‘You Couldn’t Make This Up’ Dept: Amazing century-old Russian Photos Employ Same Color Technique NASA Spacecraft Use

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Russian 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  to believe that these photographs were taken before the Russian Revolution and World War I had yet begun. 

The top photo shows Molding of an artistic casting (Kasli Iron Works), 1910. From the album "Views in the Ural Mountains, survey of industrial area, Russian Empire".  The bottom photo shows a chapel sits on the site where the city of Belozersk was founded in ancient times, photographed in 1909.


View Prokudin-Gorskii Collection


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