Monday, June 29, 2009

Ghosts of the Past

Check out these amazing photographs on the International Center of Photography's blog, Fans in a Flashbulb. They're autochromes, one of the earliest forms of color photography.

I adore this one of an unidentified woman in a hat, circa 1910. Most historic images are in black and white - sepia if we're lucky. I never think of the past in color. Seeing it this way reenforces the truth that people in old photographs were as real as we are... their New York actually existed once upon a time, and it was full of vibrant blues, greens, yellows, and reds.

Imagine if Jacob Riis or Lewis Hine's powerful portraits of immigrants and working-class people were in color... would we see them differently?


John B. Trevor, Unidentified woman (possible Emily Trevor, the photographer’s wife), ca. 1910. Collection of International Center of Photography.

- Posted by Kate Stober

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