Autochrome

March 14, 2018

This picture of the first air show at the Grand Palais in Paris in 1909 is neither a lithograph nor a painting but a color photograph taken decades before the introduction of color film by Kodak and other companies in the 1930s.  The Lumiere Brothers -- better known as pioneers of cinematography -- developed the first practical color photography process using a glass plate covered with a thin layer of potato starch granules dyed red, green and blue, which acted as a color filter.  National Geographic printed its first natural-color photograph in 1914 using the autochrome process.  Exposure times were long, whcih resulted in a softer focus.  In combination with autochrome's muted color palate, this produced striking painterly effects.