Tuesday, July 14, 2009

SILENT LIGHT photography

Between 1909 and 1915, photographer Sergey Prokudin-Gorsky traveled throughout Russia recording scenes of Russian life in vivid colour. The images seem anachronistic: we're used to seeing the early twentieth century in monochrome, and - apart from the clothing and machinery - many of these arresting pictures could come from last month's National Geographic. R.J. Evans provides an overview of the photographs (including the only known colour portrait of Leo Tolstoy), as well as a description of the innovative color process devised and used by Prokudin-Gorsky, at Quazen.com.

There's a similar feeling of anachronism to sections of Carlos Reygadas' SILENT LIGHT ("Stillet Licht" 2007, Mexico), filmed among the Old Order Mennonites of Mexico - many of whom emigrated from Russia via Manitoba, Canada. One almost wonders whether Reygadas had the historical pictures in mind when one compares images such as this from his film...

...with this photo of Russian settlers from the archival collection...

An extensive selection of the Prokudin-Gorsky photographs is displayed on flickr.com.

SILENT LIGHT available at Videomatica

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