Beautiful Color 100 year old Russian photos


I ran across this site and was absolutely amazed by these images. Im not sure if these are already well known by everyone, but they are worth a look if you havent seen them. They are all pre ww1 Real Photographs from Russia taken by a man named

Sergei Mikhailovich Prokudin-Gorskii


These pictures are amazing, so photorealistic, expecially the last one. The people who did this were really talented.


That’s interesting, didn’t think they had the ability to produce color photos way back then. That technique of his is quite ingenious I’d say.


what truly astounding pictures. thanks for the link!


There photorealistic because they are real color photo’s

I think the guy used color filters to take red green and blue versions of them, and then showed light through them all to composite it into a color image.


The best next thing to stepping in a time-machine. Great link, thanks !


Stunning images indeed and I’m 99% sure these hand colored bw-photos. Very common technique back then, especially for portraits. These are probaply the best examples of that technique I’ve seen.

EDIT: Ah, I should have read the article, he used filters as someone said…


thats amazing that they are from so long ago, they are better quality then my friggin camera takes today!:eek:


Beautiful, evocative images. Thanks for the link…


:hmm: it did cross your mind they didn’t even had black and white cameras back then, let alone of that quality?


beautifull pictures of russia, and wonderfull ideas :slight_smile:


Read the article carefully :

“In the early 1900s, he developed an ingenious technique of taking colour photographs. The same object was captured in black and white on glass plate negatives, using red, green and blue filters. He then presented these images in colour in slide lectures using a light-projection system involving the same three filters.”


[i]“Please note that these images are NOT colorized black and white photographs. They were actually taken in colour about hundred years ago!”

[/i]This is AMAZING work on a time that nothing that we use today to take pictures even existed.

Im stunned, thanks for the link :thumbsup:


Holy muffins! Awesome pictures…Man. It’s hard to imagine you’re looking at a person who was sitting there 100 years ago! It’s…Damn…It just feels, odd. :hmm:


In a world where everything runs at tremendous speed and innovations springle out every second, its just AMAZING to look to the past and take notice of the things that were done using the mediums available back then … damn… RGB back in 1900…
Simply breathtaking…

As a sidenote, his method had some problems with moving things and not constant surfaces, like water, smoke, etc… doesn’t detracts a milimiter about his value thou!


Just amazing! Congratulations on the finding, 47Gut!


That is amazing.


For those who still think this is hand colored follow the link above… its from the Library of Congress.

All I can say is… amazing… I never knew about this… ok its not print photography, Its the grand daddy of diop.



Hi everyone.
I came across this amazing work through the Lybrary of Congress site a couple of years ago. I think, that the recovering of this photos and material was being made in US… not sure.

I remember well the time i took too look and stare at this images, totally amazed by their beauty and by the technical achievement that they are. Really ingenuous… and the best thing is walking back 100 years, and seat in a world where we can see and admire a great selection of historic buildings and places, with lots of interesting people and lifes going on them. Many of this things are gone by now. Priceless pictures.


edit: drdespair posted the link to the site i was refering to… it seems that it was only an exhibition. I thinked that it was a recovery project somehow. Well, that should be a great thing to visit.


I am not sure, but many of the churches in those photo’s probably dont exit any more, part of the post revolutionary purge of religion in Russia…


You´re right, many of the buildings you see there, mainly churchs, were all demolished in the revolution years and following times.
It must be a sad aspect of the revolutions or even, the evolution… the incapacity in working out with many good and beautiful things of the past, or respecting them. :smiley:

(no particular political meaning, only a thought on the human and social history) :slight_smile:


Great finding 47gut.

It’s strange watching these, as I’m used to seeing BW photos from back then.
I felt the same way watching some WW2 color photos taken by an italian photographer. His photo’s were found after his death. Those photo’s made me forget about the suffering during ww2,because … they were colorful :curious:!?. I forgot the Photographers name… saw it in a documentary.