Dating Historical Color Images

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Abstract

We introduce the task of automatically estimating the age of historical color photographs. We suggest features which attempt to capture temporally discriminative information based on the evolution of color imaging processes over time and evaluate the performance of both these novel features and existing features commonly utilized in other problem domains on a novel historical image data set. For the challenging classification task of sorting historical color images into the decade during which they were photographed, we demonstrate significantly greater accuracy than that shown by untrained humans on the same data set. Additionally, we apply the concept of data-driven camera response function estimation to historical color imagery, demonstrating its relevance to both the age estimation task and the popular application of imitating the appearance of vintage color photography.