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5108Re: [RecRoom] 12 Gorgeous Color Photos Of Geisha In The Late 1800s | BuzzFeed

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  • Hugh Miller
    Sep 18, 2013
      They actually probably are color.  Several color photo techniques were developed (no pun intended) in the 19th century.  The weirdest one involved rice...yeah, rice.  I forget the actual process, but somehow they dyed (or chemically sensitized) rice powder different colors, mixed it uniformly, and made it light sensitive so that when it was developed color was present.  And yes, the colors were odd-looking.
      The problem was that none of them were cost or time effective, and at least one guy refused to share his chemical secrets and tried to ask an enormous price for teaching anyone else how to do it.  His secrets died with him and he never made a  penny from the process.
      Like you I thought they were airbrushed, until I remembered the article on color photos in the 19th century in Popular Photography a couple of years ago.  The rice example stuck in my mind because it was so bizarre.  As I recall, they exposed the actual plate itself, not a negative, so what you got was a one-time photo, similar to a daguerreotype or tin-type, non-reproducible.  I saw the pictures myself in that article in PopPhoto.
      Funny you should mention photoshop; I immediately thought about redoing them and correcting the color, just as a challenge to pass the time.  I might still do it.  -.^

      On Wed, Sep 18, 2013 at 3:56 AM, Steve Pettit <kryslin@...> wrote:

      Some very good airbursh or photoshop work.  However, certain parts scream recolor, because the colors are too vibrant, and don't match the grading of the rest of the picture.  Note - I've seen many of these photos as black and white before, so they're actual photos.  However, the color would be a later addition, probably airbrushed if they're older, or photoshop work if they're newer.

      On 9/18/2013 2:01 AM, Hugh Miller wrote:

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