Iris and Janet, Bury Knowle, Headington, Oxford, 1914, Ethelreda Laing
Ethelreda Laing’s autochrome of her daughters is an example of early colour photography. The autochrome process used a random mosaic of coloured potato starch grains on a glass plate covered with a photographic emulsion which, when exposed to light and developed, produced a full-colour positive transparency. The process (patented by the Lumière brothers in 1903) continued to be the most popular colour process until the early 1930s.
Autochromes always look like people of present day people dressed up in costumes to me. It’s funny how the black and white-ness is such a huge part of what makes old photos seem ‘old’. Even their faces look so modern to me.