Cool Link: Russia in color, a century ago and 1st full length film shot on a phone!

Wow! – Must see photos – Russia in color, a century ago

Someone posted this link to my Facebook wall and after I checked it out I knew I had to share it here. It is a collection of amazing photographs taken between 1909 and 1912 by Sergei Mikhalovic Prokudin-Gorskii (died in 1944). As I viewed the images I was awestruck at not only the content of the photos themselves but the quality of the photos. It appears he used a specialized camera that shot three black and white images in quick succession, using color filters that would later allow viewing in true color.

This is a must check out set of images and to see them click over to the article on HERE.

What I find amazing is that the quality of most of these images pretty much destroy any camera that is sold today, 100 years later. Almost hard to believe how old these shots are.

Worlds first full length feature film shot entirely on a smart phone – AMAZING

Wow…imagine. Shooting a full length QUALITY film on a PHONE and getting that film distributed across the USA to thousands of theaters. Totally independent, no studios involved but take a look at the trailer below. Remember, this was shot entirely on a PHONE.

Impressive. You can check out more details at the official website HERE. This is the kind of stuff I LOVE to see. Creativity and being different.


  1. Great pictures and very interesting. Thanks.

    For those interested I would recommend this book : “The Dawn of the Color Photograph: Albert Kahn’s Archives of the Planet”. I got it from the library and it is fantastic. BBC made a dokumentary about Albert Kahns and hsi world archive that is also extraordinary.Similar in style to those in the link, but no less fantastic.

    Albert Kahn and his photographers used autochrome which is a different technique invented by the Lumiere brothers using glass plates with colored potato starch.(

  2. This is awesome Steve thanks for the post.

    Forget digital! Forget film! All you young whippersnappers don’t know that glass plates are where it’s at! Here’s my compact camera:

  3. I love my Nokia N8! I’m looking forward to see their next imaging flagship phone that will probably be running Windows Phone in the new year.

    • Unfortunatly, rumors say that it will be a Belle-running phone… But anyways, it will be mine. Nokia has an experience in cameraphone that NO ONE has.

  4. lol, these two subjects mixed together make for some pretty funny reading. First you have the amazing Russian photographs and then the video off the phone so you have one comment that says the 1900 photos are amazing and the next some comment about the phone. I was thinking, crumbs, these 1900 photos were shot on a phone! (not really but the juxtaposition is pretty funny;)

    @ Max: I will just add that it is important to distinguish between photography and the love of acquiring and playing with new things. Photography is about composition, subject, light etc. A photographer is someone who when caught without a camera and with great light will go and buy a disposable camera if necessary to capture it. Acquisition syndrome is something quite unrelated to photography but often photography is its vehicle of choice. Acquisition syndrome is seen in many areas, cars, motorbikes, houses, yachts, shoes, women, watches… the list goes on. Acquirers have something for a short while, grow bored of it and want a newer and ‘better’ version even though they have not really taken the time to know what they already have. In fact, if for some reason they can’t keep acquiring their item of choice they will simply change their ‘passion’ completely and focus on a new object and do the same.

    That is not to say there is anything wrong with wanting to acquire things (to each their own) but what is wrong is to equate two things that are not the same. As the Russian pictures show, photographs and photographic skill have not improved with modern cameras but modernising of cameras has meant that photography is now an arrow in the acquirer’s quiver.

  5. When I read the title I thought it said the first movie ever shot a century ago was shot with a phone, and I went, “Uhhhhhh wut!!!”

  6. Thanks for the link, Steve. While I can imagine that for the shots where just the phone was mounted to take video, it does make me wonder why would one stick mobile phone behind multi-thousand dollar cine lens for the most of the film. It somehow gives the impression that this should be the selling feature rather than the film itself (which I have not seen, so can not judge).

    One way or other – I would wish my phone had cameras as good as the one on N8.

  7. Oh, and I should add, that very single picture of my older children, which was shot in the mid- 90s on early digitals is now either lost in nowhere land or looks like junk. The cameras may be better but you better be taking care of those memories because I have doubts your kids will know where to look for those in 30-40 years.

  8. The photos still look amazing because the concept of opening/closing a shutter with a lens in front of it has not changed in 100 years and film is film. Today we get all excited when a new silly digital comes out because it is our ADD kicking in and thinking it must always be better or different than the one before, or offer the famed holy grail that enables one to take magical images. The equipment to take magical images has been the same forever and it’s NEVER about that. Let’s not forget one thing: digital is what enabled camera manufacturers to re-invent the business and, (for some) thrive, by virtually offering, as with computers, incremental “improvements” that will always push one to buy. It’s the same old..and old pictures ALWAYS prove it. I’ve been printing family negatives in my darkroom that were shot in 1962-1965. They still are far better than most digi-crap shot on today’s latest $10,000 toy. What does that tell you?

    • +1…But…went to see a Gabor Szilasi exhibit a few years ago and the pics from the 50’s still looked great as they were reprinted. From the negatives….the funny thing is people looking for a film look when this guy was trying to push is art into thevfuture by adding color…digital is still fun as you can see the result right away… I think film should have artifact,MIT is part of the whole process but digital should remain clean,,, life comes from the subject, not fake artefacts

    • +2 ! Although I like the files from my M9-P, I’m buying a Hasselblad 501 (full mechanical). I’ve never seen such clean and detailed photos.
      Check Salgado’s photos.

  9. Beautiful Russian photography. Perhaps you should review some medium or large format film camera’s instead of the – flavour of he month – small sensor – high priced – odd looking – digital camera’s.
    I am particulary amused by looking at the nex7 with the big Sony 50mm 1.8. What’s next to make me smile.

  10. I visited the Eloten Power Station in Turkmenistan in 1998 and the power station has not changed from what is seen on slide ten of the article that was taken in 1910. I can’t fiture out how to upload the two pictures I have of the power station that were taken with a Hasselblad 501C and 80mm Zeiss Planar on Ektachrome E200 that show the exact same hydroelectric generators still running. Steve can advise me how the pictures can be uploaded, if interested.

    • Hmm, I just got the Nokia Lumia 800 and the photos from it are quite ok in good light, but no good in low light. The same goes for the N8 and iPhone 4s. Don’t see a lot of difference between the 3 mentioned phones.

      But it is still fantastic output those phones can make from such a small lens and sensor even though none of them come even close to a low end P&S.

      • Well since we’re debating on camera phones… HTC sensation, 1080p with an f2.2 with no stupid plastic cover over the lens all glass indented in the camera… The best camera phone to date…

  11. Thanks for sharing this link Steve…these photos from Russia are nothing short of breathtaking. Wonderful history brought to life. We often forget that the world was in color back then!

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