color photography“Color photography is a photography that uses media capable of representing colors which are produced chemically during the photographic processing phase.”

Color photography is an extension to black and white photography, which used only grey and black colors.

Black and white photos were not able to show off all the colors, which were in the original frame.

Necessity of colors in the photographs started the revolutionary color photography.

The different developments in color photography:

  • The first permanent color photography was taken in 1861 by James clerk Maxwell.
  • Herman Vogel in 1973 discovered sensitizing dyes which were a pursuit in full color photography.
  • Experiments were made on subtractive color to improve color photography in 1977 by Louis ducous du hauron.
  • The Lippmann process was introduced to color photography in 1891.
  • Jolly screen process was pioneered in 1896.
  • The process to improve clarity in the photographs was started in 1908 with Dufaycolor process and continued till 1919 with tri-color carbo prints. The clarity in those was top most for these prints.
  • Kodachrome was a new revolution in the color photography, a 16mm motion picture film was made in 1935.
  • The same Kodachrome in 1936 came up with 35mm still films.

After that, the process was implemented on all the black and white negatives. The black and white photography was overtaken by color photography.

The secret behind the color photography:

The normal human eye can only see three additive primary colors: blue (B), green (G) and red (R). A balance with the mixture of all these colors will make you see the other colors.

The mixture of subtractive primary colors: yellow (Y), magenta (M) and cyan (C) form a complementary color related with B, G and R respectively.

A color negative never shows the real colors; further developments are required to show the original colors in the photographic prints. Developments of the color negative to the color photo print is derived from a process of developing three light sensitive layers present in the color negative namely B-sensitive layers, G-sensitive layers and R-sensitive layers.

When the light passes through the film negative, the three layers work through the light and the color prints are produced in the color photographs.

There are two types of color films today: Color negative film and color reversal film. The print is derived on a photographic paper or projected on a screen respectively.

The color photographs are destroyed due to many different factors such as:

  • High temperature
  • High humidity
  • Light exposure
  • Biological threats such as fungi and insects
  • Improper storage
  • Residual processing of chemicals
  • Improper handling and usage

The age of the photographs also spoil the photos. There are three types of age fading such as dark fading, light fading and highlight staining.

The proper storage of photographs is very much important for the long life of photographs. There are different medians to store photographs: paper enclosures, plastic enclosures or even storage containers.


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