View of Melaka River circa 1860 – 1870 with DeepAI

View of Melaka River circa 1860 – 1870 with DeepAI

Photograph  view of the Melaka River, Malaysia. There are a large number of boats on the river, a selection with cabins, and thatched roofs. On the left side of the river are a series of buildings, many of which are on stilts. Groups of people are seated on the right side of the riverbank.

Royal CollectionPhotographs: Penang, Singapore, Siam, c.late 1860s,  ©Johan August Sachtler

In 1867, Prince Alfred, Duke of Edinburgh (1844-1900) began a journey around the world. During his voyage, Prince Alfred visited Singapore, Melaka  and Penang. To commemorate his visit, the Bishop of Penang presented Prince Alfred with an album of photographs of South East Asia. The photographs vary from remarkable panoramic views of the cities to portraits of the local people.

Since the nineteenth century, photograph presentation albums have been given to royal family members as gifts for a range of reasons: to commemorate a special occasion, mark a royal visit, or as a sign of devotion and gratitude. The albums range in content, from inspiring views of cities and countries and their flora and fauna to noteworthy environmental and social projects to highlights of a photographer’s oeuvre. Presentation albums form a significant part of the Royal Collection’s photograph collection, providing an important historical and visual record and resource, and a sense of the public’s interaction with the royal family.

Based on the previous article entitled “Deep Artificial Intelligence Bringing Back your Old Memories“, the photo above has been transformed or colorized by using DeepAI.  This process was done by a fully automatic approach that will generate realistic colorizations of Black & White (B&W) photos. The Artificial Intelligent (AI) approach is implemented as a feed-forward pass in a CNN (“ Convolutional Neural Network”) at test time and is trained on over a million color images as you can see below:

colorized-image-2The original photo of Johan August Sachtler1860s colorized using DeepAI, ©2020


The original photo of Johan August Sachtler1860s transformed to Art look-a-like using DeepAI, ©2020

The current building at the Melaka River was built more than 150 years, the structure proved to be resilient to total destruction. The only building that still had a semblance of being a building on the south bank of Melaka River, appeared that the walls had survived intact. It is located in (from right) Malaysia-China Friendship Square (Dataran Persahabatan Malaysia China), Duo Yun Xuan Art Gallery, and Hard Rock Cafe.  Formerly, this building used to be the High School Old Boys Association (MHSOBA) which is located at  42A, First Cross Street as shown in the photo below. MHSOBA Club was there between 1924-1942. The building belonged to Tan Jiak Choo (1871-1939), one of the patrons of the association.

High School Old Boys Association-compared-2This photo was taken sometime early 1930’s and used by Cunard and Whitestar shipping to promote world tourism from 1930 to 1936 (photo credit to LH Lim). The photo on the right was colorized using DeepAI.

melaka river 1961 - photo John Laurie-Flickr-compared1The above photograph was taken at the same place by John Laurie’s family in 1961 and posted on Flickr.  The photo on the right was colorized using DeepAI.

Royal CollectionThe photograph was taken at the same position as an original photographer, Johan August Sachtler at the bridge of Melaka River, next to Jonker Walk Street on 22 May 2020,  ©osgoh

WhatsApp Image 2020-05-24 at 13.03.13Melaka River View photos were taken during MCO on 22 May 2020, ©osgoh

360 Degree View of Melaka River.  Click and drag the photo to look around. (©osgoh, 2020)

You can try yourself by uploading your old black & white photos below.

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