Russia in Colour, 1900s
I had never heard of Sergey Mikhaylovich Prokudin-Gorskii (where have I been living?!), so when I stumbled on his early 20th century photographs of the Russian Empire I was blown away. The Photographium site has a great collection and digging through it is like firing up a time machine. Gorskii, a chemist by trade and photography pioneer, worked with colour like a magician. Hues bleed and spill into one another, so saturated they practically leap off the surface. The accidents only working to enhance their beauty.
"Using a special technique that captured three black and white photographs in succession, the pictures could then be combined using red, green and blue filters to create realistic color. The result are vivid photographs that look startlingly modern."
I could stare at these detailed portraits for hours. I almost find myself forgetting that life in this period was lived in colour when we are so used to the black & white renditions of the early 20th century. A whole new dimension...pure amazing!