Seeing Early 20th Century Russia Like a Rover

Hello folks! Apologies for the lack of posts lately, I had to go get married and go on a honeymoon! But I’m back now, and adjusting to the real world again. As I sifted through my inbox earlier this week, I came across a link to a fascinating collection of photographs. These are color photos of the Russian Empire taken by Sergei Mikhailovich Prokudin-Gorskii. But wait! How could he have taken color photographs of Russia in 1910 if Kodachrome wasn’t released until 1935?

By taking them like a rover, of course! By photographing the same scene three times, each with a red, green or blue filter, Produkin-Gorskii was able to create realistic color images by using a trio of projectors.This is almost identical to the process used by the MER rovers to acquire color images. The Pancam CCD takes greyscale images through a variety of filters, and these can be used to construct various true- or false-color views of Mars!

The Library of Congress has digitized all of Produkin-Gorskii’s photos of early 20th century Russia, and you can browse them here. Or, you can head over to The Big Picture which recently featured some of the best shots.

Explore posts in the same categories: MER, Pictures

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