PHOTOCHROM GUIDE TO : Spitsbergen, Norway, 1900.

Invented 140 years ago in 1880s Zurich, Photochrom, a.k.a. Fotochrom, Photochrome or Aäc process, is an old school process for colourizing black-and-white negatives via the direct photographic transfer of a negative onto lithographic printing plates. The process is a photographic variant of chromolithography (color lithography).

Imaginatively selecting & mechanically colouring a black & white photo rather than doing it by hand.

The printer G. Hagen of Hammerfest (they’re stiil there in Hammerfest today) did a fine job. In Spisbergen’s lonely near-arctic landscape, Photochrom finds subject matter that benefits from its faded, pleasantly off-kilter imaginary colour grading.

From the archives of Norway’s Nasjonalbiblioteket archives & Library of Congress.

Spitsbergen. Snebræ ved Advent Bay. Circa 1900.
Unknown photographer. Photochrom process photograph printed by G. Hagen od Hammerfest, Norway.
Photochrom process photograph by G. Hagen od Hammerfest, Norway.

Spitsbergen. Fra Isefjorden. Circa 1900.
Unknown photographer. Photochrom process photograph printed by G. Hagen od Hammerfest, Norway.
Photochrom process photograph by G. Hagen od Hammerfest, Norway.

Spitsbergen. Smeerenburg ved Danskøerne. Circa 1900.
Unknown photographer. Photochrom process photograph printed by G. Hagen od Hammerfest, Norway.
Photochrom process photograph by G. Hagen od Hammerfest, Norway.

Spitsbergen. Fra Danskøerne. Circa 1900.
Unknown photographer. Photochrom process photograph printed by G. Hagen od Hammerfest, Norway.
Smeerenberg, Spitzbergen. Circa 1900.
Unknown photographer. Photochrom process photograph printed by G. Hagen od Hammerfest, Norway.
Verdalen at Advent Bay, Spitzbergen. Circa 1900.
Unknown photographer. Photochrom process photograph printed by G. Hagen od Hammerfest, Norway.
Advent Bay, Spitzbergen. Circa 1900.
Unknown photographer. Photochrom process photograph printed by G. Hagen od Hammerfest, Norway..
Tourist accomodation, Spitsbergen, Norway. Circa 1900.
Unknown photographer. Photochrom process photograph printed by G. Hagen od Hammerfest, Norway..
Drifting Ice, Spitsbergen, Norway. Circa 1900.
Unknown photographer. Photochrom process photograph printed by G. Hagen od Hammerfest, Norway..
Midnight sun over Advent Bay, Spitzbergen, Norway. Circa 1900.
Unknown photographer. Photochrom process photograph printed by G. Hagen od Hammerfest, Norway.

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