Color is the essence to many things from photographs to a blooming flower to a deep blue ocean. The ability to take color photo prints has changed the world of photography in more ways than one but then it never used to be so colorful back in the early 19th century.
In the initial days, film rolls and photography were in black & white format, but the search for color film rolls continued throughout the 19th century. There were experiments conducted but the colors in the photographs could not be retained and they faded away fast. According to history, the first color photo was taken by James Clerk Maxwell, a physicist in 1861. One of the earliest methods of producing a color photograph was painstaking and a total of 3 cameras had to be used.
Prokudin-Gorskii, in 1915, was the first one to use this process to take color photographs. He used a color filter and placed it in front of the lens for each of the three cameras. This way he was able to get three basic channels also famous as the RGB or Red, Green, and Blue. Prokudin-Gorskii followed this by another technique in which he utilized three-color plates, and used them in succession.
As more experiments continued, H. W. Vogel was able to produce emulsions in the early 20th century that could generate the required sensitivity to red and green light. Later on, the Lumire brothers invented the very first color film called Autochrome. The Autochrome was launched in the market in 1907. This process involved the use of a screen plate filter, which dyed dots made from potato starch.
The Autochrome was the only available color film until Agfa, the German company, introduced a color film in 1932 called the Agfacolor. Following its example, Kodak introduced an integrated tri-pack color film in 1935 and it was called the Kodachrome. Kodachrome was based on three color emulsions.
Following Kodachrome, Agfa in 1936, came out with Agfacolor Neue. Agfacolor Neue had color couplers that were integrated with emulsion layers and this simplified film processing and created an impact in the photography industry. All color films except for Kodak, are based on the Agfacolor Neue technology.
Creativity begets creativity!
It can be proved from the fact that the Kodachrome color films were invented by Leopold Mannes and Leopold Godowsky, Jr., two very accomplished musicians. Leopold Godowsky, Jr. was the son of one of the greatest pianists of his time, Leopold Godowsky.
Color photography actually revolutionized an era and brought out the impact of colors through vivid and detailed images including the ones from the World War II and the destruction caused by natural disasters.
The color photographs captured emotions and the surroundings in such a way that they were being used more and more in newspapers, magazines and even for book covers.