Over 100 years ago!

Discussion in 'Open Discussion' started by digitalandfilm, Mar 15, 2013.

  1. digitalandfilm

    digitalandfilm Mu-43 All-Pro

    Jul 18, 2011
  2. peter124

    peter124 Mu-43 Regular

    Absolutely amazing! Thanks for posting the link.
  3. digitalandfilm

    digitalandfilm Mu-43 All-Pro

    Jul 18, 2011
    I agree.. The color and resolution is breathtaking!
  4. Artorius

    Artorius Mu-43 Regular

    Amazing! Its so interesting! Looks like they were shot yesterday
  5. jloden

    jloden Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    May 15, 2012
    Hunterdon County, NJ
    Real Name:
  6. speedandstyle

    speedandstyle Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Is it my monitor or are there some odd color artifacts? It could be the old color film or the fact they they are old? My favorite is #24, the PIG water carriers. look closely they are pig skins!

  7. dwig

    dwig Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Jun 26, 2010
    Key West FL
    These were NOT taken with "color film".

    They were shot on B&W film using a "tri-color camera"; one that takes 3 shots in sequence, one through each of three color separation filters. This produces 3 separation images, either positive or negative. According to the museum's blurb, these were originally used to produce a matched set of B&W separation positives that would be then projected together, each through appropriate color filters. Other sources indicate that these were shot as negatives from which the positives for projection would have been made, which is the generally used method as it allows for the production of multiples sets of positives.

    Since each image is made from three separate B&W films there can be some unique artifacts. Any dust spots or image flaws will be limited to a single film, hence a single color. Also, since the photographer used, according to the blurb, a tri-color camera that shot the images sequentially (3 separate exposures, changing film and filter for each) rather than simultaneously (1 exposure using a camera with mirrors/beam-splitters to project the image on three films, filtering each appropriately) there will also be artifacts produced when the subject moves. Some images should such movement of either a subject (e.g. moving water, a child not being still, ...) or the camera (e.g. edges showing color misalignment implying the camera shifted or rotated slightly during the film change.

    check out:
    Color photography - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
    Sergey Prokudin-Gorsky - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

    Also, there is a modern way of creating these artifacts for "artistic" purposes using modern color film. The device is known as a "Harris Shutter". The Wikipedia article on the Harris Shutter illustrates these "artifacts" well. With digital, the filter device isn't needed. You can simply take three separate pictures, preferably on a tripod, as use Photoshop to extract one color channel from each and use those to assemble a single color image.
    • Like Like x 1
  8. digitalandfilm

    digitalandfilm Mu-43 All-Pro

    Jul 18, 2011
    Regardless of method- these shots are amazing when you consider how old they are!
  9. drd1135

    drd1135 Zen Snapshooter

    Mar 17, 2011
    Southwest Virginia
    Real Name:
    You can see noticeable misalignment of the colors "layers" on #27. That's a rare example, however, and these are amazing shots.
  10. dwig

    dwig Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Jun 26, 2010
    Key West FL
    Yes, it's quite obvious that Prokudin-Gorsky was a skilled and careful worker.

    The technique he used was not rare at the time. It had been used for decades and there was a range of commercial products marketed for taking color pictures using this 3 shot method as well as single-shot beam splitter cameras.

    When well preserved, the original negatives can be used with modern chemical or digital techniques to create excellent images. The main limitation the photographers of the time had was in creating viewable positives.
  11. Biro

    Biro Mu-43 All-Pro

    May 8, 2011
    Jersey Shore
    Real Name:
    This collection keeps getting "rediscovered" every year or so - and that's a good thing. As much as many of us love black and white imaging, it's amazing how much more information is imparted with color. Intellectually, we know the world wasn't all drab shades of grey 100-plus years ago. But seeing these images continues to be an eye-opener nonetheless. All of a sudden, these people and their homes are so much more real - and like us.
  12. Photodan1

    Photodan1 Mu-43 Regular

    Jun 26, 2012
    Nashville, Tennessee, USA
    Real Name:
    Treat yourself if you haven't looked at this link yet. These pictures are really interesting.
  13. Robstar1963

    Robstar1963 Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Jun 10, 2011
    Isle of Wight England UK
    Real Name:
    Robert (Rob)
    Great Thread
    Thanks for posting
    Great images regardless of the method used