100 colour photos from 100 years ago

Started Jan 22, 2011 | Discussions
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alex_virt Contributing Member • Posts: 612
100 colour photos from 100 years ago

Recently, I finished my 100th restoration of antique colour photographs taken about 100 years ago by S. M. Prokudin-Gorskii, Russian pioneer of colour photography. Links to his works have been already posted on this forum, however most of these photos have not been properly restored before.

Here are some recent additions:

And here is my entire collection: http://www.gridenko.com/pg

Check back soon!

steephill Veteran Member • Posts: 9,757
First class work!

I have recently done some work on some poor quality old prints from around this time but these are in a different class entirely, quite exceptional.

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Mr Physics
Mr Physics Contributing Member • Posts: 715
Re: 100 colour photos from 100 years ago

Thank you for sharing. Priceless work. Your endeavor is noble, sir. I went through each image that you posted, captivated by the history and the wondrous images of a "Tolstoy" Russia. Thanks you.

Tony

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Berghof Senior Member • Posts: 1,186
probably the best I've seen

sir you have done probably the best color restoration job I've ever seen,congratulation,great work and very interesting images form the old Russia
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Berghof G.C.

Barrie Davis
Barrie Davis Forum Pro • Posts: 21,460
You have honoured the original photography with your efforts. nt
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Regards,
Baz

"Ahh... But the thing is, they were not just ORDINARY time travellers!"

Cani
Cani Regular Member • Posts: 386
Re: 100 colour photos from 100 years ago

Fantastic!

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alex_virt OP Contributing Member • Posts: 612
Re: First class work!

steephill wrote:

I have recently done some work on some poor quality old prints from around this time but these are in a different class entirely, quite exceptional.

Thank you, Steve. These photos have lots of defects, but are still better than old prints, because each colour plate is a separate B&W negative. Sometimes it's possible to copy data from one plate and paste into another. And dynamic range is much better than on old colour prints and films.

alex_virt OP Contributing Member • Posts: 612
Re: 100 colour photos from 100 years ago

Mr Physics wrote:

Thank you for sharing. Priceless work. Your endeavor is noble, sir. I went through each image that you posted, captivated by the history and the wondrous images of a "Tolstoy" Russia. Thanks you.

Thank you Tony. By the way, here is a portrait of Tolstoy taken by Prokudin-Gorskii: http://img-fotki.yandex.ru/get/3113/oldcolor.0/0_39a6_b4ae9c98_orig

It's a scan from an old postcard. Unfortunately, the original negative did not survive. Or may be it is in some old KGB archive, who knows...

Marcamera Forum Pro • Posts: 15,199
Re: 100 colour photos from 100 years ago

This is downrigh fantastic.
A treasure
Thank you
Rgds

ojohn Senior Member • Posts: 1,137
Re: 100 colour photos from 100 years ago

FANTASTIC. That word that occurred to me as I scrolled through your restorations. I've seen some or most of these before but those were nowhere near the quality you have achieved.

I don't think you would be dishonoring the original photographer or his intent if you "fixed" the movement on the boatmen pic, "pg5" here or 48 in your album.

huyzer
huyzer Senior Member • Posts: 2,900
Re: 100 colour photos from 100 years ago

Hello alex_virt,

Great work on these. It was neat when I was able to combine the 3 b&w to make a color image, right before my own eyes. It's a neat process. Thanks for sharing these.

Take care,
Huy

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globethrottle Regular Member • Posts: 104
Re: 100 colour photos from 100 years ago

Amazing stuff ! Thanks for restoring and sharing. I love those documentaries.

alex_virt OP Contributing Member • Posts: 612
Two new additions

Thanks everyone for your kind words! Here are another two pictures added yesterday:

http://www.gridenko.com/pg

Paul Auclair Veteran Member • Posts: 3,882
wow...

I thought to myself when looking at the first few images "OK, where are the 100 year old images this guy is talking about. These are very modern images taken very recently with good high end equipment".
Top notch work indeed and a pleasure to view history in such color and detail.

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Thanks,
Paul

Piecart Forum Member • Posts: 91
Re: 100 colour photos from 100 years ago

You have done a very good job of it, almost too good a job: they almost look as if they have been taken yesterday -with a modern (digital) camera.

alex_virt OP Contributing Member • Posts: 612
Re: 100 colour photos from 100 years ago

ojohn wrote:

I don't think you would be dishonoring the original photographer or his intent if you "fixed" the movement on the boatmen pic, "pg5" here or 48 in your album.

I usually do not correct motion artifacts as a "signature" of the 3-colour method, but followed your advice on this one and tried to restore the guy's face. It was difficult because of some motion blur, here is what I could do:

ojohn Senior Member • Posts: 1,137
Re: 100 colour photos from 100 years ago

alex_virt wrote:

ojohn wrote:

I don't think you would be dishonoring the original photographer or his intent if you "fixed" the movement on the boatmen pic, "pg5" here or 48 in your album.

I usually do not correct motion artifacts as a "signature" of the 3-colour method, but followed your advice on this one and tried to restore the guy's face. It was difficult because of some motion blur, here is what I could do:

That's amazing. Excellent work. Thank you for posting these and your album link!

JulesJ
JulesJ Forum Pro • Posts: 39,924
Re: 100 colour photos from 100 years ago

http://wiki.answers.com/Q/When_was_color_photography_invented

This site says the first colour photos were taken in 1907. Yours must have been some of the earliest, or have you redone all of the colour?
Jules

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Mark Smith Veteran Member • Posts: 6,336
Re: 100 colour photos from 100 years ago

JulesJ wrote:

http://wiki.answers.com/Q/When_was_color_photography_invented

This site says the first colour photos were taken in 1907. Yours must have been some of the earliest, or have you redone all of the colour?
Jules

I think the first colour photo was James Clerk Maxwell in 1855
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Color_photography

Of course Autochrome was the first actual colour film, the OP is using Trichromic separations (3 B&W filtered negs)

I have some Autochomes
http://photo-utopia.blogspot.com/2009/04/early-colour-processes-autochrome.html

And have made many Trichromes similar in process to the OP over the years:
http://photo-utopia.blogspot.com/2007_12_02_archive.html

Here is one of mine on Neopan B&W film

johnt49 Forum Member • Posts: 74
Re: 100 colour photos from 100 years ago

Beautiful and fascinating! Thanks for sharing these here.

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