The Invention of Color Photography

Taking Photos in Color

Curtis Photography/Videography Inc - Canton is a renowned company that provides outstanding services to customers in Canton, OH. Here, we have prepared a short article that is concentrated around the early history of color photography.

Color photography was first explored in the middle of the 19th century. Previous experiments required long exposures that used to range from hours to days. There was also the problem that any color would fade very quickly after being exposed to white light.

color Photos by CurtisDuring 1861, the first permanent color photograph was taken. This was achieved through the three-color-separation principle that was first proposed by the physicist James Maxwell in 1855. He had the idea to take three separate black-and-white photos, using the green, red, and blue filters. This way, the photographer would have the three basic channels that are required to achieve a color image. Transparent prints of an image could be projected by similar color filters. Through the additive method of color reproduction, the image could be superimposed on a projection screen. A subtractive method for color reproduction was pioneered by Louis Ducos du Hauron during the late 1860s. It used carbon prints of the three images that were made in their complementary colors.

The method of Louis Ducos du Hauron was used by the Russian photographer Sergei Mikhailovich Prokudin-Gorskii. He used the separation technique by employing a unique camera that could expose the three color-filtered images successfully. This was done on different parts of an oblong plate. This method, however, was producing color “fringes” of unsteady subjects due to the fact that exposures were not simultaneous. Some rapidly moving objects would even appear as bright ghosts.

In 1873, Hermann Vogel discovered dye sensitization, which added sensitivity to green, yellow, and even red. Before that, blue was the only color that early photographic materials were sensitive to, while the others were only slightly so. With that discovery and the improving color sensitizers, color photography was drawing closer to commercial use.

The Lumiere brothers first introduced a successful color process in 1907. A mosaic color filter layer that was made of potato starch allowed the recording of the three color components as adjacent microscopic image fragments.

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