Chris Whitehouse lives with his wife Yai and their three Jack Russell terriers in the ancient Thai capital of Ayutthaya. Chris has been restoring vintage black and white photographs and colorizing them for about five years now, but long before colorizing he worked on photo restoration, starting in college around 1980. It was very primitive stuff in those pre-computer days, using India ink and needles on old prints and negatives, trying to get the spots out, then burning and dodging in the dark room. All of these things are a good bit “simpler” these days with computers and Photoshop, yet much more is expected these days, as well. As such, the hours required and skill involved to achieve this level of quality and detail are very high. As an avid sports fan, Chris’ passion is to take faded, scratched, dusty images and breath life into them, rescuing lost images for all to experience in a new, re-imagined way. In many ways, like we never even dreamed we could.
Chris exclusively uses Photoshop as his software tool of choice, but don’t be fooled into thinking it is easy. There are no tricky short cuts, simple filters, or single clicks of the mouse used here. It all begins with days of obsessive research for accuracy in color from historical source references, followed by intensively detailed, archival art restoration and colorization. Technology has finally caught up to Chris’ skill and he has developed many of his own techniques to maximize the power that Photoshop provides. His ability to extract photographic information out of seemingly hopeless areas of the images, is really quite astonishing. Historic gems have been discovered, re-imagined, and presented as never before seen. Chris can complete an undamaged, basic portrait with minimal restoration required, in 8-10 hours. However, large, complex, team photos that are in bad shape, can take upwards of 150 hours of intensive work to restore and create truly archival art. Skill, determination, patience, and extreme attention to detail is what it takes to bring these vintage sports treasures to life! With over 190 completed works of art currently in or portfolio, please check in often as more stunning works are added weekly. Commissioned work requests are also welcome.
You can also find Chris’ story and work presented in feature articles in the 2018 Chicago White Sox Yearbook, and in the 2018 November/December issue of Baseball Digest.