Autochromes: How potato starch made the first colour photographs

imagePhenomenal when you think about it. Imagine carrying around a box of glass plates lightly covered with potato starch died red, green and blue coated with an emulsion. To make a photograph, you would set up your large wooden camera on an equally large, wooden tripod then everyone and everything to “freeze” for a few moments while you expose a glass plate. Whew – photography was hard work back then.

Have a look at a news story from National Geographic – Beautiful antique photos made with potato starch about the autochrome process and the gallery of images presented there.

What an amazing transition we’ve made over the decades from glass plates to film sheets to 35mm to full frame digital, APS digital and now mirror less cameras – all managing to maintain a high level of image quality. Now, think about how much we still complain, even today, about carrying all the “stuff” we do to make great photographs!

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