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Old 08-27-2001, 04:45 PM   #1
Hubris Boy
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Your tax dollars at work!

Cellar Dwellars-

I wanted to share with you a remarkable collection of images that I found at the Library of Congress website. It's a series of COLOR photographs taken in pre-revolutionary Russia by a man named Sergei Prokudkin-Gorskii. Prokudkin-Gorskii took the photographs between 1909 and 1915 as part of a photographic survey of the empire for Tsar Nicholas II.

What's remarkable about these images is that they are truly COLOR photographs, not black-and-white photos that were hand-colored after development. Prokudkin-Gorskii used a camera that took three different images of the subject simultaneously through three separate lenses, each lens having a red, blue or green filter over it. For display, the images were shown through a three-lensed projector, again with RBG filters on the lenses. Voilá! A color image. (The process is actually a lot more complicated than that... the website has a more in-depth description.)

Here's just one of the images, a worker on the Mariinski Canal, taken in 1910:

(This is just a thumbnail... the full-size image is so big that I didn't want to link to it here.)

There are several dozen photos in the exhibit, covering all sorts of topics: architecture, transportation, people at work, etc. If you're interested, you can find the exhibit here. You won't be disappointed.
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Old 08-27-2001, 05:09 PM   #2
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didn't we have one of these pictures here not too long ago? the one of the emir of bukhara... i swear it was here that i saw it.. tony?
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Old 08-27-2001, 05:22 PM   #3
ndetroit
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It was here, about 2 months ago.. Go back and look in the archives, you will see it.

The pictures are incredible. The color and vivid detail are extraordinary, considering that they are nearly 100 years old. It's so strange, when I think of the past (the 20's or 30's), in my imagination, everyone is in black and white.. I guess I don't make the chromatic leap of logic and think that "yes, they probably had color back then, too..."..

call it the ignorance of generations.. Back then, they must have thought that the 1810's and 1820's were all watercolors and oils...
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Old 08-27-2001, 06:19 PM   #4
Undertoad
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I had the same kind of excitement you did, HB, so much that I couldn't wait until the next day and made it a "bonus image" of the day.

Here's the thread.
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Old 08-27-2001, 06:36 PM   #5
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they're some of the most awesome pictures i've ever seen... it really is almost impossible to imagine the world in color back then. logically, you know that it was, but because all old movies and pictures are in black & white, our mind imagines old times as black and white. it doesn't help that early color movies and pictures aren't nearly as vivid as these are - the pictures look like they were taken last week with a professional camera.
<p>
absolutely stunning.
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Old 08-27-2001, 07:22 PM   #6
Count Zero
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James C. Maxwell (of the Maxwell equations) invented this process of taking color photographs.

The problem with it is that since it's actually 3 different composed images (representing red, green and blue channels) there are some subtle differences between them. That's why some bushes or water surfaces look so weird.

But even so, the images are impressive. Makes me wonder what was done to preserve them so well.
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Old 08-27-2001, 07:59 PM   #7
modernhamlet
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Well, as some who hasn't been here that long, thanks for reposting it. Really wonderful stuff. The one of the Shakh-i Zindeh Mosque is just beautiful. That is so much more information than a black and white photo can provide. And in 1911. And I won't even begin to describe the Icon one.

If this guy's technique had been used broadly during WWI, I bet the images would have given Europeans "pools of red blood" pause before making decisions that drove them straight to WWII only 20 some years later.

Last edited by modernhamlet; 08-27-2001 at 08:04 PM.
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Old 08-28-2001, 01:59 AM   #8
Hubris Boy
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Quote:
Originally posted by modernhamlet
I won't even begin to describe the Icon one.
Yeah... the photo of the iconostasis in the church in Smolensk? That was my favorite. I wonder if it's still there? Probably not. Sadly, a lot of Russia's religious architecture and artwork didn't survive 74 years of benevolent rule by the Communist Party. Oh well, at least we still have the pictures.
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Old 08-28-2001, 03:35 PM   #9
sapienza
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My favorite was this one:
http://www.loc.gov/exhibits/empire/i...77__01069_.jpg

The starkness of this simple chuch in the middle of nowhere just struck me. There's something more about it that I can't put my finger on ...

(and here's the text from the exhibit):
Wooden Chapel on the Site of Old Belozersk

First mentioned in Russian chronicles for the year 862 A.D., the town of Belozersk or "White Lake" was abandoned and relocated several times. The original settlement, commemorated here by a small nineteenth-century wooden chapel, was on the north side of the White Lake in north central European Russia.
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Old 12-05-2019, 01:42 AM   #10
Dude111
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Ya that one is very nice.....

Is the colour on these photographs NATURAL or did they colorise them??? (I dont think they had colour in 1910) Judging by some of those pics with how messed up the colours look,it seems they are not really colour pics I dunno.......

I explored the website and its fascinating.....
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Old 12-05-2019, 08:07 AM   #11
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Old 12-05-2019, 10:28 AM   #12
xoxoxoBruce
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dude111 View Post
Ya that one is very nice.....

Is the colour on these photographs NATURAL or did they colorise them??? (I dont think they had colour in 1910) Judging by some of those pics with how messed up the colours look,it seems they are not really colour pics I dunno.......

I explored the website and its fascinating.....
Go back and read post #1.
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Old 12-05-2019, 12:07 PM   #13
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Hmmmmmm i guess they are then,its truly impressive!!
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