INSPIRE

Color Photos Are Way Older Than You Thought

 

When we think of an old photo, we invision them in black and white. However, color photography has actually existed for more than a century! Whether used in devices, techniques or processes, photography has always been closely linked to innovation, which is why, from its invention in the first half of the nineteenth century, many chemists, physicists and other engineers were bent over the subject. Thus, in 1869, Charles Cros and Louis Ducos du Hauron presented a color photo technique inspired by the research of James Clerk Maxwell.

This method, however, remains laborious and requires complicated conditions in order to produce a colorful photo. It wasn’t until the famous engineers Auguste and Louis Lumière developed the autochrome in 1907 so that the color photograph could become available to the general public.

​One of the first color photographs by one of the Lumière Brothers - 1907

At the same time, a French banker and philanthropist named Albert Kahn embarked on a long journey through China, Japan and the United States. Passionate about photography, he asked his driver to document his journey. During his stay, he was aware of the diversity of people, landscapes and customs. Upon his return, loaded with photos taken during his stay abroad, he decided to finance a crazy project to archive the world and its inhabitants. Fifty photographers equipped with the technology of the Lumière brothers were then sent to the four corners of the globe, to create the "Archives of the planet". Between 1909 and 1931, there were about 72,000 autochromes, and a hundred hours of film was reported from about sixty countries. We find in this rich collection, work from the witnesses of History through which we can appreciate from a completely different angle. The beauty of an era that we did not know. Here are some!

 

Eiffel Tower - 1914

Albert Kahn

 

Porte de Saint-Denis - 1914

Albert Kahn

 

'Giant Oranges' in Paris - 1914

Albert Kahn

 

Parisien Metro - 1920

​Albert Kahn

 

The Moulin Rouge in Paris - 1914

Albert Kahn

 

Hot Air Ballons in Paris - 1914

​Albert Kahn

 

Parisien Market - 1914

Albert Kahn

 

Sarajevo Market, Bosnia and Herzegovina - 1912

​Albert Kahn

 

Mostar, Bosnia and Herzegovina - 1913

​Albert Kahn

 

Krusevac Market in Serbia - 1913

​Albert Kahn

 

Traditional Swedish mother with her children - 1910

​Albert Kahn

 

Kyoto - 1912

​Albert Kahn

 

A young samouraï - 1912

​Albert Kahn

 

The Pyramind of Gizeh - 1913

​Albert Kahn

 

Galway, Ireland - 1913

​Albert Kahn

 

 

Galway, Ireland - 1913

​Albert Kahn

 

Mongolia - 1912

​Albert Kahn

 

A Buddhist near Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia - 1913

​Albert Khan

 

Prisoner in Unlaanbaatar, Mongolia - 1913

​Albert Kahn

 

Bombay, India - 1913

​Albert Kahn

 

A sadhu and a Brahmin in Pakistan - 1914

​Albert Kahn

 

Pekin, China - 1913

Albert Kahn

 

Beyoğlu, Istanbul - 1912

Albert Kahn

 

Benguerir, Morocco - 1912

​Albert Kahn

 

Senegalese Tirailleur - 1913

​Albert Kahn


 

27 Mar 2018 by Elias Khatal

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