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Eddie Adams

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Technology has given us an incredibly wide-ranging view of modern presidents; chief White House photographer Pete Souza’s images of Barack Obama show him in countless locations and situations, from meetings in the Oval Office to candid shots of the president eating ice cream with his daughters on vacation.

The photo archive of Abraham Lincoln, the subject of this week’s cover story, is a much smaller set due to the technological limitations of the time; most of the existing photographs of the 16th president are posed portraits, the majority of which only show Lincoln from the chest up—and all are black-and-white.

But TIME commissioned Sanna Dullaway to create a more vibrant document of Lincoln through a series of colorized photographs produced in Photoshop. After removing spots, dust and scratches from archival Lincoln photographs, Dullaway digitally colorizes the files to produce realistic and modern versions of the portraits, which look like they could have been made today.

The 22-year-old Swedish artist began colorizing images in January 2011, when she was listening to the debut album by rock band Rage Against the Machine. The self-titled album’s cover art is a black-and-white picture of a self-immolating monk taken by AP photographer Malcolm Browne. “I thought the normally fiery flames looked so dull in black and white, so I…looked for a way to make them come alive,” she says. Dullaway colorized the flames, and eventually, the entire picture. She then posted the image on Reddit, and it instantly went viral.

Since that first experiment, Dullaway has continued to colorize a wide range of historical figures, including Albert Einstein, Che Guevara and Teddy Roosevelt, each of which has generated viral buzz online. She’s also used the approach on a number of iconic photographs, such as Eddie Adams’ harrowing image of a Vietnam police officer the moment before he’s about to execute a Vietcong prisoner. In each of these renderings, Dullaway’s use of color is subtle and sophisticated—yielding images that maintain the photographic integrity of their originals, while presenting a look at how these photographs may have come out had color photography existed at the time. That nuanced ability to handle color runs in the family; Dullaway’s father is painter.

The images take anywhere from 40 minutes to three hours to produce, and for the young artist, it’s a way of bringing a contemporary perspective to older works. “History has always been black and white to me, from the World War I soldiers to the 1800s, when ladies wore grand but colorless dresses,” Dullaway says. “By colorizing, I watch the photos come alive, and suddenly the people feel more real and history becomes more tangible.”

Lincoln is at the heart of her next project, a book of Civil War images rendered in color. “I felt like it was a good place to start because the war is well documented in the Library of Congress and started roughly around the same time the camera was first used commercially,” Dullaway says. “And a war offers to chance to cover many subjects at once, and present the events of that time as our eyes would see it today—in color.”

Sanna Dullaway is a photo editor based in Sweden. See more of her work here.

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The Bosnia Book Project

These stunning images were collected from a group of photographers who covered the Bosnian War, including Reportage photographers Tom Stoddart and Laurent Van der Stockt.  Please help to support this project on Kickstarter!

The hardback book contains 248 pages that includes the work of many of the leading photographers and writers of the time. It charts the course of the war from its beginning in April 1992 to the Dayton Peace Accord in 1995. 

We have raised 50% of the money we need to publish, now we are looking for matching funds.

The book is now ready to print in Bosnia in time for its launch at the Sarajevo Film Festival in July 2012. We need your help to make this deadline.

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At Home with John Irving

Shaul Schwarz debuts a new series for Time today, exploring the homes of famous and iconic personalities.  In this video he goes into the home of author John Irving.

Read more about the shoot at Time Lightbox.

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What makes color photographs by Henri Cartier-Bresson so rare?

There’s a reason, it turns out, why coming across his color photos can be so jarring; not only did Cartier-Bresson infrequently shoot in color, but he destroyed virtually all of his color negatives, leaving an almost exclusively black-and-white legacy to future generations. Finding out that Cartier-Bresson shot professionally in color — and sometimes worked on major assignments in color — is a bit like reading Just Kids and learning that Patti Smith is not only a poet, but a thrilling, moving, utterly masterful writer of prose. One has a sense of happy surprise and, somehow, of enlargement.

One of Cartier-Bresson’s most significant color projects was a 1958 assignment for LIFE: a four-month, 7,000 mile tour through communist China during that country’s convulsive “great leap forward,” when the huge, ancient nation was being alternately pushed and pulled, dragged and harried by its leaders to leave its past behind and to embrace industrialization, collectivism and the precepts of Chairman Mao.

See the layouts from this photo essay here.

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