Lumiere Subtractive Process
- Clocks, Watches & Scientific Instruments - 2283
- Date / Time :
- May 03, 2005 10:00AM
Lumiere Subtractive Process, 3 1/4 x 3 1/2 inches, photographic slide showing exotic flowers with embossed silver casket on blue velvet ground, with black paper-taped edges and gilt-stamped credit Photographie des Couleurs, Procede de MM. Auguste et Louis Lumiere.
Note: The Lumiere subtractive process was one of the earliest and most successful methods of color photography. The brothers began experimenting with color during the 1890s, and in 1895 (the same year that the Cinematographe was invented) they introduced and patented the subtractive process. The process required three sheets of chemical-coated paper for the three colors (yellow, cyan and magenta), three negatives and more than twelve hours to develop, superimpose and the fix the images on glass plates. The resultant photographs were characterized by their rich, almost luminous colors, accentuated by the photographer's use of setting, lighting and subject to heighten the effect, which exceeded other contemporary color processes. Although the process achieved recognition at the 1900 Paris exhibition, it was relatively short-lived. The exposure time was long, the images fragile, and the three separations prone to lifting, and the brothers soon began experimenting with alternative color processes. In 1904 the Lumieres brought out their range of autochrome plates with immediate success, making the subtractive process obsolete, and consequently difficult to find today.