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Author Topic: Russia in colour - 100 years ago  (Read 4348 times)
Chairman Bill
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« on: January 11, 2012, 05:25:43 PM »
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A fascinating set of images taken a hundred years ago
http://www.boston.com/bigpicture/2010/08/russia_in_color_a_century_ago.html
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... Sergei Mikhailovich Prokudin-Gorskii (1863-1944) undertook a photographic survey of the Russian Empire with the support of Tsar Nicholas II. He used a specialized camera to capture three black and white images in fairly quick succession, using red, green and blue filters, allowing them to later be recombined and projected with filtered lanterns to show near true color images ...
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fotometria gr
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« Reply #1 on: January 11, 2012, 05:43:51 PM »
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A fascinating set of images taken a hundred years ago
http://www.boston.com/bigpicture/2010/08/russia_in_color_a_century_ago.html
If he would have used 2 Greens, he would be doing what a modern multishot 4x MFDB does! But I think he managed the same with 3x! He must have worked a lot on the density of his filters. Bravo! Regards, Theodoros. www.fotometria.gr 
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jeremypayne
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« Reply #2 on: January 11, 2012, 05:50:06 PM »
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We had an interesting discussion about this in 2009 ...

http://www.luminous-landscape.com/forum/index.php?topic=37705.0
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john beardsworth
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« Reply #3 on: January 12, 2012, 03:06:00 AM »
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They're still amazing though, aren't they?

If you've not tried, it's quite fun to download the separate channel files and reassemble them in Photoshop.

John
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famalam
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« Reply #4 on: January 17, 2012, 05:01:12 PM »
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Boston, as usual, never fails to impress.
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tim wolcott
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« Reply #5 on: January 18, 2012, 12:18:24 AM »
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Actually the camera took all three shots at one time.  It shoots 8x10 film with a filter in front of each piece of film.  The camera is a bit weird to look at but the light come thru the lens then hits three separate mirrors that then expose all three sheets of film at one time.  My friend had Ernst Haas camera that was used for this.  I've been trying to buy it for sometime.  It also allows each piece to be in registration.  But thanks for passing that on,  good to see good history.  T 
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RFPhotography
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« Reply #6 on: January 18, 2012, 08:44:24 AM »
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His work really is interesting.  I first heard of him a dozen or so years ago.  Keep going back and looking at his images from time to time.  It is fun to recombine some of his filtered shots back into a colour version too.
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famalam
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« Reply #7 on: January 18, 2012, 01:06:21 PM »
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Actually the camera took all three shots at one time.  It shoots 8x10 film with a filter in front of each piece of film.  The camera is a bit weird to look at but the light come thru the lens then hits three separate mirrors that then expose all three sheets of film at one time.  My friend had Ernst Haas camera that was used for this.  I've been trying to buy it for sometime.  It also allows each piece to be in registration.  But thanks for passing that on,  good to see good history.  T 

That sounds absolutely fascinating. There's a true genius behind old technology.
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feppe
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« Reply #8 on: January 18, 2012, 02:56:20 PM »
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Also discussed here and here and here.
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mediumcool
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« Reply #9 on: January 19, 2012, 04:51:48 AM »
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Actually the camera took all three shots at one time.  It shoots 8x10 film with a filter in front of each piece of film.  The camera is a bit weird to look at but the light come thru the lens then hits three separate mirrors that then expose all three sheets of film at one time.  My friend had Ernst Haas camera that was used for this.  I've been trying to buy it for sometime.  It also allows each piece to be in registration.  But thanks for passing that on,  good to see good history.  T  

Look at picture 13; that was not made with a one-shot camera. It was likely made with the camera which exposed this:



Source of the JPEG above, and reference text below.
 
The second type, known variously as a multiple back, repeating back or drop back camera, still exposed the images one at a time but used a sliding holder for the filters and plates which allowed each filter and the corresponding unexposed area of emulsion to be quickly shifted into place. German photochemistry professor Adolf Miethe designed a high-quality camera of this type which was commercially introduced by Bermpohl in 1903. It was probably this Miethe-Bermpohl camera which was used by Miethe's pupil Sergei Mikhailovich Prokudin-Gorskii to make his now-celebrated color photographic surveys of Russia before the 1917 revolution.

EDIT: changed probably to likely.




« Last Edit: January 19, 2012, 06:26:40 AM by mediumcool » Logged

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jeremypayne
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« Reply #10 on: January 19, 2012, 05:49:15 AM »
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Actually the camera took all three shots at one time.  It shoots 8x10 film with a filter in front of each piece of film.  The camera is a bit weird to look at but the light come thru the lens then hits three separate mirrors that then expose all three sheets of film at one time.  My friend had Ernst Haas camera that was used for this.  I've been trying to buy it for sometime.  It also allows each piece to be in registration.  But thanks for passing that on,  good to see good history.  T 

Nope ... that's not the case ... I think Ernst is pulling your leg.  The images were shot in sequence and there is no known example of the camera, replica or even an image.

http://www.loc.gov/exhibits/empire/making.html
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tim wolcott
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« Reply #11 on: January 19, 2012, 10:59:03 PM »
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That's a fascinating link.  Thanks for sharing.  It obviously worked very well, but has very few limitations on what you can shoot.  Certainly a genius to figure this out.  This was like the early version of the big shot which you shot in rapid succession with each filter.  

But seriously Ernst had a camera that my friend George Phillips bought that had  ability to shoot 3 plates at one time with the red, blue and green.  He showed me it and how it worked but never got the chance to buy it.  I wish I could think of the name of that camera.  This one was made of all aluminum and very tech looking.  Any body else seen this camera. I try to study every camera and process to incorporate it in some of landscapes.    
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feppe
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« Reply #12 on: January 20, 2012, 05:23:06 PM »
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The camera took three separate exposures with red, green and blue filters; Wikipedia covers that briefly as do some other sources. You can see evidence of that in several shots.

It's an ingenious invention. I wondered in one of the earlier threads that since RGB is still being used to this day, is that due to legacy, coincidence, or some technical reason related to physics of light.
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mediumcool
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« Reply #13 on: January 20, 2012, 05:56:09 PM »
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James Clerk Maxwell is the pioneer in all this, the father of colour photography.

Additive colour. Then there is subtractive colour!
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mediumcool
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« Reply #14 on: January 20, 2012, 06:24:30 PM »
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Very adequate description of the differences between additive and subtractive colour models.
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Nigel Johnson
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« Reply #15 on: June 03, 2013, 12:20:15 PM »
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I have just spotted that there is a Kickstarter project to publish a hardcover Russian/English language book featuring 250 of these Prokudin-Gorsky pictures. The link is http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/176548578/the-lost-empire-in-colour-1905-1916-print-limited

I have no connection with the project, other than having backed it to a level that will get me a copy of the book if it is published.

Regards,
Nigel
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RFPhotography
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« Reply #16 on: June 06, 2013, 06:45:55 PM »
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I wonder how they got access to the images.  My understanding was that the Library of Congress bought his library from one of his family members.
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