Using GIMP to Colorize Civil War Era Photos

by fifer1863 on October 14, 2014

Bringing Civil War Photos to Life with Color

As you know I am a huge fan of having students use primary sources in the classroom.  This is especially true when comes to using photographs from the Library of Congress.  I have blogged about using images in the past.  I have also crated videos on finding photos from the Library of Congress, Creating Then and Now Images and Using Them  with Google Earth.

The Civil War in Living Color!

Here is a new way that you and your students can work with photographs in your classroom.  As you know, photographs from the Civil War era are in black and white.  Well, while the image may be in black and white, the original subjects certainly were in full color!  The following is an image of John Burns who is the only civilian to fight in the Battle of Gettysburg.

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And here is the same photo of John Burns that I have colorized.

John Burns Colorized

 

Using the free photo editing software GIMP, I have taken a once boring, black and white image and brought Mr. Burns to life with a little bit of color.  Using a process of adding layers and layer masks, you are able to bring the images to life.  Have your students research clothes, weapons, landscapes, etc.  Have them think about a picture and what color an object or person might be an why.  This gets them thinking about an image and then creating something entirely new based on their research.

How To Video:

Here is a video on how you can colorize your own Civil War photos:

 

 

If you try this, take a moment and let me know either here on the blog, on Facebook or via Twitter.

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Touring Gettysburg with Students and Their iPads

by fifer1863 on October 6, 2014

I recently had the opportunity to lead a group of students on a trip to Gettysburg. The original plan was to take the Seniors and visit Little Round Top and Devil’s Den.  My role was to talk to the students about the fighting at Devils Den and another teacher would talk about Little Round Top.

Leading up to the event, I met with the students and had them download some maps, Google Earth images and original photos to their iPads.  I had prepped and was ready to present to the students about the battle.  This was truly a culmination of my doctoral research all those years ago.  This was finally my opportunity to lead a group of students to Gettysburg and to use technology to teach them about the battle.

Then, as we were about to leave, I learned two things.  First, the other teacher was ill and not going to make it and second, the junior class was coming along on the trip.  So, I was now faced with talking to twice as many students about LRT and Devil’s Den.Little Round Top

Arriving at Gettysburg on LRT we embarked on our tour.  I started with a general overview leading up to July 1863.  From there I discussed events of July 2nd and using maps and photos for reference, I lead the kids along the path. Students were looking at photos, making notes and taking notes.  It was very cool.

Devil's Den From there we walked down to Devil’s Den.  While the kids ate lunch, I went exploring and found the location of the “All Over Now” image in the Slaughter Pen area.  After lunch, we met under the witness tree and again discussed events that happened in that part of the field.  Because the students had preloaded everything on their iPads, it made discussions, analysis and conversation much easier.

The students were then tasked with using their iPads to create a short video of something they learned. I look forward to seeing their finished products. While I could have used paper maps and images, the iPads allowed me get kids to interact with the images.Devil's Den with iPads

What a great day.  I have been teaching and presenting about using technology in this way since 2006.   I have talked about using these images in the classroom and using digital maps to teach Gettysburg.   But this was the first time I actually got to lead students using technology during a tour.  I can’t wait till next year.

Check out the story one student wrote about the trip in Cougar News

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Google Earth and Devils Den

by fifer1863 on September 23, 2014

Using original photographs and Google Earth to Explore the Battle of Gettysburg

In an effort to continue my exploration of original Gettysburg photographs using Google Earth, I have created a new video on exploring some of the famous locations in Devil’s Den.  Be sure to check out my Rose Woods video and other videos on my YouTube Channel.  You can find all of the original photos via the Library of Congress website.

If you’d like to download the Google Earth file for this video, you can find it at:  Devil’s Den KMZ file.

 

 

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NHD in PA Student Institute

September 2, 2014

Received the following from the Pennsylvania National History Day Coordinator and thought I’d share: ————————————————————————————- Dear Teachers: Registration is now open for the 2nd Annual National History Day in Pennsylvania Student Institute.  This year’s program will include advice and guidance for student on selecting and narrowing a topic, writing an effective thesis, and creating an evidence […]

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Exploring the Rose Farm with Google Earth

July 22, 2014

I am often asked about where the Rose Woods is in Gettysburg and how others can find it when they visit.  Well, I took a few minutes and created a video showing you exactly where the Rose Woods is in Gettysburg and where you can find the famous photographs of the dead soldiers.     […]

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Savannah Historic Newspapers Archive

July 2, 2014

The Digital Library of Georgia has released the Savannah Historic Newspapers Archive online.  This is way cool to access these primary sources.  The following is a press release: The Digital Library of Georgia is pleased to announce the availability of a new online resource: The Savannah Historic Newspapers Archive. http://dlg.galileo.usg.edu/savnewspapers The Savannah Historic Newspapers Archive provides online […]

