Sergei Mikhailovich Prokudin-Gorskii, a Russian photographer, did some early color work between 1909 and 1912. He used a specialized camera with colored filters. He would shoot the same shot three times with three different colored filters, separating the colors into separate photos. He would then composite the images together with three different colored light projectors. This process captured color long before Kodak.

Recently the Library of Congress have began scanning their glass-plate collection. Prokudin-Gorskii’s work was among them. With this find, I’m excited to see what else they have on file.

Here’s what his work looked like:

RGB Composite

Shot in Bukhara, (present-day Uzbekistan), ca. 1910.

Shot near Artvin (in present day Turkey), circa 1910.

Shot in Mezhevaya Utka, 1912.

Shot near Mozhaisk in 1911.

Shot at Mezhevaya Utka, 1912.

See more and read more about Prokudin-Gorskii’s work on and Wikipedia.