Official Site of True West Magazine, Since 1953
Color stereo photographs of San Francisco after '06 quake found
Tags: 1906, earthquake, francisco, photographs, san, stereo
Wikpedia has a good capsule summary of 19th century experiments in color photography beginning in the 1850's with several nice examples.Early color was complicatedand expensive and was ;largely done using several color seperated monochrome prints.Some were sandwiches of 3 or more color seperated transparancies.The effect is somewhat pastel to our modern eye but fascinating and we all wish that it would have been employed more widely.Can you imagine C.S. Fly shooting color of Tombstone or Geronimo or Alexander Gardner doing so when he went west?There was a very fine book printed some years ago called Pictures For The Czar,a collection of early color photographs of the Russian royal family.Even in the 1920's color wasn't quite "nailed" yet .Look at early technicolor films such as Paul Whiteman's King of Jazz filmed in 1929.The effect is intriguing but a bit odd looking.Ten years later When Gone With the Wind was released we had pretty spectacular looking color!
Luminous Lint has an exhibition of autochrome photography, which became available commercially in 1907, just after these color stereos of San Francisco were made. Autochrome was the dominent color process for several decades.
To B. B. B. ,
I'm amazed at how many people have what I call the "sepia sensibility"about the clothing in the 19th century.I make authentic men's clothing and invariably guys tell me that the colors are too bright or the patterns are unauthentic.They look at the watercolor fashion cuts I painted that shows what can be made for them and basically accuse me of gilding the lily.Such talk changes to frank amazement when I show them original fabric sample books and fashion chromolithographs.It's just darn hard getting past that" sepia sensibility"!
The reason one just doesn't see people in the earliest color photographs was because of the long exposure times-sometimes as much as 8-9 minutes.Even first generation Daguerreotypes from the early 1840's were faster.Mill's 1890's process was faster but still inconvenient.The autochrome process developed by the Lumiere brothers in 1907 was easier and faster but still had a soft,somewhat limited color palette.
Looks like some people in this image from the Smithsonian website, but are too blurred, etc..
San Francisco 1906 Quake in 3-D and Color, 1
Main website link:
You're very right about the quilt angle-some of the cotton prints look near new and a lot of patterns are very era specific,hence very informative.Take a look at old winter weight quilts made of wool,alpacca or mohair-very often they give us looks at suiting weight material for men and women that most costumers don't generally think about.Victorian crazy quilts also yield great patterned velvets,brocades and damasks for study.After the rise of aniline coal tar dyes folks in the 19th century had a ball using some often wild and startling color combinations!It was an era of vivid color.
Join True West Historical Society
Welcome toTrue West Historical Society
Sign Upor Sign In
© 2013 Created by True West.
Report an Issue |
Terms of Service
Please check your browser settings or contact your system administrator.