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Thread: 100 Year Old Photographs From Russia

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    100 Year Old Photographs From Russia

    These are actually very impressive.

    The photographs of Sergei Mikhailovich Prokudin-Gorskii (1863-1944) offer a vivid portrait of a lost world - the Russian Empire on the eve of World War I and the coming revolution.

    Born in St. Petersburg and educated as a chemist, Prokudin-Gorskii devoted his career to the advancement of photography. In the early 1900s, he developed an ingenious technique of taking colour photographs. The same object was captured in black and white on glass plate negatives, using red, green and blue filters. He then presented these images in colour in slide lectures using a light-projection system involving the same three filters.

    Around 1907 Prokudin-Gorskii envisioned and formulated a plan to use the emerging technological advancements that had been made in colour photography to systematically document the Russian Empire. Through such an ambitious project, his ultimate goal was to educate the schoolchildren of Russia with his "optical colour projections" of the vast and diverse history, culture, and modernization of the empire. The plan won the support of Tsar Nicholas II. Between 1909-1912, and again in 1915, Prokudin-Gorskii completed surveys of eleven regions, traveling in a specially equipped railroad car provided by the Ministry of Transportation. His subjects ranged from the medieval churches and monasteries of old Russia, to the railroads and factories of an emerging industrial power, to the daily life and work of Russia's diverse population.

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