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The Rainbow Region

Colourising Yesteryear

What we do

The Request

After converting some very old photographs to colour images and posting them to the "Rainbow - the Famous Australian Town" Facebook group, I was amazed at the Facebook group and private requests that I received to publish a book of them. 

I have to agree, it would be great, but unfortunately not very practical in my case.

So what to do?

The Plan

To invest the time, the energy, and money into something like this at my age simply isn't workable. However as I am skilled at most things computer and web related, I feel the best approach is to publish a website of photos, and build it up over a period of time. 

With the ability to accept users comments on the site, and link back to Facebook threads, it allows me to grow each photograph or subject into something worthwhile for all interested readers, as well as future readers.

The Future

I would like to think my daughters can carry on with this project after I fall of the perch. Why would they be interested? Both being born in Rainbow is a good start.

The Priority

I would like to concentrate on street views and buildings first, before I move onto individual and group photos of people.

If anyone has good quality original scanned street photos that they feel would be suitable and they wish to submit, please let me know.

A single conversion can take anytime from 20-30 minutes to as many hours, and some photos simply don't and won't convert easily to an acceptable standard.


In Australia, any image or publication that is older than 50 years and published before 2005, has no copyright whatsoever.

After 2005, the law was changed and it became 70 years. Currently for this year 2021, that makes it any publication before 1955 (pre-2005) and before 1951 (post-2005) respectively. 

Basically all images and publications I am using, fall under the 50 year rule, which means that anything older than 1955 is not under any copyright ruling.

If the owners of the images or publication submit them to be published by me, then there is no Copyright at all, regardless of the year.

These rules and interpretations are fully explained on the following websites:

Click the button to go directly to the Copyright information page. 

Photo ID's

In order to identify any old black and white photo that has been converted to colour by me, I have used a simple ID method, which is attached to the image that works like this:
 "wizard-of-oz.com 3424-001".

It is this website name followed by the local postcode, and a sequential number for each individual image.  I must admit, I haven't thought too much about grouping local areas such as Kenmare or Yapeet into the same postcode.

In fact, some are the same postcode anyway, but if I had a Jeparit image I would ID it with the correct postcode. I hope that makes sense. 

You are free to copy and distribute any of my converted photos, but I would appreciate it if you leave my photo ID intact, as this passes the credit for the conversion back to this site, which allows the system to grow for the benefit of all readers.

Image Quality

Most of the images that I have used on these pages are screen grabs from the Facebook group and historical web sites.

50% of these are what I would call poor quality images that are a photo of a photo, or a photo of a computer screen complete with navigation icons and a nice slant on the image to make conversion a lot more difficult to achieve. Very few are actually a scanned photo.

There has to be a lot of great quality photos hidden and sitting idle in your grand parents belongings.

 In 2017 I purchased a new printer-scanner from Officeworks for $15. I only wanted the scanner, and have never used the printer cartridges. I just checked their site now. They have a similar one for $32, but watch out for specials at supermarkets. They often have a new printer-scanners at a ridiculous price. The .jpg file type is my preferred choice of formats.

You can also use your phone as a digital scanner

Click on the buttons below for a some more helpful hints. 

You don't need expensive equipment to convert from photo slides to digital

This post will give you a few ideas. You don't need a high quality camera, as a mobile phone camera will work fine. You will need a reasonable quality back light. 

A blank white computer screen page works well. You will need to solidly mount your camera on a suitable tripod, and the slide can be clamped to a suitable mount also.

This site is interactive in as much as you can go directly to Facebook groups or individual posts by simply clicking on the button. This one will take you straight to Rainbow - the Famous Australian Town.

A special thanks to Dianne Bett of Warracknabeal Victoria (nee Dunn - Dunlea at Werrap south of Rainbow) for her encouragement for me to continue my Rainbow research. She has always pushed me one step further, and I wouldn't have gathered up half as much information as I have on the subject of "Old Rainbow", without her enthusiastic assistance. 

And Google Street View. This is fantastic.
This button link will take you directly to the location nominated. These links are scattered right throughout this site, and is a great way for past residents and other interested parties, descendants, etc., to pay a quick visit around town.

To navigate around the image, on a PC, hold your mouse left click down, and on a phone, hold your finger on the image and simply move it in the direction you wish to view.


There is no membership or sign up of any description. This site is free to use as you wish... and free is pretty cheap!

 Don McKenzie