Photo Link: 100 Year Old Photos of Old Russia — In Color!

As I mentioned, every once in a while, I’ll link to something that I think you’ll find fascinating, whether it’s camera equipment or photos.  This time, it’s photos.  And this feels almost like time travel.  Note that I said “almost”; it’s without that slightly nauseous, disorienting feeling one gets from time travel.

These are some amazing hundred year old photos of Russia, all in color, all from the Library of Congress!  I know…all of us thought that everything was in black and white a hundred years ago.  But the high quality of the photos as well as the vibrant colors make it seem as if these were taken recently, not before World War I or the Russian Revolution.

An Armenian woman near Artvin in present-day Turkey, part of the old Russian Empire photos

An Armenian woman near Artvin in present-day Turkey, part of the old Russian Empire photos, 1910.

The Emir of Bukhara, in present-day Uzbekistan, 1910.

The Emir of Bukhara, in present-day Uzbekistan, 1910.

A group of Jewish children with a teacher in Samarkand, now present-day Uzbekistan, 1910.

A group of Jewish children with a teacher in Samarkand, now present-day Uzbekistan, 1910.

A group of women in Dagistan, 1910.

A group of women in Dagistan, 1910.

Young Russian peasant women offer berries to visitors to their izba, a traditional wooden house, in a rural area along the Sheksna River near the small town of Kirillov.

Young Russian peasant women offer berries to visitors to their izba, a traditional wooden house, in a rural area along the Sheksna River near the small town of Kirillov. Click on the photo to be magically whisked to Prokudin-Gorskii’s photos of Russia’s ethnic diversity.

At this point, you may be asking, “Hey…that was a long time ago, but these look *incredible*!  How were they photographed?”

Turns out that photographer Sergei Mikhailovich Prokudin-Gorskii was a pretty bright apple who figured out how to create images in color by shooting three different negatives, using either a red, green, or blue filter, photographing them in fairly rapid sequence.  He then recombined them, showing them in color through a projection system using the same three filters.  Read about it in more detail here.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s