Trichromatic vision

Theory: Color vision
Theory of trichromatic vision proposed by Thomas Young.

Color theory

Additive 3 color: Additive 3 color, still photography
“In a lecture on the theory of three primary colors, given at the Royal Institution of Great Britain on May 17, 1861, Maxwell presented the first demonstration of a photograph in color. According to the records of that meeting (Maxwell, 1890c, ...

1 Image

Proposal of a variety of processes of three-color photography

Theory: still photography
“Louis Ducos du Hauron is reported to have become interested in the reproduction of colors by photography in 1859, when he was twentyone years old (Potonniée, 1939). In 1862 he submitted to a friend of his family, M. Lelut, a paper embodying ...

2 Images

Proposal of a variety of processes of three-color photography

Theory
Description of a variety of color processes, even for images in motion by the use of a rotary shutter.

Orthochromatic stock

b/w photography: Orthochromatic b/w stock
“In 1873 Dr Vogel discovered that by adding dyes to the sensitive material, its sensitivity could be extended, so that it would record green as well as blue. The new ‘orthochromatic’ plates were available commercially from 1882. The ...

2 Images

1 Image

Hydrotypie / Hydrotype / dye transfer

Subtractive 3 color: Dye transfer, still photography
“In the imbibition process, a dye image is transferred from a gelatin relief image to a receiving layer made either of paper or film. Charles Cros described this method of “hydrotypie” transfer printing in 1880 and suggested it ...

Sensitizing theory

Color theory
“Dr. H. W. Vogel, the discoverer of colour sensitizers, made three-colour photography possible, and has been the first to recognise the relation between colour sensitiveness of plate and printing colour in the following principle made known in ...

Silver dye-bleach

Subtractive 3 color: Dye-bleach
“Probably the first use of the catalytic property of silver was in 1889, when E. Howard Farmer disclosed the action of a silver image upon strong dichromate solutions (Eng. P. 17773/89). When a plate or film, containing a silver image, is immersed ...

Lippmann

Direct color photography: Interference, still photography
“In 1891, Professor Gabriel Lippmann demonstrated to the French Académie des Sciences interference colour photographs of the spectrum and of stained glass windows, taken by a modification of Wiener’s method. An exceedingly fine grained, ...

5 Images

Hand coloring

Applied colors: Manual application

Coloring of individual frames by the use of very fine brushes. The process was previously applied to lantern slides. Any water based translucent dye was suited for the process, most often the coloring was done with acid dyes.

211 Images in 13 Galleries

Chromogenic development

Subtractive 3 color: Chromogenic development

Lenticular Screen

Additive 3 color: Lenticular screen
“Every element of a cross-lined screen acts as a pinhole camera, and reproduces an image of the aperture of the objective in whose rear focal plane it is placed. Thus, when using a square stop, the dots in the halftone produced will be square ...

4 Images

Toning / metallic toning (French: virage, German: Tonung)

Applied colors: Replacement of silver

In contrast to tinting, toning is not the simple immersion of a film into a dye bath but involves a chemical reaction converting the silver image. In this reaction the neutral silver image in the emulsion of the positive film is replaced by one consisting of colored metal compounds. These were usually iron ferrocyanide (Prussian Blue) for blue, copper ferrocyanide for red/brown, silver sulfide for sepia or rarely uranium ferrocyanide for reddish brown. Toning had been used in still photography before. But since film was projected on the screen it required translucent toning compounds.

1514 Images in 57 Galleries

Tinting (French: teintage, German: Virage)

Applied colors: Dyed gelatin

For tinting, the positive print is immersed into a variety of dye baths, scene by scene. To this end, the print has to be cut into the corresponding fragments and reassembled after the dyeing process. The dye homogeneously attaches over the entire image’s gelatin including the perforation area. Usually synthetic dyes were dissolved in a weak acid solution to form a chemical bond with the gelatin.

