You know how when you think back to the 1900s you imagine in black and white and you wonder “boy life must have been so different back then”. I bumped into this amazing set of photos from the World War I era. They were made by a Russian photographer, who made it his job to survey the great land in photographs. Having recieved approval from the tzar of the time, Sergei Mikhailovich Prokudin-Gorskii set out on his journey.
After you visit the gallery, appropriately called The Empire that was Russia, you will notice something that may startle you. All the photos are in color. Yes that’s right, even though Sergei’s photo plates were black and white (this predates the development of color photo technology), Sergei came up with a genious way of capturing color photos.
He accomplished this with a clever camera of his own design, which took three black and white photos of a scene in rapid sequence, each though a differently colored filter. His photographic plates were long and slender, capturing all three images onto the same plate, resulting in three monochrome images which each had certain color information filtered out.
Thus later projecting the photos to create an overlap through the same filters he had used to take the photos…
I highly suggest you check out the full gallery, there a lot of photos!
However perhaps the most amazing part is the feeling you will get having seen the photographs and their subjects. These were real people, in fact excusing the difference of clothe and simpler times, these were people I feel like I could relate to. Just think about it, 100 years back people were just like you and I. It’s amazing!