Nostalgia. The Russian Empire Of Czar Nicholas II.

Sergei Mikhailovich Prokudin-Gorskii  was a photographer who, at the beginning of the 20th Century created a very interesting photographic body of work, Basically he took color photos of his time and age, when color photography was almost unheard of.

This book, with such a tarkovskian title as Nostalgia, collects a great bunch of those images.

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He used a 3 color process (something I did too a long time ago with my old Amiga 500!!) to create beautiful and special color images, which look realistic enough but also had some kind of painterly feel. Besides this technical qualities Gorskii was a great photographer on his own right, with excellent sense of composition and framing.

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This book is published by Gestalten (2012). It is a big, thick, hardcover book, with clothed covers and containing lots of the best Gorskii images.  320 pages, excellent paper and binding. The subjects are varied: nature, people, architecture, railroads, landscapes… and the images are fascinating to see. A real window to the past. There are also some texts, providing context, explanation about Gorskii´s life and introducing all the chapters. In english.

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This book is a bit expensive (around 75 bucks in Amazon) but it is worthy. Even better, at the Library of the Congress website you have the surviving negatives scanned at high-resolution and available for free to download, so with some digital artistry you can create your own version of the images. Unfortunately at the time of this writing the Library of the Congress website is down for maintenance so I can´t post the links. Will do in a future update.

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