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The Three-Color Photography

Runtime - length of the film: 14m47s
Language: english
Skill level:
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Adolf Miethe was responsible for the three-color, or Autochrome photographic process. Today exhibition curator Mr. Seibt welcomes us to view the works and achievements of Miethe that have been collected throughout the years.

Seibt has a somewhat personal connection to Miethe in that his in-laws lived not far from the area where Käthe Miethe, Miethe’s daughter resided. This close knowledge sparked Seibt's interest to delve into the personal life of Miethe.

Miethe is known historically in photography for two achievements; he invented the magnesium photo flash along with his colleague Johannes Gädicke around 1889. And his most notable achievement being the completion of his transcending three-color process. Before Miethe’s process came along the term “natural colors” had not even been thought of in the world of photography. It was Miethe who constructed the interchangeable camera. The camera’s principle was that three 9x24cm separate photos were to be made one after the other on photo plates with red, green and blue filters over each photo. Using the three separate photos further to view them in full color happened in that they were either made into a slide transparency, viewed through a device called the Chromascope, enabling all three color filtered images to be viewed as one color photo. The last method was viewing the images through a projector, which consisted of three light channels and three lenses and a control mechanism on the back to control each individual color and project it onto the wall.

Miethe was also known for many other firsts. He made a total of three expeditions in his time a s a photographer. Being less a scientist he concentrated on capturing images in color. He took the first color image of the pyramids and valley of the kings in Egypt and the first color shot of an arctic glacier. Miethe was a also a hot air balloon pilot, capturing aerial images of landscape and towns that were to be used militarily during the world war.

Miethe was seemingly a “Jack of all trades” and being so won him friends as well as enemies, but the ones that knew him personally truly saw him as multi-faceted. This exhibition focuses on the personal aspect of Miethe, but another exhibition is forthcoming about Miethe the artist.

Exposure of Proper Proof

Runtime - length of the film: 22m47s
Skill level:


The final part of the series on Fred Picker's photographic technique deals with magnification.

Professionals create proof sheets from their exposed and developed material before they print their pictures to check the quality of the shots they have taken. With a proof sheet it is easy for a photographer to determine the best negative from the range of exposures. Of course the proof sheet itself should be of the best possible quality. Watch this to find out how to get a proper proof sheet.

Development Time Test

Runtime - length of the film: 15m42s
Skill level:


The third part of the series on Fred Picker`s photographic technique is about film development.

The contrast of your photographic material can be manipulated with variations in development time. While the bright areas of the negative are developed only to a certain point, the optical density rises with increasing the development time. Using the Zone System, Fred Picker shows how you can determine development time for optimum contrast range.

Film Speed Test

Runtime - length of the film: 10m14s
Skill level:


The second part of the series on Fred Picker's photographic technique is dedicated to film speed. The film speed indicated on the package of film may vary slightly from the real rate of the photographic emulsion. Professional photographers test their photographic material before they use it.

Fred Picker uses the zone system to determine the effective film speed of his material. Watch this to learn how you can obtain an optimal exposure.

The Negative - Exposure and Development

Runtime - length of the film: 4m17s
Skill level:


This series of films, provided by Calumet USA, is a real treasure. They feature Fred Picker, a very famous printer from the United States. Drawing on his many years of experience in photographic technique, he developed some products that are well known under the name of ZONE VI. He has also shared his knowledge in numerous photography workshops.

In this series of instructional videos, Fred gives us a glimpse into his photographic technique. Fred believed the creative side of photography is enhanced by mastering the technical aspects. Excellent results in the printing process depend on the quality of the negative.

In the introductory video, Fred shows us how to create an ideal negative. He has developed three personal tests to determine equipment specifications. To get these results, it is necessary to keep the photographic equipment simple and consistent.