4123 Images in 98 Galleries

Joly

Additive 3 color: Line screen process, still photography
“In 1894 Professor John Joly of Dublin patented a process for producing a screen of red, green and blue-violet lines by ruling them on a gelatin-coated glass plate. Joly used ruling machines of great accuracy, with drawing pens trailed across ...

7 Images

Theory of three-color photography

Theory

11 Images

Isensee

Additive 3 color: Rotary filter
“The first patent that has been found was granted to H. Isensee and he placed in front of the lens, both in taking and projection, a rotary shutter with three 120 degrees sectors in the usual colors.” (Wall, E.J. (1925): The History of ...

2 Images

Lascelles Davidson

Additive 3 color: Rotary filter
“Apparently, associated with W. Friese-Greene, in the same year, Captain William Norman Lascelles-Davidson, also of Brighton, patented a triple lens motion picture camera (E.P. 23,863, 1898). The colour filters revolved either behind the lenses, ...

1 Image

Chromolithography

Applied colors: printing
Widely used in print media around 1900, the chromolithographic printing process was first adapted for the Laterna Magica and then utilized to produce early animated films primarily aimed at children. These films were usually very short ...

105 Images in 3 Galleries

Friese-Greene

Additive 2 or 3 color: Alternately stained

“In 1898 William Friese-Greene, a professional portrait photographer by trade, demonstrated in London ‘the first process of true natural-color cinematography.’ His program consisted of  ‘a series of animated natural-color pictures,’ and although this demonstration aroused considerable interest at the time, Friese-Greene was unable to exploit this system on a profitable basis. Undaunted, he eventually developed a total of four different color methods.”

112 Images in 2 Galleries

Lee and Turner

Additive 3 color: Rotary filter
“Frederick Marshall Lee, of Walton, and Edward Raymond Turner, of Hounslow, to whom is usually accorded the credit of achieving the first practical results in additive projection. Their experimental work was financed by Charles Urban, a ...

16 Images in 1 Gallery

Unidentified Processes

Various

Photographs of unidentified color film technologies. Several different principles and times. Feel free to contact us if you can help identifying them!

295 Images in 4 Galleries

Bi-pack

Subtractive 2 color: Bi-pack, still photography
A. Gurtner (Eng. P. 7924/03; U.S.P. 730454), used a front element that was sensitive only to the blue, and a rear element that was sensitive up to but not including the red. He was the first person to suggest that the two films or plates be placed ...

1 Image

Krayn

Additive 3 color: Line screen and mosaic, still photography
“Another method of producing a line screen was patented in 1904 by the German Robert Krayn, and was demonstrated by him in November 1907. Krayn stained very thin celluloid sheets red, green and blue, and cemented them interleaved to form a thick ...

7 Images

Monopack stripping

Subtractive 3 color: Monopack, stripping, still photography
“To offset the possible effects of poor contact between the various members of the tripack, J. H. Smith coated the emulsions directly one on top of the other, but with an insulating layer of collodion between them. In this manner there was ...

1 Image

Pathécolor / Pathéchrome / stencil coloring

Applied colors: Stencil, dyed gelatin
Stencil coloring required the manual cutting, frame by frame, of the area which was to be tinted onto another identical print, one for each color. Usually the number of colors applied ranged from 3 to 6. The process was highly improved by the ...

2139 Images in 71 Galleries

Pinatype / Pinatypie

Subtractive 3 color: Dye transfer, still photography
“In the imbibition process, a dye image is transferred from a gelatin relief image to a receiving layer made either of paper or film. Charles Cros described this method of “hydrotypie” transfer printing in 1880 and suggested it ...

4 Images

Jumeaux/Davidson

Additive 3 color: Prism

2 Images

Tinting by application of varnish

Applied colors: Tinting
Very little information is available on this very rare process. Instead of immersion into a dye-bath the positive print was coated uniformly with a varnish. This technique can be identified by the lack on dyes in the perforation area and by the ...

1 Image