Researchers have taken a closer look at some of the oldest color photographs so far

Two photographs of Gabriel Lippmann in the 1890s.  The image on the right is a self portrait.

Two photographs taken by Gabriel Lippmann in the 1890s. The image on the right is a self portrait.
Fig: 21 2021 EPFL

Scientists have re-examined the creation of early color photographer Gabriel Lippmann, who did not use any pigments or colors in his work. They wanted to identify the original colors captured in Leipman’s photographs and recreate the images using a process similar to that of a 19th-century photographer. There was paper Published In the proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

“These are the first multi-spectrum light measurements on record, so we were wondering if it would be possible to recreate the original light of this historical scene correctly,” said Giles Bচchler, a software engineer at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Lausanne. An Institute Press Release“But the way the photographs were created was very specific so we were really interested in how we could make digital copies and understand how the technology works.”

Perhaps you’ve ogled Pure blue In the seated portrait is a suit of Abraham Lincoln or a bouquet of red to orange flowers Hindenburg As it fell, to the ground. This is just one of those colorful images from history – this pigment was added at the moment, decades after the photographer’s capture. What sets Lippman’s work apart is that it was colorfully captured for a process known as the intervention effect.

Lipman Discovered in 1891 He was awarded the Nobel Prize in Physics in 1908 for his work, and Lippman himself described it as Nobel reading, “The procedure is very simple. A plate is covered with a sensitive transparent layer that is even and ungrateful. It is placed in a container containing mercury. When taken, the mercury touches the sensitive layer and forms a mirror. After exposure, the plate develops by normal processes. After drying, the colors appear, are reflected by the reflection, and are now fine. “


A view of a Swiss countryside in the 1890s.
Fig: 21 2021 EPFL

Since the color of each photo was dependent on chemical reactions, Lapman’s method was not so true to the real world, say, what a modern camera can do. So while 19th-century Switzerland’s blue skies and worldly life are still probably closer to what 21st-century colorizers can do, the current research team tried to better tune in to what those tunes actually were.

They examined some of the photographic plates obtained from Leipman’s photograph Musiye de l’LC. They experiment on plates, test and see the ability to reproduce colors How The light penetrated them.

“Although the reproduction light was not the same as the original, we could design an algorithm that would undo the distortions of reproduction in the original light if distorted light was seen while looking at Lippman’s photographs.” Adam Schofield, co-author, Of Lausanne Swiss Federal Institute of Technology, dr An email “In other words, although distorted, the original information is still there”

The team also developed a prototype digital camera that they hope will be able to replicate Lippmann’s interference-based.Ed approach, Replacement Photochemical material with laser. Like Leipman’s deviceThe researchers said the camera would be multifaceted, meaning it would have a richer, more accurate array of colors in the images it takes than ordinary cameras, depending on how many pictures are taken in three spectra and averaging their numbers. Color Photos You see.

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