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Discussion in 'Open Discussion' started by digitalandfilm, Mar 15, 2013.
Russia in color, a century ago - The Big Picture - Boston.com
Absolutely amazing! Thanks for posting the link.
I agree.. The color and resolution is breathtaking!
Amazing! Its so interesting! Looks like they were shot yesterday
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!
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.
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.
Regardless of method- these shots are amazing when you consider how old they are!
You can see noticeable misalignment of the colors "layers" on #27. That's a rare example, however, and these are amazing shots.
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.
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.
Treat yourself if you haven't looked at this link yet. These pictures are really interesting.
Thanks for posting
Great images regardless of the method used