Incredibly, color photography was first attempted way back in 1840. However, the quality and range of the color was often incredibly limited, as in the complicated “Hillotype” process invented in 1850 by the American Daguerreotypist Levi Hill. It wasn’t until nearly a 100 years later, in the 1940s, that the technology to produce color prints became widely available, yet even then black and white photography remained the accepted medium for professional photographers. In fact, serious photographers had little respect for color considering it the reserve of the postcard, the family snapshot or consumer advert. This all changed though in the 60s and 70s when pioneering photographers, Stephen Shore, Joel Meyerowitz, and William Eggleston began to use color to document city life. Here is just a tiny taster of some of their revolutionary work.
New York City, 1974.
New York City, 42nd St and Fifth Ave, 1974.
From the Car, New York Thruway, 1975.
Couple in Red Car at Drive-In Restaurant, Memphis, TN, 1965-68
Camel Coats, 5th Avenue, New York City, 1975.
Miami Beach, Florida, November 13, 1977.
Los Angeles Airport, California, 1974.