Prof. Enio Leite.

Color photohistory (I).

By Prof. Dr. Enio Leite.

Edited by Federico Ferrero

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Though the invention of photography had an immediate impact on the whole art & culture world at this time, but the early photographs were all in monochrome. As an additional service, daguerreotypes could be hand- painted, which kept a quite number of painters of miniatures in great business. However, it was to be a little time before color photography was about to become a reality.

During the 1860s, James Clerk Maxwell, using as a subject a tartan ribbon, showed that three monochrome images could be formed of a subject, each one taken using a different color filter (red, blue and green - RGB Principle). By projecting these images using three lanterns, each equipped with a corresponding filter, the original colors could be recreated.

James Clerk Maxwell James Clerk Maxwell

The results were somewhat disappointing to Maxwell and his collaborator Thomas Sutton, but nevertheless they deserve the credit for laying the foundations of trichromate color photography, named later on as RGB.

First Color Photo
1868 - First color photography

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