above team name, random purple stripe down button placket.

Seems like they should just wear their regular home, much nicer and cleaner, no logo creep that I can see. Also strange their baseball uni is Russell Athletic when Clemson is a Nike school.

That’s their baseball site

While this is from their football site

I know Paul will probably be appalled with the mention of Clemson and his hated color but it was an oddity to me, not sure if it has been covered before or not.

Geoff Koleff

Interesting. Readers — thoughts?

Also got an E-mail from Jerome Nemanich; if that name sounds familiar to you, it’s because Jerome and I got together for the first Design-A-Cap contest, with the winning entry coming from Dan Grieve — with the final design looking like this. Here’s what Jerome had to say:


Just a note that last years design a cap winner is part of Zephyr hat HS front page.

Jerome Nemanich
Sartell HS

Pretty cool.

Thanks fellas.


OK lads and lasses. That’s all for today. Join me in wishing a Big HAPPY BIRTHDAY to webmaster John Ekdahl, who turns thirty-three. These kids today, eh?

Get ready to start your engines tomorrow…


The gov’t needs money ”” so how about if we have the gov’t set up a pornography business? Proven money-maker. — Paul Lukas (with tongue planted firmly in cheek)


Comments (61)

    I’m aware that some folks on the board think that road pins are taboo, but Walter, I am digging your Yankees set! So simple. So effective. So classy.

    Agreed. Both of those road unis work for me! Loved the template and the artwork, too.

    Of course I also love Josh’s link

    And Phil A., if you made the hat blue on that link uni, you’d have even more of a winner.

    Great stuff, guys!

    If you’re a college football fan you may have heard that current Sooner LB Austin Box passed away last week, his funeral was yesterday. It’ll be interesting to see how OU recognizes Box…In the past when a former player has died, they’ve used a simple # decal on the helmet & even ran a crimson line on the 38 just a few years ago as a tip of the hat (which I thought was a great touch).
    Also, both Box & QB Landry Jones wear 12 so Jones may switch numbers this year. Just thinking out loud…

    If I were king, that Rays-in-Buc-Dreamsicle is what the Marlins would wear.

    “But a Marlin isn’t that color.” So? That uni suggests South Florida, pure and simple. Team colors often are based on geography, community, climate or culture, rather than on the nickname.

    I mean, we HAVE noticed that, right?

    However, as I good and benevolent king, I’d undoubtedly be worried about “favoring” Florida with the orange, so I might change the red to garnet and give “equal billing” to Florida State.

    Garnet & Orange: Your Miami Marlins

    Leave the colleges out of it. Trying to cater to those color schemes just ends up with stupid things like the gold stripes on the original Falcons helmet.

    The Rays should be yellow and light blue (the colors the sun and the sky, since they don’t want to represent the animal anymore).

    The Marlins should be teal (or aqua) and orange, matching the other pro team that plays in Miami.

    Garnet, Gold and Gator Blue need not apply.

    “matching the other pro team that plays in Miami.”
    …the Heat and Panthers thank you for thinking of them. :)

    stupid things like the gold stripes on the original Falcons helmet.

    That bugs you? I count that as one of the niftier things I’ve learned about on this sight; I thought it was a gorgeous helmet.

    Yeah, it bugs me. Independently it looks fine – but paired with the entire uniform… no. Had they included gold trim on the rest of the uniform, ok cool. But, they didn’t. So to me it looks out of place. Maybe it’s not quite as wrong as a brown horse… but still kinda wrong. Considering it only lasted 4 seasons originally, I think they agreed.

    “Leave the colleges out of it. Trying to cater to those color schemes just ends up with stupid awesome things like the gold stripes on the original Falcons helmet.”


    Was just passing on what I know about Florida from my time spent there. Seems like you’re either Florida or Florida State. Or, because there are so many transplants or snowbirds from New York, either Jets or Giants, Mets or Yankees.

    And was thinking of the Falcons originally adding that bit of old gold to placate Georgia Tech (even though that was a long time ago).

    Essentially, we’re harmonizing. The Marlins shouldn’t worry so much about the color of the damn fish, although it DOES give them justification for wearing black, doesn’t it.

    Besides, I know when my mind drifts to beaches, oceans, oranges, palm trees, warm sun, colorful tropical drinks and plants, etc., well, I can’t think of a better color to suggest those things than black. (eyeroll).

    Bottom line, the Marlins were a whole helluva lot more distinctive when they led with aqua/teal, when it was their “out front” color in the early years.

    Evidently they just couldn’t handle being unique. Added a black bill to the hat almost immediately.

    Would be enough (for me, anyway) if they simply went back that original emphasis. Could sure as hell ID them quickly in a highlight package.

    But, as long as black continues to be trendy (and sells, of course) ain’t gonna happen.

    That’s a young male reference, btw. Nothing ethnic in there. We see that look everywhere.

    OK, tried this twice, and both comments disappeared. Maybe changing the wording will help…Congratulations to John on the anniversary of the day you were born!

