When Did Color Photos Become Popular

By | 16/10/2022

“Of all God’s gifts to the sighted human, color is holiest, the most divine, the most solemn.” – John Ruskin

This beautiful quote from the talented writer is only i simple example of how we accept always been fascinated by colors. So, it was no big surprise that color photos were developed soon after the invention of black and white photographs.

Present, when we capture the natural colors precisely in our photos, nosotros don’t really take a moment to think most how and when was color photography invented. Permit’s become back in time and discover how it all started, shall we?

The First Breakthrough: How the First Photographic Image Was Taken?

The Designer

Color photography history starts with the invention of photographic cameras. You lot can easily assume that the route towards this invention wasn’t so smooth. But could you guess the starting time camera was designed back in the 17th century?

In 1685, Johann Zahn designed a small portable camera that could capture all the same images. But his vision was limited to papers until the 1800s.

The First Capture

In 1816, the world’southward beginning photographic image was captured past Joseph Nicéphore Niépce. The photograph was blackness and white, and the process he used is called ‘heliography’ that required the placement of a silver-coated newspaper backside the camera obscura.

Commercial Product

Post-obit this breakthrough, photographic cameras were commercially manufactured for the kickoff fourth dimension in 1839 by Louis-Jacques-Mandé Daguerre in his daguerreotype process. This was the birth of black and white photography.

Colorization of Photos: How Colors Were First Added to Photos?

After this invention of monochrome photography, the history of colour photography became rather interesting. As it is homo nature to add a sprinkle of colour to everything, the black and white weren’t enough to satisfy the crowd, and they wanted colour photographs.

Hand Painting Method

While scientists and industrialists were working on complex scientific methods, the Japanese people were introduced to a uncomplicated way to turn monochrome photos into a ‘colour photo.’ Japanese artists started to paint the pic past hand to colorize the black and white photographs.

This method was further improved and polished to brand the photos expect perfect. The hand-painted colour paradigm was slowly condign popular in America and Europe, and this technique was surprisingly in do for more than xx years.

The Science Behind: What Was the Theory Backside the First Color Photograph?

Allow me to become a bit sciency here. Did you know you tin create almost any color by mixing blood-red, green, and blue only? Well, this is the footing of the trichromatic or three-color theory and the first color photography.

The Theory

To explain the man perception of colors, Thomas Young proposed the trichromatic theory in 1802, which later on became surprisingly significant in the history of color photography.

The theory states that human optics have 3 types of receptors that are sensitive to the colors bluish, scarlet, and green. Our perception of colour is basically the combination of these 3 colors.

The theory was further improved past many talented scientists, and it was James Clerk Maxwell who invented color photography while working on this trichromatic theory.

The Invention: When Was the Kickoff Colour Photo Taken?

The Heroes Behind

After all the ‘brief’ lessons on history and scientific discipline, now we are dorsum to the very question, when was color photography invented?

Color photography was invented by Scottish scientist James Clerk Maxwell in 1861, and the first colour photograph was taken by photographer Thomas Sutton.

The Process

Maxwell was invited to the Royal Institution in London to demonstrate his inquiry on color vision. There, he was performing a visual experiment on trichromatic theory rather than a color photographic process.

He had Thomas Sutton take three blackness and white photographs of the aforementioned object. Each photo had 3 different filters: the red, the light-green, and the blue filters. So, the photos were projected on top of each other making iii layers at the verbal same spot, and that was it!

The first color photo was created. And approximate what the offset photographed object was? A beautiful niggling ribbon that was known every bit Tartan Ribbon back in those times.

Popularization: When Did Color Photography Get Common?

Improvement Menstruum

Take you e’er wondered why photographers did not unremarkably use color photography before the 1970s? Although the foundation of color photography was laid, it wasn’t until 1907 when color photography appeared among the masses.

After Maxwell’s invention, many scientists improved their own techniques of capturing color photographs, including Gabriel Lipmann, John Joly, and Louis Ducos Du Hauron. All of those were, however, pretty complicated, expensive, and unable to provide an accurate rendition of visible colors.

Mass Production

In 1904, the Lumière brothers, Auguste and Louis Lumière came up with the most practical and extensively used process for capturing colorful photographs, the Autochrome Lumière procedure.

Because of their revolutionary invention of autochrome plates, the screenplay era of color photography peaked during 1907, and anybody was admiring the delight of capturing color photos.

Kodak and Kodachrome Films: When Was Colour Film Invented?

Foundation of Kodak

In 1888, George Eastman invented the roll-flick photographic camera named ‘Kodak.’ It was a quite elementary transportable handheld camera that holds much significance in the history of color photography every bit it was the first film camera that was accessible for the mainstream.


Kodak eventually turned out to be the pioneer of color moving-picture show and ruled the market for almost a hundred years as the most successful camera brand. The brand was so popular that if yous ask your grandparents even today, they might withal have a Kodak photographic camera somewhere in the storeroom. And so, how did this happen?


In 1922, Kodak hired the two brothers. Leopold Mannes and Leopold Godowsky Jr. were working on the development of the color film. After a few years, in 1935, they introduced the world to their groundbreaking invention, the Kodachrome moving picture.

For the first time, people were able to capture the rich truthful colors of the objects. The Kodachrome color film was vastly used for photography, professional cinematography, and filmmaking every bit well. Even afterwards the invention of digital cameras, Kodachrome was used till 2009.

Contributions of Kodak

Kodak has gifted the photography industry with many more tremendous inventions. In 1975, Kodak engineer Steven Sasson invented the starting time digital photographic camera.

Kodak likewise invented the first digital single-lens reflex camera, a.chiliad.a. the DSLR camera, in 1991. Kodak was also the founder of the oldest photography museum, the George Eastman Museum.

So, when was color photography invented, y’all were asking. Well, now y’all have the answer, and that was quite an adventurous journey for u.s. too.

It’southward truly encouraging how humankind has put together so many hours of enquiry and development just to capture the reality and add some color to them. So, the next time you take a flick, consider how much history went into capturing the one perfect moment.

Source: https://www.funktrunkchicago.com/when-was-color-photography-invented/