Russia in color, a century ago

boston.com’s popular “The Big Picture” series has a set of color photos from Russia. Nothing extraordinary, until you realize these pictures were taken a century ago.

In those years, 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 technique was not without its limitations (movement would kill the pictures) but the results are stunning nonetheless, making you forget what time period it really is.

[boston.com]

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