Military Review

Color photographs of the Russian Empire

We offer you a look at Russia different. These color photographs were taken between 1909 and 1912 by photographer Sergey Mikhailovich Prokudin-Gorsky (1863 - 1944). The photographer traveled around Russia with the support of Tsar Nicholas II. For shooting, he used a special camera. The camera took three consecutive black and white shots with almost no pause, through red, green, and blue filters. To view such photographs, a projector with three lenses located in front of three frames on a photographic plate was used. Each frame was projected through a light filter of the same color as the one through which it was shot. When adding three images (red, green and blue), a full-color image appeared on the screen. Thanks to the amazingly high quality of photos and amazingly bright colors, it is hard to believe that these pictures were taken a century ago, before the October Revolution and even before the First World War. We invite you to take a look at a selection of these amazing photos that are in the Library of Congress, which acquired them back in 1948 year.

Color photographs of the Russian Empire

1. Armenian woman in national dress on a hillside near Artvin (now this territory is part of Turkey), about 1910 year.

2. Self-portrait of the photographer on the bank of the river Korolistshali, near.1910. Prokudin-Gorsky in a suit and a hat sits on a stone, on the bank of a river that flows in the Caucasus Mountains, not far from Batumi, on the east coast of the Black Sea.

3. Masters of Kasli casting, approximately 1910 year. Photo from the album "Views of the Ural Mountains, an overview of the industrial area, the Russian Empire."

4. Woman on the bank of the river Sim, on the territory of the present Chelyabinsk region, 1910 year.

5. Chapel on the place where the city of Belozersk was founded in ancient times, 1909 year.

6. View of Tiflis (Tbilisi) from the Church of St. David, approximately 1910 year.

7. Isfandiyar Yurdzhi Bahadur, Khan of the Russian protectorate of Khorezm (Khiva, today being part of the territory of modern Uzbekistan), is approximately 1910 year.

8. Portrait of Isfandiyar Jurji Bahadur. Presumably this photo was taken in the early years of his reign, approximately in 1910 year, when Khan was 39 years old. He ruled Khorezm until his death, which followed in 1918.

9. Young shepherd on the banks of the river Sim. Photo taken in 1910 year.

10. Transformers made in Budapest, Hungary, in the generator station hall in Iolotan, (Elotene), Turkmenistan, on the Murghab River, approximately 1910 year.

11. Georgian, 1910 year.

12. A group of residents of Dagestan, 1910 year.

13. Panorama Artvin (now the territory of Turkey), the photo was taken from the small town of Svet, approximately 1910 year.

14. Eighty-four-year-old Pinkhus Karlinski. 66 years of his life he dedicated to serving in the army. Responsible for the Chernigov sluice gates, which are part of the Mariinsky canals system. Photo taken in 1909 year.

15. General view of the Nicholas Cathedral from the southwestern part of the city of Mozhaisk, the photo was taken in 1911 year.

16. A group of Jewish children with their teacher in Samarkand (today the territory of Uzbekistan), 1910 year.

17. Worker of the Trans-Siberian Railway near Ust-Katav on the Yuryuzan River in 1910.

18. Cornflowers in the field of rye, 1909 year. Photo from the album “Views of the rivers and canals of the Mariinsky system, Russian Empire”.

19. Laying cement at the time of the construction of the dam gateway across the Oka River in 1912, near Beloomut.

20. Sart female in a veil in Samarkand, Uzbekistan, approximately 1910 year. Before the 1917 revolution, the “Sarts” were the Uzbeks who lived in Kazakhstan.

21. General view of the pier on the Mezhevaya Duck river, photo taken in 1912 year.

22. Peasants collect hay, the photo was taken in 1909 year.

23. Prokudin-Gorsky on the rail of the Murmansk railway near Petrozavodsk, the coast of Lake Onega. Photo taken in 1910 year.

24. Water carrier in Samarkand (now the territory of Uzbekistan), approximately in 1910 year

25. Sleeping dog on the shore of Lake Lindozero in 1910.

26. Plant in Keene, Russia, property of Count S. A. Stroganov, 1912 year.

27. Children sit on a hill near the church and the bell tower at White Lake in 1909.

28. Emir Sayyid Mir Mohammed Alim Khan - Emir of Bukhara - poses with his sword in Bukhara (present territory of Uzbekistan) in 1910 year.

29. The boy is at the wooden gate. Photo 1910 of the year.

30. A metal bridge on stone piers across the Kama River, part of the Trans-Siberian Railway, near Perm, the Ural Mountains region, 1910 year.

31. Kyrgyz nomads in the Golodnaya Steppe (the present territory of Uzbekistan and Kazakhstan), approximately 1910 year.

32. Man and woman in Dagestan, 1910 year.

33. General view of Sukhumi and the bay, Abkhazia. The photo was taken approximately in 1910 year from the Cherniavskaya mountain.

34. A boy in the courtyard of the Tillya-Kari Mosque in Samarkand, the territory of modern Uzbekistan, 1910 year.
Dear reader, to leave comments on the publication, you must to register.

I have an account? Sign in

  1. kimdmitri
    kimdmitri 23 October 2011 12: 58
    How modern! The breathtaking.
  2. datur
    datur 23 October 2011 13: 55
    yes they knew how to photograph and work
  3. NKVD
    NKVD 23 October 2011 17: 08
    I would also like to upload photos of the Cossacks. I know that the photos of their ancestors were carefully transmitted from generation to generation
  4. Rico1977
    Rico1977 23 October 2011 17: 41
    Ofiget, pics do honor and modern cameras
  5. zczczc
    zczczc 23 October 2011 18: 29
    And I was holding a German camera of the 1880s in my hands! Lens Carl Zeiss.

    Such feelings, I looked through, there you have to put the whole face in it! Imagine what he saw! They say it cost incredible money. By the way, it is better to shoot architecture with such a camera than with a modern one - there will be no distortion on the sides.

    Here's something like that, just simpler, it’s, apparently, more modern:

    1. Evrepid
      Evrepid 8 February 2013 13: 39
      And the dimensions? Now the camera is a rather small technique, soap dishes are very small ...
      And these photos were taken on purpose, they carried a large apparatus.

      But the quality is certainly killer ...
  6. AlexMH
    AlexMH 23 October 2011 23: 31
    Magnificent photographs ... How do you imagine that everything depicted on them is more than 100 years old, and people who have not been around for a long time, as if alive, seemed to be filming with a modern camera. And paints are better than now in electronic photos - live paints ..
    Only a small correction - there are no transformers at the hydroelectric station, but the generators are removed. Transformers usually don't spin :)
  7. sirToad
    sirToad 24 October 2011 05: 53
    Good photos! But Isfandiyar, Khorezm - spilled Ahmad Shah, huh? and the inaccuracy is small. there are not transformers, but generators.
  8. Pancho
    Pancho 30 October 2011 12: 43
    Already it became sad.
  9. Evil Tatar
    Evil Tatar 30 October 2011 14: 04
    Pancho, my friend ...
    Do not be sad-hrusty ...

    In general, I agree that it is sad.
    Photo of 1910, when grandfather was born, and great-grandfather was very young.

    The generator is a copy of the compressor that still works ...
  10. naGua
    naGua April 7 2014 20: 49
    Just amazing! Surprising and admiring the quality of photos.
  11. YaMZ-238
    YaMZ-238 20 July 2015 14: 50
    No words .... I looked with my mouth open)))