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Thread: WWI Color Photo??

  1. #1
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    Default WWI Color Photo??

    I recently came across thse photos, apparently a photo of from WWI that is IN COLOR!!! Is it real? I figure this site would be the one to know....given the name.

    The first appears to be French colonial troops from Africa...and the uniforms and weapons appear completely accurate to my eye.

    All the rest are also French. Probably around 1916. Great to see the wickets that line the trenchs walls in colour...but are they real?
    Attached Images Attached Images

  2. #2
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    Default Re: WWI Color Photo??

    They could be. I'm almost positive that color film existed in the WWI era, but it was prohibitively expensive....

    But they look authentic and are either "real," or have been colorized...



  3. #3
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    Default Re: WWI Color Photo??

    As a once half-serious amateur photographer with a bit of an interest in photographic history, I can confirm that colour photography in various processes was well established long before WWI, although they didn't necessarily produce accurate or lasting colours.

    There is no shortage of colour photographs from the WWI era, but there is also a lot of colour printed images of the postcard type which weren't straight reproductions of original colour photographs but of photographs which were artificially coloured for the printing process.

    The Lumiere brothers developed the Autochrome process in France in 1903 (I know this because I could remember that the Lumieres invented one of the early and effective colour processes, and Google provided the rest ), so there is nothing surprising about colour photographs of French troops in WWI. Kodak (USA) and Agfa (Germany) also produced effective colour films by the start of WWI, so both sides had access to colour film in WWI.

    Anyway, one thing on Google led to another, so here's some more WWI colour photos. http://www.worldwaronecolorphotos.com/

    And here's a mix of photos and the printed postcard type of colour image I mentioned. It's not hard to pick the difference. The Black Watch field kit is impressive. http://completeall.com/History/WW1-in-Color.html
    Last edited by Rising Sun*; 11-17-2008 at 05:49 AM.

  4. #4
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    Default Re: WWI Color Photo??

    Wow! Google: who knew. lol.

    Thanks for both those links!!! All the photos I posted, I found on the first link. So I guess there was something to it! And it makes sense that the photos are all French then too.

    Of all the reading I've done on the Great War...I would have thought I'd encounter color photos before now. They are rare, that's for sure.

  5. #5
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    Default Re: WWI Color Photo??

    A book called
    THE FIRST WORLD WAR 'A new illustrated History' By Hew Strachan, outlines the use of coloured photography in WW1 and uses many original colour and rare pictures in his book

    Paul

  6. #6
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    Default Re: WWI Color Photo??

    There was an Official French WW1 photographer, Jean-Baptiste Tournassoud,

    http://www.awm.gov.au/captured/french/life.asp


    who took lots of colour pics during the conflict. Most of his work is behind the lines scenes (film not fast enough for action shots) He is quite famous for his every-day life scenes (also taken in France) during the conflict.

    From 1912:
    http://www.photographymuseum.com/aut...urnassoud.html
    Last edited by mkenny; 11-25-2008 at 03:59 PM.

  7. #7
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    Default Re: WWI Color Photo??

    cool, good to see some Black soldiers in the French Army in WWI, if they were American, it sucks for them to go back to the US after being treated equal in France than going back to being afraid of being lynched.

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