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  1. #1
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    Default Historical photographs

    I don't know if I've ever shared this link before, but here are a selection of photos which I find pretty amazing and have found myself repeatedly drawn to over the past few years. Most photographs taken in the early years of the 20th Century are grainy, blurry and in b&w. These photos though are anything but...they're in full vibrant colour and crystal clear; it's hard to believe they were taken around 1910 or so. They haven't been colourised digitally, they're a composite of 3 identical photos taken with different colour filtered plates by a photographer given the job of photographing the Russian Empire for the Tzar.

    https://twistedsifter.com/2015/04/ra...100-years-ago/







    Every time I see these images and the others in the collection, it makes we look further into the history of photography, and there are some really interesting photos to be found online such as the first photograph ever of a person. Although it's debatable as to what consitutes the first ever human photograph....here's one from 1839,featuring keen amateur photographer Robert Cornelius. This is the earliest known photographic portrait - although you could also classify it as the first selfie!



    However,the earliest known photographic image of a human being is thought to be this, from a cityscape by Louis Daguerre. The figure is at the bottom left,and shows a man having his shoes shined. The only reason that the person is actually visible on the photo is that he stood still long enough to register on the rather lengthy exposure...there were doubtless many other people on the scene at the time but as they were all on the move they didn't register on the photographic plate!




    Here's another I like...the earliest born person ever thought to be photographed. Conrad Heyer, here photographed at the age of 103 in 1852, was born in 1749 and served with George Washington during the American Revolution in 1776. No older, or at least earlier born, human being is known to have been caught on film.



    Is anyone else interested in history through old photos?

  2. #2
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    Default

    Those Russian ones in particular, are amazing Mac. Somehow, seeing the past in full colour looking like it could have been taken yesterday, 'feels' different to seeing it in the black & white we're used to.

    I have a feeling I'd seen the picture of the 'shoe shine guy' before somewhere, it's slightly ironic that the earliest known image of a human (well, two I suppose, since somebody is shining his shoes) was taken by accident, and also that the people in the photo were (presumably) unaware!

  3. #3
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    Default

    That Paris cityscape photo featuring the shoeshine guy was actually taken in 1839, a fact I forgot to mention in my original post. It's just nice to be able to put dates on things.

    But yes, Andrew, I agree with what you say about those Russian photos....there are many more of similar quality to be found in that link, and there are also several hundred more from the same collection which haven't yet been cleaned up. It's amazing to think that we're seeing these in the quality they were taken at the time...they're certainly comparible in clarity and colour to many photos taken in the modern era. If I didn't know better there's no way I'd have guessed they were taken over a hundred years ago. Mind you, I think someone working for the Tsar would have had a bigger budget for equipment than your average everyday photographer of the period!
    Last edited by MacNimon; 1st Sep 2018 at 9:33 AM.

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