In the early 1900s, Russian chemist and photographer Sergei Mikhailovich Prokudin-Gorskii conducted a photographic survey of the Russian Empire. Between 1909 and 1915 he captured images from eleven regions of, what is otherwise, a thinly documented area of the world. What makes the images so unique is that he photographed them using an elaborate system that allowed him to reproduce the final images in color.
What I find instructive is how eerie they seem. Though they were taken 100 years ago, these vivid, high resolution photographs of people and places look as if they were taken on a movie set last week. Eerie, perhaps, because I'm just not used to seeing images from this long ago in natural color and my brain has a hard time finding them believable.
It's somewhat analogous to how the filtering effects applied to Instagram images inflence our perception of photographs folks are taking today. In that case, the effects remove the images from reality. (In case you're interested, here's a look at some new filters Facebook plans to offer now that they have acquired Instagram.) the link was missing here
Thanks to Russel Lacy for pointing us to it.
Example 1... Here
Example 2... Here
Example 3... Here
The complete gallery via the Library of Congress... Here
There are several venues that have edited and compiled some of the more interesting images in various forms. This is one of those compilations... Here
How it was done... Here
I was absolutely amazed that 100 years ago someone was already thinking in terms of RGB color and adjusting filters.