In Praise of Prokudin-Gorskii

19 05 2007

View of the Saint Nil Stolbenskii Monastery from Svetlitsa Island, The Online Photographer: “His work has surprisingly modern sensibilities. Prokudin-Gorskii understood the subtle interplay of luminosity and chroma that make up the totality of visual experience. He didn’t see color and tone as disconnected elements but as part of an integrated whole”

If you didn’t know better, would you say that the image on the right (click on it to see an enlargement, from gridenko.com) was taken almost a century ago? And no, it’s not a colorized B&W image, but a real color one.

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One response

7 06 2007
eas

The Prodkudin-Gorskii images totally blew my mind when I first saw some of them on the Library of Congress site ~5 years ago or so. I e-mailed the link to everyone I could think of.

They still are strange and intriguing to me. The old family photos are all black and white. Even the color photos of me when I was a toddler are degraded. But those images, from another side of the world, a century away, seem to vivid, so current.

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