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  1. #1
    jovo's Avatar
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    "damn interesting": Color Photography from long ago...

    My son sent me this link. It describes a process entirely unknown to me, although I've certainly heard of and seen Autochromes. The thing is, I now have to entirely reimagine the turn of the previous century...I thought the world was completely monochromatic at that time. ;-)

    http://www.damninteresting.com/?p=245
    John Voss

    My Blog

  2. #2
    Ian Leake's Avatar
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    What an amazing resource! What particularly suprises me is how odd the WW1 photos look in colour.

  3. #3
    John_Brewer's Avatar
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    Interesting link John. Just recently I bought a book published in 1904 on colour photography. In fact there were several methods of making colour pictures, slides and prints: The Lippmann process, The Ives process, The Joly process, the collotype and the Sanger Shepherd process. I hope to try one or two of these methods when time (!) permits.
    ~John~
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    There are 10 types of people in this world - those who understand binary and those who don't.

  4. #4

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    Technicolor movies were made the same way, "Gone with the Wind" to name one.

    Then came the Kodachrome and Ektachrome color films with simpler cameras and projectors and Technicolor went away. Now the old color movies are mostly faded and gone, but I bet the Technicolor stock still remains if it was on safety film. Of course you need a Technicolor projector to view it.

    Sounds just like digital vs film debate some are having today!

  5. #5

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    There's a book "The Birth of a Century: Early Color Photographs of America" that is similar. The photographer is William Henry Jackson, and they used something called the Photochrom process. But the color is introduced in the printing process; the actual photographs were still on b&w. The description of the process in the book is rather vague, but apparently it only involved one negative, and then the printers would make printing stones (similar to lithographs?) for each color. Guess you couldn't call it a true color photo, but a lot of the pictures in the book are very interesting.

  6. #6
    Donald Qualls's Avatar
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    There was also a Land Color process, which (for projection) used only two negatives -- one grayscale and the other with a single color filter. When superposed, the eye will recreate the scene in illusory full color. Works suprisingly well, given that a (say) red filtered color negative doesn't make a distinction between blue and green in the original scene...
    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.

  7. #7
    David H. Bebbington's Avatar
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    I hadn't heard of the process being used that early, or of the three exposures ("separations") being done side by side on one long plate, but the color-separation process was in common use between the World Wars. One amazing practitioner in Britain was Madame Yevonde:
    http://www.benhamgallery.com/artists/yevonde.html
    The technique could be used with an ordinary camera, taking three plates in succession through different filters, but it was faster to use a "one-shot" camera which had one lens, several internal semi-transparent mirrors and filters and three backs for three plateholders, which allowed you to take color pictures onto 3 pieces of black-and-white film or plates with one exposure (as long as you had very powerful lights).
    PS: There are apparently no less than 63 prints by Madame Yevonde in the National Portrait Gallery London:
    http://www.npg.org.uk/live/search/po...role=art&rNo=0

  8. #8
    htmlguru4242's Avatar
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    In my research on old color, I've never heard of the Ives process that you mention. What is it? The others i believe are screen - plate or tri-plate separation processes. yes?

  9. #9
    John_Brewer's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by htmlguru4242
    In my research on old color, I've never heard of the Ives process that you mention. What is it? The others i believe are screen - plate or tri-plate separation processes. yes?
    I've not had time to read the book properly yet but it relies on a photochromoscope to view the image, i.e. it isn't a print. http://www.mhs.ox.ac.uk/cameras/index.htm?item146
    ~John~
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    www.johnbrewerphotography.com
    There are 10 types of people in this world - those who understand binary and those who don't.

  10. #10

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    [FONT=Arial]ariel[/FONT][SIZE=3]3[/SIZE][COLOR=Black]black[/COLOR]
    Quote Originally Posted by jovo
    My son sent me this link. It describes a process entirely unknown to me, although I've certainly heard of and seen Autochromes. The thing is, I now have to entirely reimagine the turn of the previous century...I thought the world was completely monochromatic at that time. ;-)

    http://www.damninteresting.com/?p=245
    Autochrome was the third (chronologically) additive plate colour transparency process to be marketed. J. Joly's (1st 1895) McDonough's(2nd 1896). Both acheived little sucess due to the difficulty of making the plates- high reject rate. Although the first Autochrome s were obviously glass plates, the materials became available in sheet film and roll film, Alticolor roll film/ Filmcolor sheet film.10 ASA. Both lasted until 1958.Processing was B/W reversal.I have processing sequences dating from 1908 although the processing sequence changed little during the lifetime of the process.Can give more information if interested.

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