How did a color photo appear?
Experiments on the creation of color photographs were conducted in parallel with the work on the improvement of the wet-collodion method of photographing.
The first experiments with color photography
History has kept the exact date of the first color photo. On May 17, 1861, a multicolor photographic image was obtained by James Maxwell, an eminent physicist from England.
To obtain this photograph, he applied, and thus proved, the theory of the three-component human vision. To get a picture, the scientist simultaneously used three cameras on which filters of red, green and blue colors were installed. Then three identical received images were projected onto each other, which made it possible to obtain a color image. Later, this method began to be used in printing.
The development of the three-color photography method
1873 was the year of discovery of substances that allow making the coating of photoplates containing silver, more sensitive to light waves of different lengths. The first of these substances, called sensitizers, was discovered by the chemist Hermann Wilhelm Vogel from Germany. Its composition was sensitive in the green part of the light spectrum.
Experiments on the creation of sensitizers for other parts of the spectrum were continued by the student and compatriot of Vogel – Adolf Miet. He also created a device for shooting in three colors, as well as a projector for the demonstration of finished frames. Inventions were presented to the public in Berlin in 1902.
A significant contribution to the development of the method was the creation of the composition, which allows to obtain higher-quality images in the red spectrum. He was invented and patented by Sergei Prokudin-Gorsky, a disciple of Adolf Mitya from Russia.
Prokudin-Gorsky was also able to develop technologies that made it possible to take pictures with shorter shutter speeds and increase the possibilities of replicating photographs.
The emergence of new methods of color photography
At the beginning of the twentieth century, other, different from the color separation method, methods of obtaining color photographs are developing.
In 1893, John Jouly from Dublin applied a new method — instead of making a projection of three positives shot through color filters, he projected one positive frame through a tricolor filter.
Both methods were used until the 30s, and allowed to obtain color images of decent quality.
One of the first color photographs of the Lumiere Brothers.
Already in 1907, the Lumiere brothers patented and began industrial production and mass sale of Avtochrome photoplates. With their help, the process of obtaining color images is much easier. Despite a number of characteristic flaws, such as the fragility of paints, the fragility of the material and large grain, this made the products of the Lumiere brothers and its analogues popular throughout the world. Until the mid-1930s, about 50 million such plates were produced in the world.