The first color photos of all time, shot by an engineer
Superintendent of the Royal Aircraft Factory at Farnborough during the first world war, excellent engineer, keen on aeronautics. All the qualities of a perfect english engineer and all the requirements of one of the first pioneers in color photography too. Mervyn O’Gorman, in facts, followed his passion for photography parallel to his job.
The photos were taken in 1913, year in which color photography made its first steps in the world, and have as subject his daughter, Christina, in surreal and dreamlike atmospheres that lead us directly into the creative and fanciful mind of Mervyn O’Gorman. Mainly shot on the Lulworth Cove shore, in Dorset, the images reveal a peculiar technique developed by Lumiere brothers in 1903, called Autochrome, which, allowing people to autonomously create their own color photographs, revolutionized the world of photography.
Red, seen in every single frame on Christina’s dress, is not random. This color, in facts, stands out in these first developing processes, providing a sort of guide for the eye of the spectator towards the main subject. An engineer, indeed, can’t take something random. O’Gorman saw then his photo projects increasingly gaining success and appearing in the first color photography exhibitions.