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📷 An Eye for Life #17 - First 🔴🟢🔵Photo

Thank you so much for joining me for the 17th issue of my bi-weekly newsletter, designed to be informative and inspirational. This issue I’m starting off with a little history about color photography…

First Color Photograph
When I began what would eventually be my career in photography in high school, I was shooting 35mm black and white film and developing plus printing it myself in our school’s darkroom. It was my happy place!
Eventually the world of color called to me and I wanted to create with it as well. This week I was thinking about a world without color photography and it caused me to wonder, how did we get color photos?
On Twitter, I used the poll feature to ask if anyone knew when the first color photograph was taken - thinking that it was in 1861 by a Mr. Maxwell.
But it isn’t that simple or straightforward. When is anything, right? This is why proper research is key! But top tip: don’t rely on Wikipedia as your first or only source!
It was in the 1850s that Scottish physicist James Clerk Maxwell theorized that every shade of the rainbow could be created through different combinations of red, green, and blue light.
Then in 1861 Maxwell and Thomas Sutton created a color photograph of a tartan ribbon - using Maxwell’s method of taking of three separate exposures through red, green and blue filters - which they presented at The Royal Institution. If you’ve heard of RGB in paint mixing or videography, or maybe you learned about it in school, you’ll know it’s not just important to photography. [sources: one, two, three. this is also worth a read]
I was not surprised to know a Scot was influential in inventing something we still use today. Many of them have been. And if you’ve been a subscriber since the beginning, you remember when I dedicated an issue to my love of Scotland. In honor of Maxwell, here’s one of my photos from Scotland that I don’t think would have the same appeal if it was in B&W:
taken in Glen Coe
taken in Glen Coe
Here’s a question: do you remember the first color photo you took?
If you do, hit reply and let me know about it! I’d love to even see it if you have it digitized.
Elsewhere Online This Week
Regardless of who invented it, I am continually inspired by how my fellow women photographers use color. Like Miyoko Ihara:
Tea time, Miyoko Ihara's photographic series on her grandmother, Misao and her beloved cat Fukumaru, which began in 2003 #WomensArt
cat (she/her)
Throwback to some self portraits ❤️

Sony a7c + Sigma 35mm 1.2 💫
Charly Savely 🐺
I remember the day when a group of men didn’t believe that I took this photo, they thought @JoshASavely must have been the one take it. The only way to end inequality, is for men to lift the rest of us up. Share our work, recommend us to your clients, bring us in on your jobs…
this last one is getting me in the mood for autumn 🍂 🍁
Silje V.D.M photography
I heard it's officially the first day of fall today, so here's one of my all time favorite fall shots of Bergen 🍂🤎
Let's Care Together
about People: if the Gabby Petito case made you feel all the things these last few weeks, understand her case only scratches the surface of the significant numbers of people who go missing in North America each year. Here’s just one look into the Indigenous cases we don’t hear enough about. Do some reading this weekend and let’s bring that same energy we did to wanting Gabby to be found, to wanting all of these other people to be returned home safely as well! And don’t forget that September is Suicide Prevention Awareness Month. If you, or someone you know, is at risk in the USA - please don’t hesitate: call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 800-273-TALK (8255) or call 911.
about Planet: Take less than 30 seconds [I timed it!] in the USA - to write your Senators and House members, letting them know we want them to support bold action to address climate change and support our public lands and waters.
Hamba kahle! Merci for reading. I hope to see you back here in two weeks for the 18th edition of An Eye for Life. I’ll have just been in Austria with fresh international travel photos to share for the first time in 18 months!! 💛 ✨
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what it looks like on mobile
what it looks like on mobile
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Kirsten @kirstenalana

A periodic newsletter that helps you discover the work of creatives around the globe and ways you can help people + planet. Also includes notable online moments, photos, and an original short essay by Kirsten Alana.

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