    There…that worked. John, did you set up some kind of Happy Birthday blocker or something after the first comment?

    All right, now, all you Soccer fans at UW.

    Who should we (the great soccer unwashed) be root-root-rooting for today at 2 pm EDT on Fox…Manchester United or FC Barcelona?

    And why?

    C’mon, a little help here.

    We need to know who’re the good guys and who’re the bad guys.

    Root for Manchester United. At least that almost sounds like an actual team name. FC Barcelona might as well be a Spanish-influenced clothing store in your local mall.

    I’m going for Man U. Do not like them at all, really. But like Manchester United, Barcelona is also a filthy rich soccer team. Since I have closer ties to England (have a great friend there in Hull, follow the Premier League way closer than I do La Liga, speak the language for the most part), I chose Man U.

    On Barca’s logo (badge in UK speak), the initials as CFB For CF (club de futbol?) Barcelona.

    “Root for Manchester United. At least that almost sounds like an actual team name. FC Barcelona might as well be a Spanish-influenced clothing store in your local mall.”

    I don’t know.. I would figure the one that actually has “football/futbol” in its name (FC Barcelona) sounds like an actual team name more than “Manchester United”.

    However, your ethnocentricity may vary.

    Manchester United… Think Indians over Yankees, Panthers over Patriots, sex-scandals over Shakira…wait, what?

    Easy. Barcelona = good. ManU = bad. C’mon, ManU are the Red Devils…how much more of a sign do you need?

    Plus, Rooney’s a brat. I know, most world-class footballers are, but he’s up there with the worst of them. Leo Messi, on the other hand, is considered one of the best players…EVER…and he doesn’t have the baggage that Rooney or Maradona have/had. Barcelona, for the most part, plays the beautiful game.

    Yeah, I posted this after the match ended, but if I was on here when Ricko posed the question I would have said the same thing.

    I will say something nice about ManU, though – they have a cool link thing going with those link on the white jerseys. But that’s it.

    The guys in white shoes with those socks, though, looked like they were wearing boots from the Dale Evans Collection…

    Also, of note for UniWatching’s sake…. Barcelona’s warmups are already using the Qatar Foundation logo on front which will take the place of Unicef next year
    (Unicef will be moved to the backside)

    hey guys I’m pretty un-versed in international soccer (sorry, football) as I’m sure many of you are as well, but as they just walked off the field (sorry, pitch) at halftime (sorry, whatever they call halftime), and I just noticed on the front of Man U and Barcelona jerseys (sorry, kits?) it says the date and the game…UEFA 2011 Finals FC Barcelona vs Manchester United…that’s kinda neat.

    I guess they trade the jerseys at the end of the game, or they just sold or auctioned as “game-used” huh? Is that just for big games or do these teams wear new jerseys for every game?

    Usually done for bigger matches like this, similarly used in the world cup… think of it like a super bowl patch

    That Nationals in Redskins’ colors really jumped at me.

    MLB has blue and darker shades of blue out the ass, but where are the darker reds? They look fantastic.

    Hey, Gary, any word on the ID of that Phillies pitcher?

    I also thought maybe Jackie Collum, but then remembered he was left-handed.

    Confirme. here’s the source of the photo that mentions Lovenguth: link.

    I searched this Mears site earlier but never found the image. Thanks.

    Forgot about Stan Lopata’s batting stance crouch…
    (there’s b&w of him in the roads at the Mears site).

    Suppliers other than UA need to go give that textured graylook a shot. Man, this is nice looking photo, and uni…

    I work on an iMac using two programs; Apple Aperture 3 for initial prep and final tweaking, and Pixelmator ( for the bulk of image editing. Pixelmator has most of functionality of Photoshop, at least the functionality most of us use, and at significantly less cost.

    I use Recolored. It is very simple to use. All you do is draw or mark off areas to colorize and hit colorize. It does have limitations though. Lately I use Gimp to try and fix the limitations of Recolored.

    Through I just ordered Adobe Photoshop Elements 9
    It will be 35bucks after mail in rebate. I figured get it.

    As you note so much of the quality of the colorized image has to do with the original and the lighting or shadows.

    Shory and Corbis have many good photos to colorize. High quality b&w images.

    I gotta say, I love Walter Helfer’s templates.

    They remind us not to take all this too seriously.

    Color-on-color kind of moment happening at the French Open. Soderling and his opponent Mayer are wearing the exact same shirt, not just same colors, same shirt, except Soderling has patches on the sleeves. Shorts are different so it’s not entirely confusing.

    Great picture. I do think Notre Dame was maybe the last team to use leather helmets. At least major programs.

    They went to plastic for a bit in the 40’s and went back to leather.

    Watching the Redlegs v Braves and I just remembered to post this question:

    Why doesn’t Majestic have their logo’s match better with each team’s uni? For intance, why not have the logo be red for the Reds?

    It’s pretty terrible, seems like it could be designed after that sideline cap from a year or two ago: link

Comments are closed.