Century-old photos of Russian boats

Russian photos from a century ago, including boats Russian photos from a century ago, including boats

Russian photos from a century ago, including boats Russian photos from a century ago, including boats

These century-old colour photographs from Russia are held in the Prokudin-Gorskii Collection at the US Library of Congress.

It includes quite a number of shots including boats of various kinds: try these links to the collection using the search ‘boats’ and ‘sailor’.

To my mind, there’s something very still and a little eerie about these shots – still because of the photographic technology involved, and eerie because most of us really don’t expect photos of this age to be anything but black and white. The colour seems to give them a memory-like quality, yet they’re utterly strange to most of us.

What I think is also striking about these photos is how long, lean and slippery all the hulls are. It’s a powerful reminder of how much the internal combustion engine has changed the craft we use.

My thanks to John Adams and David Luckhardt for tipping me off about this collection.

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