My first adult memories of Autochrome Photography come from some vintage travel books that I had acquired. Frankly, I bought the books to cut up. For collage and other projects. But the amazing color plates were just too beautiful to use in any other way, but in their entirety.
They were actually pictures that I kind of hoarded, treasured, and used in some of my favorite projects.
There is something about this type of early photography that is so mysterious. And familiar. It is the shock of the color. The amount of detail. But the unfamiliarity and the strangeness that comes from time and distance between us and the subjects of the shots.
I just love it. And love that it was used for such a *long* period of time–from the early 1900’s up until the 1930’s. It covers such a span of time, technology and fashion. As well as subjects–from the banal and humorous to the most high-brow and ambitiously artistic.
What got me to thinking about this today are some posts floating around the internets showing sets of these types of photos and likening it to time-travel. Getting to see images in bold color, instead of black and white. Presenting them as shocking and hyper-realistic.
Which, hell, they are.
I thought I would root out some of my favorites. Femme-style, ‘natch.
Ah. Alchemy, indeed.