A Photography Blog

/rachel hulin


Russia in Color, 1909-1912

I saw some of these images a few years ago, and was delighted to see a major collection of them on The Big Picture recently. Major mind blowing amazing. No?

From The Big Picture:

With images from southern and central Russia in the news lately due to extensive wildfires, I thought it would be interesting to look back in time with this extraordinary collection of color photographs taken between 1909 and 1912. In those years, photographer Sergei Mikhailovich Prokudin-Gorskii (1863-1944) undertook a photographic survey of the Russian Empire with the support of Tsar Nicholas II. He used a specialized camera to capture three black and white images in fairly quick succession, using red, green and blue filters, allowing them to later be recombined and projected with filtered lanterns to show near true color images. The high quality of the images, combined with the bright colors, make it difficult for viewers to believe that they are looking 100 years back in time – when these photographs were taken, neither the Russian Revolution nor World War I had yet begun. Collected here are a few of the hundreds of color images made available by the Library of Congress, which purchased the original glass plates back in 1948.

See many more images and caption info, here.


  1. gordon - September 29, 2010 2:46 pm

    This is a great series. There is something about seeing old images in color that gives them a greater context.

  2. Altax - September 30, 2010 12:44 pm

    Great collections. Good pictures of Russians of early 1990′s. Thanks for sharing.

  3. Daphne Prior - September 30, 2010 8:50 pm

    Russia in Color was spectacular.

    Thank you for posting it.

  4. Phil Crean - October 1, 2010 5:03 pm

    Incredible to see what was achieved so long ago with such simple technology.

  5. Jewellery Photography - October 2, 2010 10:24 pm

    Very nice post, thanks for sharing. Some excellent shots here that tell a story!

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