See the Famous Burning Monk in Shocking Color

In 1963 a Vietnamese Buddhist monk named Lâm Van Tuc burned himself to death on a busy Saigon road in protest of the persecution of Buddhists by South Vietnam’s Ngô Ðình Di?m administration. Malcolm Browne’s photo and journalist David Halberstam’s account of the event circulated the world, winning both of them a Pulitzer Prize.

Halberstam wrote:

“I was to see that sight again, but once was enough. Flames were coming from a human being; his body was slowly withering and shriveling up, his head blackening and charring. In the air was the smell of burning human flesh; human beings burn surprisingly quickly. Behind me I could hear the sobbing of the Vietnamese who were now gathering. I was too shocked to cry, too confused to take notes or ask questions, too bewildered to even think… As he burned he never moved a muscle, never uttered a sound, his outward composure in sharp contrast to the wailing people around him.”

If anything could make the image more horrific, it would be color. Redditor mygrapefruit recently posted a shockingly bright colorization of the iconic image.

How’d he do it?

“[I used] Photoshop CS 5, and tablet. Used Brush Tool with mode set to Colour, entered quick mode (Q) sometimes to make finer selections eg. the fire which I then used Gradient Map on. [Took] approx 4 hrs.”

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