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  1. #11

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    I remember seeing those Russian empire pictures somewhere else ("Smithsonian"??) in an article in connection with an exhibition. The important thing to note is the quality. First, this guy was a great photographer. Second, the color is true, saturated, and beautiful. In fact, the color is better than what we get from most films today. Compare them to the autochromes also shown in the web page. For an early technology, this work is almost unbelievable. I'm sure a lot of that has to do with the photographer's hard work and uncompromising quality control, but still. I wonder what the technical details of the work were. (Has someone seen the exhibit catalog or other documentation? Maybe the LOC web site has something.) Just thinking: the photographer had to calibrate his plates to get a decent separation with the poor red sensitivity of the emulsions of that era.

  2. #12
    szazs's Avatar
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    You might try: http://www.loc.gov/exhibits/empire/
    "The Empire that was Russia. Photographer to the Tsar:Sergei Mikhailovich Prokudin-Gorskii"

  3. #13

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    Good Morning,

    The Russian color photos referred to in the posts immediately above were also published in a book probably about twenty years ago. It might be out of print now, but is probably available from used-book sources. The book contains a lot of background information about the photographer and his methods.

    Konical

  4. #14

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    Good morning,

    Thanks for the links, interesting work. How did he make panchromatic glass plates in 1909 ?? That's the question.

    In one photo there is no color fringing:
    http://www.loc.gov/exhibits/empire/images/p87-7001.jpg

    In others there is
    http://www.loc.gov/exhibits/empire/images/p87-6500.jpg http://www.loc.gov/exhibits/empire/i...45__00547_.jpg

    So I guess he used a sequence camera and luck. Is there any info on the camera construction available?

    Thanks.

  5. #15

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    Quote Originally Posted by phfitz
    Good morning,

    Thanks for the links, interesting work. How did he make panchromatic glass plates in 1909 ?? That's the question.
    ...
    So I guess he used a sequence camera and luck. Is there any info on the camera construction available?

    Thanks.
    I went to see this exhibition at the library of congress when it was there...2000? 2001 I forget. The pictures were really stunning. The blue in particular on the Prince of Bukhara's outfit was spectacular. I was disappointed that there was not an exhibition book or I would have bought it. Anyway, see this link to see how he did it: http://www.loc.gov/exhibits/empire/making.html It also goes into how the pictures were restored. The other thing to keep in mind is that the lenses he used were not apochromatic, so the color fringing can be due to registration as well as objects moving in the frame.

    The other thing is

  6. #16

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    Good morning,

    Thank you Jason for the link, too bad the camera doesn't exist anymore. 3 chambers with 3 lenses would build the 'stereo' effect BUT it might be interesting.

    I still would like to know how he had panchro glass plates OR if this can be done with plain film (UV/blue sensitive). Sounds like another project.

    Thanks for the links.

  7. #17
    Donald Qualls's Avatar
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    The first color process (which, by its nature, had to have at least some red sensitivity) was patented in, IIRC, 1869. Dry gelatin plates had some red sensitivity unless care was taken to prevent it; even a pure silver chloride emulsion has a little (very little) response to red light. The products available in the 1890s weren't what we'd now call panchromatic, but there was enough red response to record images that would read as full color to the eye.
    Photography has always fascinated me -- as a child, simply for the magic of capturing an image onto glossy paper with a little box, but as an adult because of the unique juxtaposition of science and art -- the physics of optics, the mechanics of the camera, the chemistry of film and developer, alongside the art in seeing, composing, exposing, processing and printing.

  8. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by Konical
    Good Morning,

    The Russian color photos referred to in the posts immediately above were also published in a book probably about twenty years ago. It might be out of print now, but is probably available from used-book sources. The book contains a lot of background information about the photographer and his methods.

    Konical
    I bought a copy of the book and still have it. The photos are amazing. I recall there was a thread about this about a year or so ago.

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