History of photography

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James Clark Maxwell


The Scottish physicist experimented with projections of three identical photographs through three filters of different colours (red, blue and green) with his friend Thomas Sutton as early as 1860. When arranged properly, a photograph on the wall could be seen as being in colour. However, the results did not satisfy the inventor, let alone others. They are nevertheless attributed with having set the basis for trichromatic photography.

James Clerk Maxwell

Louis Ducos du Hauron - a pioneer of French colour photography


In 1869 the Frenchman published a book in which he proposed the subtractive method of mixing differently coloured images, and not the colours of light. Three separate thin layers of emulsion were placed on top of each other on the plate. Plates developed in this manner, with a slightly transparent character would supposedly produce a colour picture.

Louis Ducos du Hauron

The Lumiere brothers - Auguste Marie Louis Nicholas and Louis Jean

1907 - 1930

The Lumiere brothers designed the first film camera in 1895.

In 1907, they invented the auto-chrome photography plate, the first practical process for colour photographs that was suitable for amateur photographers. These auto-chrome plates were made from glass and coated with a grainy colour screen with three basic colours; red, green and blue. Small grains of potato starch were used as colour carriers onto which a thin layer of bromine-silver gelatine was added before the entire plate was lacquered. The auto-chrome plates were popular and remained on the market until 1930 despite their low light sensitivity and high price.

Brothers Lumiere - Auguste Marie Louis Nicholas and Louis Jean The label on the box of a Lumiere auto-chrome plate which expires in 1923.
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September 20