Rare World War One Colour Photographs by Hans Hildenbrand
Hans Hildenbrand wasone of 19 official German photographers documenting the war, but the only one to shoot in colour. The subject matter includes numerous trench shots showing soldiers standing to, relaxing and manning a Maxim Gun. While others show supply depots backdropped by the ruins of towns and villages. Hildenbrand’s images were taken mostly in the Alsace and Champagne sectors during 1915 and 1916.
Hildenbrand’s film was less sensitive than other contemporary films and required longer exposures as such his subjects would have had to remain still while he took their photograph, meaning that many of the photographs would have been somewhat staged. But this does not detract significantly from their insight into life in the German trenches. Arguably the vividness of the photographs’ colours bring the period to life much faster than the black and white contemporary photographs were are used to seeing of the First World War.
Gervais-Courtellemont’s photograph of a French gun crew c.1914
While Hildenbrand was the only German photographer to use a colour process during the war he has a counterpart in French photographer Jules Gervais-Courtellemont. Gervais-Courtellemont used the Lumiere’s Autochrome technique and took photographs during the battles of the Marne and Verdun. Both Gervais-Courtellemont and Hildenbrand later worked for National Geographic after the war,
(Source: historicalfirearms, via historyofjasmine)