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History of Confederate Flags and a Giveaway

April 8, 2014

The following is a guest post from Michael Cronin who is the Founder and CEO of Gettysburg Flag Works  ——————————— When we think of American flags, “red, white and blue” is probably the first thing that comes to mind. When it comes to civil war flags, this is still the case, but the faithful red, […]

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Please Help National History Day in Pa

March 4, 2014

I received the following the other day and thought I would share.  Please help if you can. _____________________________________________________ National History Day in Pennsylvania needs your help! Each year, NHD in PA supports the Pennsylvania Delegation to the Kenneth E. Behring National History Day Contest at the University of Maryland by covering student entry fees for […]

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Fort Morgan video

February 21, 2014

Fort Morgan, Alabama Found this neat video on Fort Morgan that I thought I’d share. Enjoy!  

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The Gettysburg Project

February 5, 2014

Quick post today on The Gettysburg Project The purpose of the Gettysburg Project Site is to enhance public  awareness and appreciation of the Battle of Gettysburg and The Gettysburg Address through the song “Gettysburg,” other Civil War inspired music, and links to other Gettysburg Memorial websites and blogs. The song Gettysburg was inspired by the […]

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Fun Animal Statistics

February 3, 2014

Here are some fun Battle of Gettysburg related statistics to use with your students: Between the two armies there were approximately 72,243 horses present. Of these, nearly 3,000 – 5,000 were killed.  What percentage was killed? Each horse requires 10 gallons of water per day, making the water needs for just the horses 722,430 gallons […]

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Lincoln Letter to McCullough

December 21, 2013

President Abraham Lincoln wrote this touching letter of condolence to the daughter of his long-time friend, William McCullough. During Lincoln’s law circuit days, McCullough was sheriff and clerk of the McLean County Circuit Court in Bloomington, Illinois. Early in the Civil War he helped organize the Fourth Illinois Cavalry, which he served as Lieutenant Colonel. […]

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Gettysburg Address Live Stream

November 19, 2013

Check out the live stream of the 150th Anniversary Event: Watch live streaming video from encompass at livestream.com

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Timeline Civil War App Review

October 31, 2013

I was recently asked to review the Timeline Civil War app for the iPad and to put it simply, this is a really good and enjoyable app.  This app is packed with tons of information, images, primary sources, maps and various texts. Key features on Timeline Civil War include: A unique interactive timeline that allows […]

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Lincolns Code – The Laws of War in History Book Review

October 13, 2013

I’m finally getting an opportunity to catch up on some reading and have another book review for you.  Lincoln’s Code: The laws of War in American History by Yale Law Professor John Fabian Witt is a “story of how slavery and the Emancipation Proclamation helped shape the modern laws of armed conflict, and how a […]

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Gettysburg: The Last Invasion Book Review

October 10, 2013

I recently had the opportunity to read Allen C. Guelzo`s latest work, Gettysburg: The Last Invasion. Guelzo is the Henry R. Luce Professor of the Civil War Era and the author of Lincoln’s Emancipation Proclamation: The End of Slavery in America and Abraham Lincoln: Redeemer President, both winners of the Lincoln Prize. According the the publisher: GETTYSBURG is […]

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The 150th Anniversary of the Battle of Gettysburg

July 18, 2013

I had an opportunity to spend some time in Gettysburg during the 150th anniversary celebration.  What a very cool experience to be in that historic spot at that time.  I really can’t explain it but even though we, as a family, go there about once a month, there was something about being on the battlefield […]

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Gettysburg Vodcasts

July 15, 2013

“Middle School Students Create Vodcasts about Civil War History in Gettysburg” By Shuan Butcher, Director of Communications — Journey Through Hallowed Ground Partnership Now that the dust has settled from the 150th commemoration of the Battle of Gettysburg, how doe the stories continue to be told for and by the next generation of leaders, historians, […]

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Online Course on Abraham Lincoln from Dickinson College

July 6, 2013

Dickinson College, Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History to Offer Online Course on Abraham Lincoln  “Understanding Lincoln” is designed especially for K-12 educators seeking graduate-level credit and ideas for teaching the new Common Core State Standards  (Carlisle, Pa.) – Dickinson College, in partnership with the Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History, will offer K-12 educators as […]

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The First Shot of the Battle of Gettysburg

July 2, 2013

We had the unique opportunity to be invited to join author JD Petruzzi at the First Shot Marker that commemorates the start of the Battle of Gettysburg.  What made it extra special was that we were there, on that spot where 150 years ago Marcellus Jones fired that first shot of the battle. So CJ […]

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