Sunday, 13 February 2011

Color Photographs!


No, not modern photographs, silly. And not the hand tinted ones either (we will explore the beauty and total tragedies of those critters at a time that is not now.). Honest to goodness color photographs from the early years of the 20th century! Yay! I'm not going to put up detailed explanations of how the different photographers achieved their colorness. If you really care that much, you can look them up by their names.
1910 Woman Making an American Flag (which I feel is kind of obvious).
I love love love the way that reds come out in these photographs. I do not know if some extra techniques were applied to make certain colors stand out more (specifically reds, pinks and blues) or if they were just used frequently because they stood out so well. I love that you can really see the satiny texture of the flag with the colors visible.

It seems so strange to see someone who lived so long ago in color. Really, the image itself is not terribly foreign - we see people dressed in those kinds of clothes all of the time in movies nowadays. But this girl ACTUALLY lived at the turn of the century! Those are the clothes she put on every day. That is how she did her hair. I love the color photographs because they are so good at bringing their subjects so much closer to reality.

It's not the clearest photograph, but I love her little blue sash and almost red hair!

1906: Suzanne and Andree (daughters of Louis and Auguste Lumiere - brothers and early film (and apparently color photograph) makers!) and their cousins. See what I mean about the pinks and blues?

1912 by Alfonse Van Besten "Pink and Green Wigs" I guess when you have this shiny colorful toy, you make your models do crazy things to show it off! (True story) I'm still in love with how much the color brings out the textures. Their gowns look so soft! ^_^

1906 Spifftastic reflections. And a butt!

1905-1915 in Central Asia

1910 "Musing" by Alfonse Van Besten of Mrs. Van Besten (his frequent muse. aawww.) Another thing I love about these color photographs is the light. You can hand tint a photograph all you want with perfect skill, and you're still not going to capture the light so perfectly. 1909 Russia. One of the techniques has, I believe, something to do with layering the primary colors all on top of each other in order to get the proper colors to come out. You can see here where they didnt' all quite line up (or someone moved!) ^_^

Look for something SUPER special on Friday!


Cricket said...

I love the sunflower girl! and the flag one! When I get a real job I feel like you should come in as a guest lecturer and do something with old photos as primary sources.

Anonymous said...

I'm not sure if they used the technique for these photos but colored lenses were often used for the camera: Green lenses would make reds bolder and Red lenses made Greens stand out more. They were required for black-n-white photos require the lense to show reds and greens as they appeared the same shade of gray otherwise. Sometimes in early colored photos they'd use the same technique to make the colors pop. They also used different chemical mictures and lighting times (cover part of the picture for a sec or two while exposeing the other part). Darlene

Whyte Fairy said...

Jenni: I'd LOVE to!

Darlene: Interesting! I've read a teensy bit about the old color photos. But not enough for much real knowledge (and especially nothing as detailed as that!) I think I knew generally about taking the photos with different colored lenses, and then laying them all on top of one another or something? Thank you for sharing! :-D

woodlandwalker said...

These are lovely. How refreshing.

Anonymous said...

No problem. I took photography back in high school. Our teacher was very good. Darlene

Anonymous said...

I'm in love with old photographs like these!! With color added, it looks so real!