Author Topic: Vintage Photos Taken by Prokudin-Gorskii - First to Photograph in Color  (Read 29410 times)

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Offline Rachael89

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Hi everyone

I was looking up about Colour photography and found that it was intorduced in Russia much earlier than I thought. I found this interesting article on Wikipedia:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sergei_Mikhailovich_Prokudin-Gorskii

and it seems that this man was comissioned to take colour photos of Russia from the times of 1905 to 1915 by Tsar Nicholas himself! I find it curious that although he took photographs of the ordinary people and buildings in Russia, there is no documentation of any being taken of the IF.

Does anyone know any possible reasons why no colour photographs of the IF were taken? Especially considering the technology existed.

I look forward to your replies!

Best

Rachael
It's not fair!

Offline Sarushka

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A book of Prokudin-Gorskii's color photos was printed in 1980. It's called Photographs For the Tsar.
THE LOST CROWN: A Novel of Romanov Russia -- now in paperback!
"A dramatic, powerful narrative and a masterful grasp of life in this vanished world." ~Greg King

Offline Olga Maria

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One thing I feel remorse for is that they haven't thought of using that technology on taking photographs although it already existed on the 18th century!

Amazing colored fotos  by the most wonderful Yelena Aleksandrovna. Endless and Eternal Thank you very much!

Alixz

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Actually - I have read that there were photos taken of the Imperial Family.

However, when Prokudin-Gorskii escaped Russia during the revolution, he only took as many glass plates as he could.  There is rumored to be one of the Alexei still in existence.  (The plate not the photo)  I think he is said to have hidden the ones he couldn't carry.  But no one has found them yet.  The could still be hidden, or they could have been broken or used for another purpose.

Because Nicholas II was so interested in new technology, I can't imagine that he would not have had photos taken of his family.

In a similar story, the glass plates belonging to Matthew Brady and other photographers of the American civil war were found to have been used to build green houses.  Either those who found them didn't know what they were or just didn't care.  Building a green house was more important to them than saving glass plates of photographs.

Offline Forum Admin

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This has been discussed in another thread about P-G.  He did in fact take color photographs of the Imperial Family.  The plates were left behind in Russia and may or may not have survived, no one knows.  The problem with his process was that it took three separate plates for one photo...

There are more P-G phots than just the commission for the Tsar.  If you search his name in the forum, you will see several I posted from a book we have containing his original color photos from the 1913 Koustar Arts Exhibit in St. Petersburg sponsored by Empress Alexandra Feodorovna, published in 1914...


Alixz

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When I started to moderate this sub forum and I saw the few pictures that were posted here, I didn't make any connection to P-G.  I don't know why since I have the book Photographs For The Tsar.

When I remembered, I wanted to be sure that others at least knew about P-G.

I knew there were probably other threads and information about this photographic genius, but I left this thread here so that those who might not look under, say the books thread, would still find it.

The book I have is indescribable in its beauty.

Maybe someday the color plates for the photos of the Imperial Family will surface.  FA is right about it taking three different color plates to get the beautiful finished product.  All three of those plates would have to be found to get the kind of pictures that we would all like to see.

It may be impossible unless there is a cache of them buried somewhere or hidden in an attic that hasn't been searched in the last 100 years.

Offline Father Gregory

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Re: Vintage Photos Taken by Prokudin-Gorskii - First to Photograph in Color
« Reply #36 on: September 03, 2009, 04:33:40 PM »
More photos released today from Library of Congress from Prokudin-Gorskii.

http://www.newsweek.com/id/214585

Alixz

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Re: Vintage Photos Taken by Prokudin-Gorskii - First to Photograph in Color
« Reply #37 on: September 03, 2009, 09:55:37 PM »
Why are the photos not in color?  This is the whole point. Am I missing something?

Offline Father Gregory

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Re: Vintage Photos Taken by Prokudin-Gorskii - First to Photograph in Color
« Reply #38 on: September 04, 2009, 03:02:16 PM »
Why are the photos not in color?  This is the whole point. Am I missing something?
If you click on the link to Newsweek, they are all in color.  The entire collection has been available for a few years now (http://lcweb2.loc.gov/pp/prokhtml/proksubjindex1.html), but I think the ones on the Newsweek site were recently digitally restored.

Alixz

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Re: Vintage Photos Taken by Prokudin-Gorskii - First to Photograph in Color
« Reply #39 on: September 04, 2009, 05:53:12 PM »
This time it worked.  I have the book and have always been impressed by the photographs.

It is odd to see these things in color.  It is so easy to think of the past as being lived in black and white.

Offline Olga Maria

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Re: Vintage Photos Taken by Prokudin-Gorskii - First to Photograph in Color
« Reply #40 on: September 17, 2009, 11:20:51 PM »
Thanks for the link, Father Gregory. The pictures taken before are as vivid as the ones taken today (so beautiful). I still hope the Russian archives will release a colored photo of NAOTMAA.

Amazing colored fotos  by the most wonderful Yelena Aleksandrovna. Endless and Eternal Thank you very much!

Offline Father Gregory

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Re: Vintage Photos Taken by Prokudin-Gorskii - First to Photograph in Color
« Reply #41 on: September 22, 2009, 01:05:23 AM »
I have the book and have always been impressed by the photographs.


What particular book are you referring to?  I would love to get a good publication with these color photos.

Alixz

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Re: Vintage Photos Taken by Prokudin-Gorskii - First to Photograph in Color
« Reply #42 on: September 22, 2009, 10:17:16 AM »
Photographs for the Tsar  The pioneering color photography of Sergei Mikhailovich Prokudin-Gorskii
    commissioned by Tsar Nicholas II

Edited with an introduction by Robert H Allshouse

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Re: Vintage Photos Taken by Prokudin-Gorskii - First to Photograph in Color
« Reply #43 on: September 22, 2009, 11:28:14 AM »
Thanks for the link, Father Gregory. The pictures taken before are as vivid as the ones taken today (so beautiful). I still hope the Russian archives will release a colored photo of NAOTMAA.

Nobody knows where or even if the P-G plates of the Imperial Family still exist.  Given the destruction of such image in the Bolshevik and Soviet eras, there is a good chance they did not survive.  Somebody 'may' have hidden them, but nobody knows. Plus each image requires three separate plates, so the chances of all surviving intact is rather small...



Offline Father Gregory

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Re: Vintage Photos Taken by Prokudin-Gorskii - First to Photograph in Color
« Reply #44 on: September 22, 2009, 02:57:26 PM »
Photographs for the Tsar  The pioneering color photography of Sergei Mikhailovich Prokudin-Gorskii
    commissioned by Tsar Nicholas II

Edited with an introduction by Robert H Allshouse
Thanks.  I could not find a new book, but I ordered a used one for $8.99.  Hopefully, the photographs are in good condition, but for the money its worth a try.