Monday, March 5, 2012
Early color transparencies at the George Eastman House
You must imagine these early 8x10 color transparencies: The delicate two part system has to be placed in perfect registration and even the parallax error from our viewing position was enough to produce color fringes. But straight on, there was yellow, and other tones we recognized among the reds and blues, and greens. A charming garden scene, Victorian color. Another view - A portrait of a rather stern woman, in vivid pink - elicited some humorous chatter, perhaps a bit impolite amid reverence for the pioneers of color who early on sought to find, and refine the highly specialized photosensitive materials we consumed for decades and now rarely buy.
Last week we heard that Kodak was discontinuing the manufacture of color transparency film, due to lack of demand. Lack of demand is a good reason not to do something and is logical if not regrettably justifiable in the face of more productive ways to obtain commercial photo-like images. One only need to look back at the work of Albert Kahn to see that color photography is not at all new, and realize, that with effort, even black and white processes can be adapted to color, when we need it. If we need it. One thing that amuses me most about the Kahn color photographs is how similar they seem to our much more modern fujinegs, even to the borders, or rebate areas, irregular and somehow charming as they take us deep into the past.
You would think that E6 film would be gobbled up at this news, but there is plenty on ebay and on Amazon, and Fuji, for now, still does produce color slide film. If you need some 4x5 color slide film for not much money, look into Kodak Readyloads, still plenty of those available, and a handy way to do three or four shots with that field camera.
Link to the early Capstaff 2 color Kodachromes here.
Chris H. has left a new comment on your post "Early color transparencies at the George Eastman H...":
Found some more stuff of interest. This blog is apparently by Capstaff's grandson! Seriously, I didnt' expect to find that...
This portrait of Mrs. Capstaff reveals the dye colors (in the scratches). Examples we saw actually looked much better than this, in terms of color rendition.
Another still life.
And finally, the holy grail... GEH's IMAGE, Vol. 30, No. 1, September 1987
I will try to put together a more concise article on this at some point, as per your suggestion Bob.
Hmm, there's probably actually some money in nanolithography. Maybe I should dive in there. haha...
p.s. Sorry for the long links.
Posted by Bob Crowley at 5:28 PM