The Dawn of Colour Photography: Snapshots from the Russian Empire

The Dawn of Colour Photography: Snapshots from the Russian Empire

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Following on from our previous piece on early colour photography, we thought we’d share another set of first-generation colour images.

These photos were taken by Sergey Mikhaylovich Prokudin-Gorsky, a Russian photography pioneer who so impressed Tsar Nicholas II that he was funded to trek across the Russian Empire and document its expanses with his new technology.

Prokudin-Gorsky continued working up until the Russian Revolution, after which he fled west. While many of his photographs were subsequently lost, a great deal have been made available by the Library of Congress here. It’s a fascinating insight into how any of your ancestors from the region might have been living 100 years ago.

Here are a selection of our favourites. As always, click on any of these to enlarge the shot.

Enjoy!

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  • Mark


    August 29, 2010

    It’s amazing to me how much color modernizes the images.

  • Ken


    August 30, 2010

    A beautiful collection of historical images. I saw some of these when in rural Russia about 11 years ago

  • Frank


    April 26, 2011

    Any information about HOW?? he did it. Three separate colour plates?