1904-1916. Color photographs by S.M. Prokudin-Gorsky (1863-1944)

Let me share with you a set of good quality photos by S.M. Prokudin-Gorsky (1863-1944) — chemist and one of the first color photographer in the world, best known for his pioneering work in color photography of early 20th-century. All of these photos were taken in Russia, Belarus, Ukrain, Azerbaijan, Kyrgyzstan, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan, Georgia, Turkey, Switzerland and Western Europe in 1904-1916. My selection of 64 photos contains almost only photos with people.

1909, Russua. Three generations. A.P. Kalganov with son and granddaughter. The last two work in the shops of the Zlatoust plant.


Mountain Half Marathon

Every time I’m going for a run, I don’t know when will start, wich way will choose and how many kilometers will overcome. My goal — to get pleasure from the process. The result is simply recorded as a fait accompli, but never do not aspire to it. At this time, I was drawn to the mountain because it is beautiful and nothing more. The result was a half marathon with a height difference of 1000 m. Below are a few photos from this run. All are made on Degradr via iPhone 6.


Some new Instagram pictures

Some new pictures from my Instagram. All of them I took with Degradr on iPhone 5s and 6, without additional digital processing. In Russia, Georgia, Montenegro, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Argentina, Uruguay, Brazil and Japan during last 4 month.



This is my new project, which will soon be available in the App Store. More information and updates here.

Have you ever seen a smart camera before? Meet the first one and let it degrade your pictures so they look..even more awesome!

Degradr (from eng “to degrade”) – a smart camera which «degrades» digital photos changing colours to make them look more harmonious and expressive.

The app doesn’t include any settings: there is only single option in Degradr — to click the shutter. Picture analysis and processing are being done automatically so you can see the result right away — no additonal processing needed.

We were creating Degradr guided by our broad personal experience  using the studies of Robert Hunt who was the head of Kodak scientific research laboratory for 34 years. Some magical spells and buzz words have been used as well. Some of them are:

  • compressed exposure
  • eccentricity coefficient
  • chromatic adaptation the cone responses
  • reverse saturation
  • squaring the circle of colors
  • cubical Lab color space compression
  • perceptual saturation theory
  • gamut in cut projection
  • finite impulse response
  • mask with convolution
  • Fourier transform

Plus alchemy, of course.

© Degradr Team

Some pictures from Burma

Some pictures from Burma I took in 2009.

If you are interesting in colors in film and digital photography, you can read my book “LIFELIKE: A Book on Color in Digital Photography” in English:

Pavel Kosenko

LIFELIKE: A Book on Color in Digital Photography


“This book is about color in digital photography. It is written by a color photographer who, in his daily work, has to use the knowledge of color in art and the possibilities of modern image processing techniques. I did not, however, intend to write a manual on digital color correction – there are a lot of good ones out there already. Instead, my focus is on all things color; from color perception, interrelation between color and composition, evaluation of color intensity to planning and organization of photo shoots, RAW conversion and color correction in Adobe Photoshop. Many contemporary photographers lament the “lifelessness” of digital images. We look at the picture, admire its vibrant colors and sharp lines, and still can’t help but feel nostalgic for the photographs of the old, pre-digital age. This increasing lack of satisfaction with digital color has an explanation, which needs to be understood – and dealt with – to achieve an optimum in color intensity. This book is my account of what I have come to in my experiments with color.”

Pavel Kosenko

Language: English
ISBN 978-5-903788-39-2

© Pavel Kosenko, 2015, Moscow, Russia
© Chapter 23 by Alexander Serakov, 2015, Moscow, Russia
© Translation by Ksenia Prasolova, 2015, Kaliningrad, Russia
© Treemedia Content, 2015, Helsinki, Finland
© Frameway LP, 2015, Scotland, UK

Table of contents

About the author
Chapter 1. A Play on Words
Chapter 2. Looking for Color
Chapter 3. Saturated Color
Chapter 4. Subdued Color
Chapter 5. Devil in the Detail
Chapter 6. Painting the Dark
Chapter 7. Background for Color
Chapter 8. Painting the Light
Chapter 9. Clipping Shadows
Chapter 10. Let’s Get Muddy
Chapter 11. Benchmarking with Neutrals
Chapter 12. The Kodak Reds
Chapter 13. Film vs. Digital?
Chapter 14. Learning from the Masters
Chapter 15. “Honesty” in Photography
Chapter 16. What Color Is Your Skin
Chapter 17. Issues in Digital Color
Chapter 18. A Shortcut
Chapter 19. Raw Photo Processor
Chapter 20. True-film Profiles in RPP
Chapter 21. The Resistance of Masterpieces
Chapter 22. Processing Files in RPP
Chapter 23. Processing Files in ACR (Lightroom)
Appendix A. Understanding Curves
Appendix B. RPP for Beginners
Photos used in Figures

P.S. Please help me spread word about the book to those of your English-speaking friends who may be interested in reading it. Thank you!

Yann Arthus-Bertrand, “Earth From The Air”

Just 3-4 years ago aerial photography was available to a handful of photographers. When Ilya Varlamov‘s team got a mini copter able to lift a DSLR, they were giddy with excitement. The guys tried to get it to climb higher and higher for longer and longer shots until it went the Icarus way and they were $20,000 poorer. This didn’t stop them, and they bought another, even more powerful heli.

Not everybody knows that Air Pano had been taking pictures from the air for years then, but they weren’t the first in large-scale aerial image-taking. By large-scale I mean industrial production of devices to churn out hundreds and thousands of pictures. Air Pano specializes in 3D panoramas of famous landmarks and unusual corners of the planet – erupting volcanoes and such.

Nowadays, with quadro/octocopters widely available, thousands of photographers have taken off. Every other blogger uploads still pictures and videos of places he’s going through, seen from the air. All that is very curious, but, unfortunately, has nothing to do with creative photography. Of course, it’s different hawks for different folks – I have no objections to plain useful, informative pictures. But my own interests lie in expressive, not informative photography.

Can aerial photography be expressive – meaningful, sensual, personal? Or is it always about tourist-driven drone races? To answer I suggest going back 20 years and looking at some works by the wizard aerial photography, the great Yann Arthus-Bertrand. Here is a selection from his project Earth From The Air (1995). Notice what relatively short shots – close to the ground, not far from it – he preferred and at what time of the day he flew. Many newcomers to aerial photography fail to understand that driving the drone as high above the ground as possible takes them away from actual creative work and makes pictures look like Google Maps, shot from space and glued together by robots.



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