Autochromes Lumière

 

Digitalisation

Look of Yesterday - The Look of Today
By inventing the Autochrome, the Lumière brothers popularised the practice of colour photography. Amateurs as well as professionals were able to capture in colour the diverse historical events of the beginning of the 20th century, great and small. A unique and fragile plate of glass, each Autochrome represents an irreplaceable object of our collective memory. Carefully preserved in the storerooms of museums or the cupboards of individuals, Autochromes are rarely shown or projected today. However, thanks to the advance of digitalisation, we are now able to be reproduced and share these images, helping to make these unique objects of our history known and loved.

In order to appreciate the full colour of an Autochrome, the Lumière factories recommended that they be viewed in an environment free from ambient light. Arranged in their cases, the plates were often lit from behind by a balanced and uniform light source to create the best effect. To faithfully recreate this vision of the past, digitalisation must produce a copy that remains true to the subtle colourations and unique illuminations of the original. It is a challenge, even by today's standards.

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