"In 1909 a remarkable project was initiated by Russian photographer Sergey Mikhaylovich Prokudin-Gorsky. His mission was to record - in full and vibrant color - the vast and diverse Russian Empire."
I stumbled upon this the other day and I've been meaning to include it here, but work has been quite busy. Check it out here, and here.
As described above, Mikhaylovich produced full-color pictures from the early 1900s. It's amazing to see these type of pictures in color because we are so used to seeing them in black and white. In fact, I had resigned myself to the idea that people only work shades of brown and black back then...because that is what is portrayed in a lot of historical movies.
It's fantastic to see these in color. And considering I personally am bored to death by history, that's saying a lot.
His camera took 3 photographs, each with a different color filter over the lense. They would then be combined to make one full-color image. The process was slow, so any movement between the pictures is noted by the blurring of heads/water/etc in the pictures. Neat!