Tuesday, March 3, 2020

SOL3/31: Colorizing an Old Photo at Roots Tech

Returning for year nine of writing daily in March with my Slice of Life writer friends! Check out Two Writing Teachers for more slices of life occurring every day in March.

One of the perks offered at the Roots Tech 2020 conference last week was a free colorized magnet by MyHeritage. I knew immediately which black and white photo I wanted to use. It's one that I love because it's not a posed studio pic, but one that captures my grandmother in her everyday life.

I stopped by the MyHeritage booth that afternoon, stood in line for awhile to get some technical assistance, and submitted the photo. Due to overwhelming response to their free offer, they told me that I would need to return the next morning to pick up the magnet. When I stopped by the booth on Saturday, my photo wasn't on the board. I left my email and name on a sticky note so they could check to be sure my picture was in the system. I hung around until they checked and they told me to come back in an hour. I returned and still no photo. So I resubmitted my name and email and returned again in an hour. My persistence was rewarded!

And now my grandmother is on the refrigerator gallery. I'm her youngest granddaughter and there is a fifty year span between the oldest and youngest granddaughters of my grandfather, Andrew T. Scifres. (And that's a post for another day.)

Here are the two versions of the picture. While I'm not a huge fan of colorizing old photos, there's something about the new version that I love. Beside the fact that it make the chickens and the dog pop out of the foreground, I love how it softens the image of my grandmother, Martha Ada Young Scifres, and makes her come alive for me. I've spent a lot of time thinking about her. Watch for a future post sharing what I know about my remarkable grandmother who was born in 1875.


  1. I adore the photo you picked of your grandmother. I think the color does add something, but the original is quite lovely. It reminds me of a photo my grandmother and great-aunt kept of their mom. She was looking out of her apartment window in Brooklyn, waving down to them with a smile. That photo always exuded warmth to me. That is the photo I’d choose to preserve if I had the chance to do what you did at that conference.

    1. Stacey, I think the colorizing tool is available on their site.

  2. I loved meeting and chatting with you at RootsTech. Love this photo and your fun posts, thanks for sharing!

  3. I love the photo you chose. It is, to me, a classic, farmhouse style image of life - a slice of life, so to speak, of long ago. I know some photo shops do colorizing but have never tried it - yet.

  4. I am the keeper of the photos in my family and have many old photos like this. I love looking at them and wondering about the life of my family before me.

  5. This photo is such a treasure. I have a childhood photo of the grandmother I never knew- she died of appendicitis when my dad was a child. The photo is feels like such a strong link to the past.

  6. I love this idea! I look forward to reading more about your grandmother. And now I want to write more about mine.

  7. So cool! I love this photo with the color added! But I also love the original! You really did learn/experience a lot of interesting things at your conference!