A moving glimpse into the past…

My daughter sent me the link to these breathtakingly clear and moving photos taken in Russia over a century ago. As I scrolled through the photos, I was struck by the beauty in each scene and in each face. The vivid colors, the landscapes, the clothing, the eyes looking out at you from faces that are long dead…for me, the photos are clear reminders of the countless lives that came before us, the births and marriages, the loves and heartaches, and the fact that we too, like the people and animals in the photos, are mortal.

With images from southern and central Russia in the news lately due to extensive wildfires, I thought it would be interesting to look back in time with this extraordinary collection of color photographs taken between 1909 and 1912. In those years, photographer Sergei Mikhailovich Prokudin-Gorskii (1863-1944) undertook a photographic survey of the Russian Empire with the support of Tsar Nicholas II. He used a specialized camera to capture three black and white images in fairly quick succession, using red, green and blue filters, allowing them to later be recombined and projected with filtered lanterns to show near true color images. The high quality of the images, combined with the bright colors, make it difficult for viewers to believe that they are looking 100 years back in time – when these photographs were taken, neither the Russian Revolution nor World War I had yet begun. (34 photos total)

http://www.boston.com/bigpicture/2010/08/russia_in_color_a_century_ago.html

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