Color film was in experimental phases in the early 20th century. There were few who could had the bulky slow equipment to shoot color. And those who did weren’t necessarily as close to the front lines, seeing how much they had to lug around and how long it might take to get the shot.
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1917 was also the tenth year that the Lumière brothers’ Autochrome color photography process was commercially available. One of the earliest color technologies, the Autochrome process, used microscopic grains of dyed potato starches to capture hues in a dreamy, pointillist mosaic.
Though unsuited for fast-moving action and combat, Autochrome was used by photographers to document the quieter moments away from the front, capturing the rest and reflection of soldiers engaged in a seemingly endless and senseless war.
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