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First-World-War-Color News & Insight

Rare Color Photographs Of The First World War

By Michelle Bird on July 29th 2014


In the midst of the centenary of the First World War, rare color images taken by a small group of pioneering photographers have been given new light. There exist hundreds of photographs from all around the world; here are a selected few gathered from the international archives, of Europe, America, and Australia, bringing together a striking collection of war.


Autochrome was the early process of color photography and was patented in 1903 by the Lumière brothers in France. Color photographs of war are much scarcer than you think, as the image itself needed to be exposed for a longer period of time, so the scenes were thought out a bit more than the usual before shooting.

The collection includes portraits, soldiers getting ready for the battlefield, and cities destroyed by the conflict.

[REWIND: Photographers Of First World War Capture Chaos Front And Center]

For the next four years, countries around the world will be putting together events to remember all those that lost and put their lives on the line in World War I.

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CREDIT: Images, Courtesy of National Archives

[via] Express

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Michelle Bird is a Southern California based freelance photographer and writer, with a strong focus on music, editorial and portrait photography. She is the founder and creative force behind the music+culture online blog Black Vinyl Magazine, and can often be found in the photo-pit shooting the latest concerts in town. She has a strong passion for art, exploring, vintage finds and most of all animals. Connect with her through Email,
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Q&A Discussions

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  1. Eric Sharpe

    That’s pretty incredible.

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  2. Brandon Dewey

    I always like seeing old images in color.

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  3. John Simpson

    Awesome Images..

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  4. Ian Moss

    Excellent images.

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  5. Tyler Friesen

    Awesome post thanks!

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  6. Rui Pinto

    Just wonderful pics! Thank u!

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  7. Matthew Saville

    The colors are so weird, it’s almost like they’re hand-toned. (For anyone who remembers that process from back in the days of film!)

    And wow, did anybody else notice the dynamic range on that Arc De Triomphe shot? Crazy!!!

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    I wish the world would all learn from pictures like this and see war and peace prevail

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  9. Zeralda LaGrange

    Loved this. I love black and white, but something about seeing color pictures of history make it feel more real and tangible.

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    • Chuck Eggen

      So true Zeralda. It’s almost as if they are fake since we are so used to seeing them in black and white.

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  10. Peter Nord

    When I was a child our neighbor was a WWI vet. Had studied civil engineering so the put him in the artillery because he had the math and could measure the angles, etc. After, said he had enough of that and became a jeweler. Now of course I wish I had asked him more about it. Who knew I was living next to history.

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  11. Greg Faulkner

    Thats amazing

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  12. Rafael Steffen

    Thanks for sharing these amazing images and the process involved in producing photographs with colors back in the First World War.

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