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Based on text from the original book: Shades of Light: Photography and Australia 1839-1988
Gael Newton, 1988 Australian National Gallery

 footnotes: Appendix - colour    (by Chris Long)

return to Colour APPENDIX  | contents

  1. See 'Sensitising Dyes and their Application', in C.E.K. Mees, From Dry Plates to Ektachrome Film (New York: Ziff-Davis Publications, 196 1), p. 119.
    In fact, panchromatic plates were not in general use until the 1930s. The first commercial panchromatic emulsion produced by KODAK was used for a special Gaumont cin6 colour process in 1913, but even in the cinema, panchromatic emulsions were not in general use until the advent of sound films.

  2. Ibid., p.66.

  3. The Launceston chemist Frank Styant Browne demonstrated some form of three-colour photography on 9 September 1897. See 'Northern Tasmanian Camera Club', Launceston Examiner, 17 September 1897, This may have been simply a complex tinting and toning process.
    See also Northern Tasmanian Camera Club Minutes for 9 September 1897, held at Northern Regional Library, Launceston, and A.P.-R, (October 1897): p.24.

  4. A.P.-R. (August 1899): p.3, and A.PJ. (August 1899): p.66, refer to the 'projection' of his Ives process transparencies. For an impression of the scale of Blow's Crown Studio enterprise, seeM.E.A., pp. 104,243.

  5. A description of the Ives process may be found in Brian Coe, Colour Photography: The First Hundred Years (London: Ash and Grant, 1978), pp.34-42. The Kromskop projector is shown on p.40.

  6. Quoted in ME.A., p. 104.

  7. A.J. Perier, 'Some Comments on Jack Cato's Professional Photographic "Story of the Camera in Australia"', ms. c.1955, National Library of Australia, Canberra.
    Blow apparently had a consistent interest in new processes. In addition to his commercial development of silver gelatin paper in the early 1890s, he demonstrated X-rays and exhibited local cine films c. 1898 at his studio, which was known as the Sydney Polytechnic when used for public film shows. For details of the film output of Blow's Polytechnic, see Eric Reade, The Australian Screen (Melbourne: Lansdowne Press, 1975), pp. 13-15. Blow later reported on John Joly's additive screen process in A.P.-R. (August 1899): p.3.

  8. 'Northern Tasmanian Camera Club', A.P.J. (February 1899): p.47, See also, Minutes of the Northern Tasmanian Camera Club at Northern Regional Library, Launceston, and G.L. Johnson, Photography in Colours, 2nd edn (London: Routledge and Sons, 1914), p. 140, for a diagram of Ives' Kromskop direct stereoviewer.

  9. 'Colour Photography', Launceston Examiner, 10 March 1905. This article refers mainly to the colour experiments of Styant Browne, but credits Aebi with priority 'by a few weeks'. For an account of Aebi's work, see A.Pj Almanac for 1898, pp.74-9.

  10. 'Mosman Photographic Society: Colours as they are seen in Nature produced by Three-Colour Process', A.P.-R. (May 1907): p. 195. A report in A.P.-R. Uanuary 1908): p.5 tends to suggest that most of Wilkinson's early colour work was done with the Sanger-Shepherd system.
    Extensive notes on the manipulation of triseparation photography were published in 1914 by G.L. Johnson, Photography in Colours, op. cit., pp. 138-68. See also Konig and Wall, Natural Colour Photography and E.J. Wall, The History of ThreeColour Photography (Boston: American Photographic Co., 1925).
    Pioneer researcher on early colour processes, C.E.K. Mees (From Dry Plates to Ektachrome), op.cit., pp.209-10, said of triseparation photography: 'The early subtractive processes of colour (print) photography were used on a large scale in only two fields of photographic work (in America). They were used for commercial and advertising photographs; and they were used in professional motion picture photography.'
    Mees further states: 'The complicated operations involved in making colour photographs by the subtractive (print) process limited its use to a few expert commercial photographers.'

  11. A type of colour printing paper called 'Uto-colour' paper was available from 1904 in various forms until the start of World War One. It was very unstable on exposure to light, and demanded contact printing through a colour transparency in excess of two hours under bright sunlight. Such exposure often bleached the original transparency, or baked the potato starch grains! The prints were also of poor colour fidelity (see Brian Coe, Colour Photography, op. cit., p. 13 1). Styant Browne demonstrated Utocolour paper to the Northern Tasmanian Camera Club in 1912, but none of the prints made at this time are likely to have survived.

  12. See Brian Coe, Colour Photography, op. cit., pp.49-52.

  13. Ibid., p.52.

  14. 'Tasmania - The Camera Club', A.P.-R. (January 1908): p.35, states that F.E. Burbury had received 'the first autochrome plates to arrive in Australia'. However, F.A. Joyner published his first article on the autochrome plates in the Adelaide Register of 28 December 1907.

  15. A.P.J. (January 1908): p.23 refers to an article in the Launceston Daily Telegraph describing Lithgow and Burbury's autochromes. The A.P.J. also states that 'Mr Lithgow believes he is the first worker south of the line to produce the autochrome pictures'.
    See also Winifred Sinclair and Elizabeth Christenson, Thomas Burbury 1809-1870: A Pioneer of Van Diemen's Land (Melbourne: W. Sinclair, 1979), p.63, for a few notes on Francis Burbury.

  16. Launceston Express, 3 August 1957, contains an article of reminiscences by Vaudry Robinson which includes a mention of the early colour work of Burbury, Lithgow and Browne.

  17. Lindsay's autochromes are held at the National Library of Australia, Canberra, and were mentioned in A.P.-R. (January 1908): p.5.

