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Tuesday, May 10, 2011


I KNOW I said last week that some things were better in black and white, but sometimes you need a colour photograph to really get the full impact of the message.  In this case - early photography and national dress.

How many of you have seen black and white pictures of your great-grandparents?  Don't you wish you could see what their favourite colours were?


Sometimes you don't appreciate how powerful red is until it smacks you in the face.  Metaphorically.

This picture was taken in the rural west of Ireland in 1913 and was probably one of the first colour photographs ever taken in Ireland.  It is part of the Albert Kahn Archive, just one of over 72,000 colour photographs commissioned in the first three decades of the 20th century in an effort to document all aspects of society and culture.  If you don't know much about Kahn and would like to know more, there was a BBC documentary tv series called The Wonderful World of Albert Kahn, which is well worth tracking down and watching.  There is also a book of the same name.

Here are some more photographs.

West of Ireland


Amazing still life


African colonial soldiers circa WW1