Talk:Autochrome Lumière

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number of primaries[edit]

Copying this discussion here from my talk page. It was specifically about the primary color article, but is relevant here. -- jacobolus

Hi, thanks for keeping on top of changes there; just curious about your comment:

no, autochrome didn't use 6 primaries

From the autochrome article it sounds as though the patent certainly describes six (possibly more)?

quota 17:36, 15 August 2007 (UTC)

OK if I butt in here? See the patent. I think the article needs to be amended and this patent cited. It says one layer of three (or optionally more) colors, I think, though I haven't read it all carefully yet. Dicklyon 21:21, 15 August 2007 (UTC)
Thanks for finding the patent! I'll add it to the Autochrome article, which also definitely needs an update. The patent clearly says "They are colored by means of colors also transparent in orange, green, and violet, or else in red, yellow, and blue, or even in any number of colors." -- so Primary Color needs a bit of clarification, too. I'll have a go... quota 07:32, 16 August 2007 (UTC)
Thanks for tracking that down Dicklyon! It looks to me like the patent tries to be broad, but most (perhaps all) actual use of Autochrome was with three primaries, though the exact color could vary. But maybe I'm reading that wrong? --jacobolus (t) 00:07, 17 August 2007 (UTC)
Patents are written as broadly as possible. Everything I've read on the actual autochrome plates says orange, green, and violet. Dicklyon 01:34, 17 August 2007 (UTC)
Kudos for finding the patent. When I copyedited this a while ago I realised the ref to six primaries was wrong (the original edit almost certainly referred to the resulting (secondary) colours when two primary coloured grains overlapped) but couldn't find the patent to disprove it. Good call. mikaultalk 13:59, 17 August 2007 (UTC)
Right, exactly. :) --jacobolus (t) 23:13, 17 August 2007 (UTC)


Pitch isn't "crude pine sap" as this article suggests but the more or less solid part of the distillate of pine wood (talk) 16:27, 17 March 2009 (UTC)

The patent says "a pitchy substance" but then goes on to describe a clear substance. Maybe like Canada balsam. In any case this is close to the "raw pine sap" mentioned in the article than pitch which is black and pretty much opaque, as demonstrated by it's use in painting the outside of bottles containing photo sensitive chemicals. (talk) 22:13, 20 March 2009 (UTC)

photos in the TIME-LIFE Color volume[edit]

The Library of Photography book on color (still available used from any number of sources) shows several Autochrome pictures. They are so richly saturated that one wonders whether they are Autochromes. Does anyone know? WilliamSommerwerck (talk) 01:35, 12 February 2010 (UTC)

  • Saturation can be increased in printing. Look at old National Geographic mags (1940-50), you can even see manual retouching of colors on the printing plates of the Kodachrome images... --Janke | Talk 09:57, 12 February 2010 (UTC)

There is a fundamental problem with reproduction of Autochromes because they are essentially colour transparencies, made to viewed by transmitted light. I don't think it's worth getting into standard illumination for Autochromes. But a screen facsimile should be made to look similar to a normal display of the original. Besides, Autochromes vary considerably in appearance according to ambient lighting, exposure, camera/lens used (affecting flare, etc.), not forgetting processing. Dpwriter (talk) 11:18, 24 August 2010 (UTC)

File:Genthe nude edit.jpg to appear as POTD[edit]

Hello! This is a note to let the editors of this article know that File:Genthe nude edit.jpg will be appearing as picture of the day on February 13, 2013. You can view and edit the POTD blurb at Template:POTD/2013-02-13. If this article needs any attention or maintenance, it would be preferable if that could be done before its appearance on the Main Page. Thanks! — Crisco 1492 (talk) 23:08, 6 February 2013 (UTC)

Picture of the day
Autochrome nude

A nude study in autochrome by Arnold Genthe. Autochrome was patented by the Lumière brothers in 1903 and became the dominant colour photography process for over two decades. It used dyed potato starch in its plates to provide colour. Because of additional filters necessary for the process, it required longer exposure than black-and-white plates.

Photograph: Arnold Genthe; Restoration: Chick Bowen
ArchiveMore featured pictures...

"Autochrome Lumière" to just plain "Autochrome" anyone?[edit]

In a good Parisian camera shop in 1915, you could buy not only "les plaques Lumière" (including "plaques Autochromes Lumière") but also "les films Kodak". A good camera shop in a large US city, and probably also in London, stocked "Lumière plates" (including "Lumière Autochrome plates") and "Kodak films". Yes, the boxes say "plaques Autochromes Lumière", but that is because they were printed in France and the text is in French—the maker's name is not an integral part of the product name, any more than "Kodak" is an integral part of the name of Ektachrome film. Should English-language Wikipedia articles be named using French syntax? Should the "Cadillac" article be renamed "General Motors Cadillac"? This article has been "Autochrome Lumière" since its founding over ten years ago, which, IMHO, means that it is ten years overdue for a rational renaming to simply "Autochrome". I am but a lowly copy editor, unfamiliar with the procedures for "moving" articles, not particularly interested in learning them, and apt to muck it up on my first try. Is there an adept out there who will second the motion and do the deed? Are there any arguments to the contrary? AVarchaeologist (talk) 00:35, 5 June 2013 (UTC)

  • With the redirect from plain "Autochrome" already existing, does it really matter? ;-P --Janke | Talk 06:18, 5 June 2013 (UTC)
Granted, it's not high on the Cosmic Importance scale, but it always strikes me, and presumably at least a few other people, as decidedly peculiar and a bit jarring. When linking to the article I always feel obliged to pipe to the full name, a minor nuisance. More relevant to the purposes of Wikipedia, it has probably led at least one student to turn in an assignment reporting that people a hundred years ago could take color photos by using "Autochrome Lumière" (with consequent need for that accent grave), resulting in a raised eyebrow and a less favorable evaluation on the part of the recipient. But perhaps that's just Autochrome paranoia... AVarchaeologist (talk) 22:29, 5 June 2013 (UTC)