21 June 2009


"The Lumière brothers, inventors of the motion picture camera, presented their invention to the French Academy of Sciences in 1904. The process used a screen of tiny potato starch grains dyed orange-red, green and violet. Dusted onto a glass plate, the dyed grains were covered with a layer of sensitive panchromatic silver bromide emulsion. As light entered the camera, it was filtered by the dyed grains before it reached the emulsion. While the exposure time was very long, the plate could be processed easily by a photographer familiar with standard darkroom procedures. The result was a unique, realistic, positive color image on glass that required no further printing."
The selections above are from a collection of 68 autochromes in the Flickr photoset of the George Eastman House. Credit for the dancer with Egyptian costume, child with nurse, woman with satin dress, girl with collection of dolls, and woman posed as a sphinx. If you go to the primary link for each photo and click on "all sizes" above the picture, you will generally be greeted by a larger version (the little girl's dolls are particularly intricate and interesting).

Note all of these color photos date to about 1910-1915.

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