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Imagine if the great historic photographs of the Civil War had been taken using modern cameras which could have captured the detail and the depth of the historic occasion in vivid color rather than black and white.

Now you can after modern day photographer John C. Guntzelman employed Photoshop to accurately colorize a series of classic images by the most celebrated photographers of the civil war era including Mathew Brady and Alexander Gardner.

In The Civil War in Color: A Photographic Reenactment of the War Between the States, Guntzelman takes images covering different aspects of one of the defining moments in American history and painstakingly brings them to life by adding color.

The photographs of Brady and Gardner have done much to shape the public’s perception of the Civil War and their original images has incredible detail to them. But now with added color these new images reveal more about those times and what it would have been like to have lived through such an historic event.

‘The purpose of this is to show that people 150 years ago were not very different from us today,’ Guntzelman told Smithsonian.com.

The task has proved a massive undertaking including huge amounts of research to track down the correct colors of uniforms and even to try to be as accurate as possible with people’s hair and eye colors.

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