Colorful Articles

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Frederica
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Colorful Articles

Unread post by Frederica » Wed Jan 16, 2008 7:14 pm

Quite by accident I happened to read two related articles in different magazines, both of which I thought might be of interest to NitrateVillains. Due to copyright issues I won't scan them, but if you are so interested they are easily findable on a newstand or in a library. I wasn't quite sure where to put this post, given the nature of the information, so I went for Useful Info.

The first is an article by Robert M. Poole, appearing in Smithsonian, September 2007. It is entitled In Living Color; it is a short history of the Lumiere Brothers' autochrome process for still photos. It is vaguely technical but not anything that made my eyes cross. It probably isn't long enough or technical enough for most of you. But it is accompanied by some of the most beautiful photographs I've ever seen, including one of Mark Twain, reclining in bed, wearing a luscious red robe. The stills look almost like John Singer Sargent portraits, and there is a photo of bathers at New York's Silver Lake that I originally mistook for an impressionist painting. It was all news to me, I'd love to see more of these photos.

The second article may be a wee bit tangential to everyone's interests. This appears in the July 2006 edition of Scientific American, entitled What Birds See by Timothy H. Goldsmith. This is a life-science article on color vision in birds, again a wee bit on the techie-science side but nothing that is not understandable to the layman. Birds have far better color vision than most mammals due to having four cone pigments in their eyes (as opposed to the three that monkeys, apes, and humans have, and the two that other mammals have). There are graphs aplenty, but of course, no pictures--we wouldn't be able to see the colors a bird can see, even if the publisher could have produced them.

So if you're looking around for something to read...

Fred

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silentfilm
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Unread post by silentfilm » Wed Jan 16, 2008 9:48 pm

Here's the Smithsonian article. Click on "Photo Gallery" to see four of the photos.

http://www.smithsonianmag.com/arts-cult ... romes.html

And here's the Scientific American article... (ain't the Internet Great!):

http://www.csulb.edu/web/labs/bcl/elab/ ... _intro.pdf

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Danny Burk
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Unread post by Danny Burk » Thu Jan 17, 2008 12:29 am

Interesting articles; thanks for posting!

I ran across this site at the Library of Congress a few years ago; it's for an exhibition of Tsarist Russian early color photography. Fascinating, and probably the best quality early color photography I've seen. The modern digital versions, each taken from the original three glass negatives, are amazingly good. For me, it's rather shocking to see natural color scenes from 100 years ago; we're so used to seeing photographs from this time in b&w, and often via poor quality reproduction, that it's easy to think of that time period as existing only in b&w.

Here's a link to a page with info and additional links:

http://lcweb2.loc.gov/pp/prokhtml/prokc ... composites

And another link to a different page with a nice explanation of the process. The color photo of the Emir is amazing!

http://www.loc.gov/exhibits/empire/making.html

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Frederica
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Unread post by Frederica » Thu Jan 17, 2008 10:45 am

silentfilm wrote:Here's the Smithsonian article. Click on "Photo Gallery" to see four of the photos.

http://www.smithsonianmag.com/arts-cult ... romes.html

And here's the Scientific American article... (ain't the Internet Great!):

http://www.csulb.edu/web/labs/bcl/elab/ ... _intro.pdf
Well, DANG! I actually looked for possible links to the articles but didn't find them. Thanks! The photos on the web version of the Smithsonian article are different from the photos that appear in the magazine, by the way. Thanks for posting these links.

Fred

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Frederica
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Unread post by Frederica » Thu Jan 17, 2008 10:55 am

Danny Burk wrote:Interesting articles; thanks for posting!


Here's a link to a page with info and additional links:

http://lcweb2.loc.gov/pp/prokhtml/prokc ... composites

And another link to a different page with a nice explanation of the process. The color photo of the Emir is amazing!

http://www.loc.gov/exhibits/empire/making.html
Oooh, thanks for posting these! They are much sharper than the photos published in the Smithsonian, which for me at any rate was not a plus; it was the painterly quality I liked. But these are also beautiful. Deep down inside I'm utterly convinced our ancestors existed in black and white, so seeing them in color creates not a little cognitive dissonance.

Fred

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