Photo Poche - Early Color Photography. PDF

PDF [Bibliographic details: I don't know why, but I can't get Goodreads to bring up the image of this book from Amazon... the isbn is 0394744616, the US edition was pubbed by Pantheon, 1986, and is out of print, but available in used & rare bookshops.]

[having said all of that, the following is a draft of a review I've been asked to write for a mag, but which originally was just a "comment" on Amazon.One thing leads to another... or so it seems ;-) final draft yet to come ]

This small book provides the reader with hours of visual delight, and what can only be termed moments of “rapture.” Produced with infinite care on the highest quality paper, it is surprisingly heavy, hefty in the hand, for its size because of the high quality paper (heavy stuff) and the superb, expensive inks (also heavy) used in printing it. The result of all this care and expense in producing it?Absolutely stunning photo plates.Ethereal, surreal images, a haunting mesmerizing effect, a dreamlike chronicle and visual record of life in France 1907-1930.The auto chrome process, quite popularly embraced, during that era. A VIP book for serious students, devotees, scholars, sociologists. Today's photographers strain to create images such as these, haunting, ghostly, with the pale, almost transparent, hues and tones/textures. It's ironic that the average middle class person in France 1907-1930 could do so effortlessly with what is now considered a primitive, long outmoded technology—sans sophisticated lighting and Photoshop! VIP book for serious students, aficionados, scholars, sociologists. Many look like Impressionist paintings. Luminous colors.Translucent, diaphanous effects.The book includes a generous assortment of photographs by the legendary photographers of the age: Lartigue, Kuhn, Coburn etc. So unfortunate that the auto chrome process didn't permit, technologically, the production of good reproducible plates, so the availability of the photos to collectors today is limited and the plates we do have are only a vague approximation of the photos’ real quality and beauty.Nevertheless, what has survived provides a rare aesthetic experience for the viewer for they are wonderful to behold.

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