Tuesday, October 5, 2010

I find this fascinating.

On January 8, 2010 my dad sent me an e-mail that I have yet to bring myself to delete as I still like to revisit it from time to time- probably because the e-mail contains a Newsweek link that directs the viewer to an archive of photos that were taken over 100 years ago...in color.

Let me explain why the following pictures sparked an incredible personal interest.

Between the years 1907 and 1915, Russian artist Sergei Mikhailovich Prokudin-Gorskii (try saying that name one times fast) traveled through Russia by way of his darkroom rail car shooting color photos. Bare in mind that color photography was, at this time, still a technology in its infancy.
His method that retained such brilliant results required him to take three consecutive photographs of his subjects with three separate colored filters (red, green, and blue). Then he would combine them into full-color projections.
Above are some of my favorites from the set (the last one being a self portrait of Prokudin-Gorskii himself), but I encourage you to check out the collection in its entirety.
At times I cannot wrap my head around the fact that these were taken so long ago. It is hard to convince myself that these are not persons of the present time simply dressed in costume.
And people actually walked around in full color back then like IIII walk around in full color today? You mean the Earth and the people who walked on it weren't all black and white or sepia toned?
Don't even go there.
Totally awesome.


  1. I totally agree with you, it's hard to grasp the idea that the pictures were taken so long ago! It's amazing photography. :]

  2. These are so amazing. I too am having trouble wrapping my head around the fact that these were taken close to 100 years ago! So beautiful.

  3. Whoa! This is incredibly neat! Thanks for sharing such a wonderful piece of history.

  4. i love these!! thanks for sharing. :)

  5. all i can say is ... WOW...and backwards...WOW...

  6. This is so awesome. I sent the link to my dad. He's a professional photographer and he was BLOWN AWAY!

  7. Holy amazing! Thank you so much for sharing this! It truly is strange and so interesting to see the world during that era in COLOUR!