I first learned about autochromes a few years ago when I came across a photo on Flickr and thought someone had photoshopped colors on to an antique portrait from the early 1900s. How thrilled was I to find that these colorized photos were originals! Fast forward to today, with the power of Pinterest, I am able to share with you some of my absolute favorite autochrome photos.
But first, WHAT is autochrome? In short, it is an early type of photography used by the Lumière brothers (Auguste and Louis) in France (1903 was when it was patented by them, then first marketed publicly in 1907).
***How wonderful is it by the way that their surname translate to “light” If there ever was a surname more befitting of ones occupation in life…
If you are interested in learning more about Autochrome or seeing more delightful colored antique photos… here are some links
100 Years of Autochrome (PDF file) | http://theimageworks.com/pdf/100years.pdf
What is Autochrome (more technical/science-y) | http://sechtl-vosecek.ucw.cz/en/expozice10/tabule-autochrom.html
Autochrome (Wiki French version) | http://fr.wikipedia.org/wiki/Autochrome
The Lumière Brothers | http://www.earlycinema.com/pioneers/lumiere_bio.html
This autochrome is perhaps one of my favorites ever taken by John Cimon Warburg – c. 1909. There is something so serene, magical, calming, and just all things wonderful about this photo. Whenever I see a photo and think “I wish that was a photo of ME” I know that it really speaks to me because I want to embody everything I adore about that specific moment captured in time.
This image of these three women (picking fruit I am assuming) in France makes me long for the beautiful late summer afternoons in Sauvie Island. I adore this so much.
Image credits (from top to bottom)
These two autochrome photos are of the same lovely woman, Bibi Lartigue in Rouzat c. 1921. I really love her ensemble and find it so refreshingly modern. I would wear this, exactly as is today.
Another autochrome that I find to be quite modern. You would almost think this is a photo from the 1970s of a bohemian flower child with her tousled curls, flowers in her hair, the floral print of her dress and that v-neckline! This autochrome photo however dates to 1910 and was taken by Paul Bergon “Woman Posing in a Garden”
This last one photography by Antonin Personnaz looks just like a painting by Monet. I am lost amongst the field of flowers, that sky, those clouds. Was it raining that day or was the lady simply shielding herself from the harsh rays of sunshine? What words were spoken the remainder of the day? Ahhh…. aren’t autochromes just wonderful?