[Tig] Potato prints

Richard Kirk richard at filmlight.ltd.uk
Fri Aug 21 09:04:00 BST 2009

Rob Lingelbach (rob at colorist.org) wrote:
> I hadn't had the time to look at that link until recently. The color 
> is really amazing.

Before everyone rushes out to look at Autochrome originals, I had better 
warn you that they  may not look as good as  they appear on the web. The 
image is made from dots of orange-red, green, and blue-violet, so the 
best white you can get will be a muddy brown-grey, about the tone of an 
18% grey card. You can adapt to the white point - I am always amazed by 
the 'white' you can get in the 'Financial Times' images, which is 
printed on pink paper - but this is too dark for us to adapt to, even 
with a dark surround.

Remember 'Polacolor' slides? This was the same technology - you had red, 
green, and blue stripes and a black & white emulsion that developed. The 
stripes were used to filter the incoming light, and to produce the 
colours on the developed image. The horizontal resolution was not great, 
and they looked pretty dim in a presentation with ordinary slides.

The solution with some autochromes was to go for 'high-gain' images. 
They made autochrome prints on silver foil, or glass mirrors. These can 
give you wonderful, bright, saturated images, but only if you can view 
the image when it is reflecting a broad, white source. It is a bit like 
viewing a colour hologram - you have to do a lot of wiggling you head 
and moving the thing before you can seen the colors properly.

Heres an even funkier color process...

Richard Kirk

FilmLight Ltd.  	Tel: +44 (0)20 7292 0400 or 0409 224 (direct)
Artists House,		Fax: +44 (0)20 7292 0401
14-15 Manette Street    
London W1D 4AP

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