Sergei Mikhailovich Prokudin-Gorskii

Who?????  Say it slowly now….Sergei Mikhailovich Prokudin-Gorskii, who lived from 1863 to 1944. Sergei was apparently supported by Tsar Nicholas II to photograph Russia from 1909-1912.  He used a very sophisticated camera to take three rapid, sequential black and white photographs, one using a red, one using a green, and one using a blue filter.  He was then able to combine the images and display them with filtered lanterns to yield a final color image…..is this starting to sound like Photoshop channels, or what???  The more things change, the more they stay the same.

The images are quite amazing, particularly given the era they come from.  Here are two images and a link to the original boston.com story that displays 34 of the photographs.  Of note, The Library of Congress purchased the glass plates in 1948, and there are hundreds of them to see.

p25 00021886 Sergei Mikhailovich Prokudin Gorskii

Image by Sergei Mikhailovich Prokudin-Gorskii

p13 00004438 Sergei Mikhailovich Prokudin Gorskii

Image by Sergei Mikhailovich Prokudin-Gorskii

One of the fun parts about this was how I found out about the story.  Isn’t it a pleasure when your children grow to the point that they understand and respect your interests, even though it may not be their ‘cup of tea’?  Well, my son in college came across it while surfing the internet during a study break and sent me a link to it because he knew I would find it interesting.  He was right and I thought I would share it on the blog!

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2 Responses to “Sergei Mikhailovich Prokudin-Gorskii”

  1. menchu Says:

    The name…it is a mouthful. In fact, was reading some name tags recently and came across similar multicultural names also a mouthful, such as Bosch-Brinques for instance and one really long Thai name that was unpronounceable!

    Went to the website to look at the images and am amazed. A truly wonderful insight into their lives at that time. The top image in this post is rich in colour and it does make us wonder that they are actually B+W pix. Thanks for sharing!

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