TKO's posts of the Forbidden City in the Architecture forum reminded me of these pictures that I ran across a few years ago. I didn't know how many of y'all have seen them, but I find them extremely fascinating. First, my favorite picture: Cool, huh? This picture was taken in 1910... A Russian photographer named Sergei Mikhailovich Prokudin-Gorskii built a special camera and projector to take color pictures. The camera used three glass plate negatives and took three exposures through colored filters. A projector then overlayed the images through filtered lenses to project a color image. The entire collection of slides were acquired at some point by the Library of Congress and sat in their collections for years until someone came up with the idea of digitially scanning them and using Photoshop to color correct and clean up the images, some of which had faded. There are hundreds of pictures available through the LOC web site (http://www.loc.gov/exhibits/empire/) along with a description of the technique and scans of the original BW plates. What amazed me, beyond the technical aspects of restoring these pictures, was how they affected me emotionally. When I think about late 19th/early 20th century life, I tend to think in terms of grainy black and white photos, faded sepia prints, and old movies. I know, of course, that the past looked like the present, but old photos and paintings focus your imagination and strongly color your perceptions. Seeing these 100 year old photographs caused a shift in my perception and made the past seem more "real". My wife uses these when she is teaching about the Russian Revolution and World War I (she is a high school history teacher) and it always amazes her students and helps them understand that the people in the history book were real live human beings and not just academic facts and trivia to be memorized. This is another one of my favorites (Samarkand, 1911): To me, this is the opposite of using Photoshop techniques to make new photos look old and it provides a powerful illustration of how our perceptions of very subtle clues in images influence our reaction to them.