Color photography was explored in the mid-19th century. Early color experiments require extremely long exposure (hours or days for camera images) and can not prevent color fading when exposed to white light.The first permanent color photograph was shot in 1861 and uses the tri-color separation principle first published by James Clark Maxwell in 1855.
Maxwell’s idea is to take three separate black and white photographs and red, green and blue filters . This provides the photographer with the three basic color channels that are required to recreate a color image. Transparent image prints can be projected through similar color filters and plotted on a projection screen. Color paper can be produced by superimposing the carbon footprints of the three photos taken in their extra colors.
Russian photographer Sergei Mihajlovic Prokudin-Gorski uses this color separation technique with a special camera that consistently exposes the filtered tri-color images to different parts of the oblong plate. Since his exhibits were not simultaneous, the pictures have different defects.
The development of color photography is retained by the limited sensitivity of early photographic materials that are most sensitive to blue, slightly more sensitive to green and almost insensitive to red. The discovery of a paint sensitizer by Hermann Vogel in 1873 makes it possible to add sensitivity to green, yellow and even red. Improving color sensitivity and ongoing improvements in the overall sensitivity of emulsions consistently reduces exposure time.The first commercial success of the color process was introduced by the Lumiers in 1907.