  18. A dearth of Australian publications employing full three-colour reproduction before World War One was probably part of the reason, there being no commercial outlet for the publication of colour advertising photographs. The situation improved a little in the 1920s with the introduction of quality colour printed magazines such as The Home.

  19. A.P.-R. (January 1908): p.5.

  20. A.P.-R. (March 1908) p.100, refers to an undated article on autochromes taken by professional photographer Alfred Stump (c. 1861-1925) in the Adelaide Register. A.W. Dobbie (1843-1912) was another amateur photographer in the South Australian Photographic Society.

  21. 'Autochrome Plates', A.P.-R. (April 1908): p. 153. Andrew Barrie was a photographer at the Talma studios, while Paterson worked at Paterson, Shugg & Co.

  22. A.P.-R. (August 1909); p.436 (in the course of a report on the activities of the Northern Tasmanian Camera Club in 1909). See also an undated cutting from the Launceston Examiner, referring, in passing, to Styant Browne's 1909 award for colour work; and Styant Browne Scrapbook (held by Mrs LT. Saltmarsh, Launceston).

  23. There are about seventy-five colour stereos in the Whitling collection held by the War Memorial. Most are autochromes, but there are a few Dufay stereos from the mid- 1 930s.

  24. H.Pj (October 1911): p.307.

  25. Other regular dot-screen processes included the Warner-Powrie (1907); Krayn (1907); Dufay Dioptichrome (1909); Omnicolore (1907); Thames (1908); Leto (1913); Baker Duplex (1926). None of these had much commercial success by comparison with Paget and autochrome. For photomicrographs of the colour screens used in these various systems, see Brian Coe, Colour Photography, op. cit., pp.50-1.

  26. See Brian Coe, Colour Photography, op. cit., pp.61-71 and Britishjournal of Photography - ColourSupplement (I November 1912 and 5 March 1915). H.P.J. Uanuary 1919): p.31.

  27. For an account of Hurley's war photography, see D,P. Millar, From Snowdrift to Shellfire (Sydney: David Ell Press, 1984), p.47 passim. Millar is less interested in the colour work which he views as inferior to Hurley's black-and-white photography.

  28. Frank Hurley, 'War Photography', A.P. -R. (February 1919): pp. 164-5.


  1. See D.P. Millar, Snowdrift to Shellfire op. cit., p.62.

  2. The Mitchell Library set is, in general, less faded and truer in colour than that in the collection of the Australian War Memorial. A project could be mounted to make new colour screens with full saturation, so that they can be bound in register with the monochrome slides to reproduce accurate colour.

  3. See review, 'Colour Photography of the Battlefield', in British Journal of Photography (7 June 1918). About thirty Paget plates were selected for this show from Hurley's extensive colour library. Further colour photographs of the War were taken by the French photographer Jean Tournassou. One hundred and seventy of Hurley's Paget colour photographs are held at the Australian War Memorial. There may be some additional subjects in the Mitchell Library collection.
    A very small number of Paget colour plates taken at Gallipoli in 1919 by Sir Hubert Wilkins are also held at the Australian War Memorial.

  4. A number of Paget plates from New Guinea have recently been identified by Australian Museum staff, having previously been mistaken for blackand-white negatives. The plates had lost their viewing screens.

  5. In referring to the Finlay process, Keith Henney in Colour Photography for the Amateur (New York: McGraw Hill, 1938) states: 'being on plates may seem somewhat antiquated.'

  6. A.P.-R. (November 1922): p.584. These works were exhibited at the Northern Tasmanian Camera Club's Photographic Exhibition in November 1922. See also, J.G. Brannagan, A Great Tasmanian: Frederick Smithies OBE (Launceston: Regal Press, 1985).

  7. A description of the Finlay process is given in Brian Coe, Colour Photography, op. cit., pp.68-9. See also Keith Henney, Colour Photography, op, cit., pp.94-8.
    An advertising brochure for the Finlay process, which the author holds, lists tenjournals usingthe system for colour reproduction. These include Harper's Bazaar, the Ladies Home journal, The Sketch, The Sphere, The Studio and The Saturday Evening Post.
    The National Geographic magazine commenced reproducing colour photographs from autochromes in 1917, but by the late 1920s they were using several processes, including Finlay.

  8. Australia's first colour cinematography activity occurred in February 1912 with the visit of cameraman J. Mackenzie of the London Kinemacolour Company. By 2 March he was screening Melbourne in Natural Colour at the Melbourne Glaciarium, see Eric Reade, op. cit., pp.55, 60. Numerous colour movie processes were demonstrated in Australia during the 1920s but no further local film production in colour is known until 1928. In about 1929, H.J. King shot a few reels of 'Kodacolour' lenticular colour film, which had been commercially launched in July 1928. This 16 mm film enjoyed moderate success but was rendered obsolete by Kodachrome in the late 1930s.

  9. See Brian Coe, Colour Photography, op. cit., p.72.

  10. Interview with Mel Nicholls, Sydney, by Chris Long and Graham Shirley, 30 June 1982.

  11. See Brian Coe, Colour Photography, op. cit., p.128.

  12. A.P.-R (March 1937): p.135.

  13. Interview by the author, with Mrs Lucy King, Launceston, 1983.

  14. See, Images of War and Peace: Colour Photography by Frank Hurley, 1914-18 (Canberra: Australian War Memorial, 1982).

  15. A point argued by Brian Coe, Colour Photography, op. cit., p.132, in recognition of the Kodachrome's position as the first of the modern multiple layer (tri-pak) films.

  16. Conversation reported by Gael Newton, June 1987.

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