Stephen White is a longtime collector who began as one of the first photographic art dealers in the United States when he opened his Los Angeles gallery in 1975. He mounted two major traveling museum exhibitions from his collection, organized significant gallery shows, and published numerous catalogues and a book. In 1990 he sold his collection to a Japanese museum and soon began to collect again.

The works on exhibition are from his second collection, and they represent one collector’s personal view of color photography. Included are excellent examples of a variety of color techniques, many complicated and valued for their richly intense color or prized for their delicate subtleties.

The exhibition in not meant to be an encyclopedic overview of all color processes, however. The focus here is on images rather than techniques. Stephen’s eye tends toward the unusual and arcane. He is drawn to an image because of its compelling aesthetic character ( unique color, composition, mood), or he may be fascinated by the photographs political references or historical context.

We are pleased to share Stephen’s personal vision and passion for photography in the hopes of encouraging others.

Dennis Reed, Dean
Fine, Performing & Media Arts

Color Photography Timeline

At its birth, the fact that photography could not record and reproduce the actual colors of a subject was mitigated by the exquisite detail and tonal quality of the first practical process, the daguerreotype. However, the desire for full-color images-or some approximation to realistic color-occupied many photographers and experimenters throughout the 19th century, and indeed has continued to do so. A great number of substitute methods have been devised to add colors to an image either by hand or by chemical processes, or by printing black-and-white negatives on single-color materials.

1802 Thomas Young advances the idea that color are sensations, not physical properties of objects, and that they can be created by additive color synthesis: stimulation of the eye with various proportions of mono pack-emulsion paper for negative-positive printing. The idea is elaborated in the 1840s to 1860s by von Helmholtz in the three-color of vision.

1810 Johann Seebeck notes that silver plates with partial sensitization with silver chloride duplicate the colors of light falling on them. In the late 1840s this becomes the basis of heliochromy: direct color images recorded on daguerreotype plates, investigated independently by Edmond Becquerel and Niepce de Saint-Victor. It is also the basis of the Hillotype hoax of Rev. Levi Hill in the early 1850s.

1855 James Clerk Maxwell suggests the use of filters to obtain primary-color records by photographic means for use in creating color images according to the Young-Helmholtz theory.

1861 Using black-and-white slides photographed through primary-color filters by Tomas Sutton, Maxwell demonstrates additive color synthesis. The results are imperfect, and the method works by a fluke not explained for almost 100 years, but the basis fo modern color photography has been laid.

1862 Louis Ducos Du Hauron patents a camera with internal beam splitters to divide the image from a single lens into three images. This is the basis of the one-shot color camera and related devices perfected by Frederick Eugene Ives in the 1890s and after, notably the Kromskop for integrated viewing of three-color black-and-white images as a single full-color image.

1868-1869 Ducos Du Hauron publishes Les Couleurs en Photographie setting forth the theoretical bases of almost all additive and subtractive color synthesis processes subsequently developed by others, including Mosiac Systems and screen processes in which tiny primary-color elements at the film plane perform the fundamental color analysis of the image. At the same time, charles Cros independently demonstrates image synthesis based on three-color separation negative and positives. Both men take red, blue, and yellow(instead of green) as primary colors, but because of the green component of yellow light their demonstrations are reasonably successful.

1894 John Joly patents the first line screen process for additive color images; it is introduced commercially in 1896.

1904 The Lumiere brothers obtain patents for an additive-color plate with an integraal mosaic; introduced in 1907 as the autochrome plate, it is the first truly successful process for general photography in color.

1906 The Finlaycolor Process for producing additive color images using improved regular screens(rather than random mosaics) is patented; the process is applied in the separate Thames Colour Screen(1908) and the integral Thames Colour Plate(1909).

1910 The Dioptichrome plate, a regular screen additive color process that became more popular than the Lumiere Autochrome process is patented; an improved version in the 1920s is introduced as Dufay-Color.

1912 Rudolph Fischer and H. Siegrist patent a subtractive color film composed of three layers, each effectively sensitive to one primary color, and incorporating Color Couplers to produce dye images by chromogenic development as the silver positive image is produced in the course of reversal processing. Their work draws on prior dye development discoveries by Liesegang(1895) and Homolka(1905), and forms the basis for all subsequent monopack subtractive color films, a priority that is seldom acknowledged.

1914 The Fischer-Siegrist method is introduced in an amateur movie film for Two-Color Photography, rather than three-color.

1925 The Jos Pe Company introduces a dye imbibition process in which relief images from color separations are dye in subtractive colors(cyan, magenta, yellow) and the dye images are assembled by a transfer process in register on a single gelatin film; it is the basis of the subsequent Technicolor, wash-off relief, and dye transfer processess.

1934 Gasparcolor materials introduce the first commercial dye destruction process, in which a subtractive color image is formed by removing unnecessary dyes rather than forming the required amounts of dye in the emulsion of a print material.
The process is an improvement of the Utocolor process of 1910, and builds on patents obtained by J.H.Christensen from 1918 on; its is the forerunner of the Cibachrome process introduced after World War II.

1935 Leopold Godowsky and Leopold Mannes, working with the Kodak Research Laboratories, produces Kodachrome film, the first successful monopack, subtractive color reversal film. It solves the problem of color couplers migrating between emulsion layers by including them in separate developers rather than in the emulsion.

1936 Agfa produces a subtractive color reversal film with color couplers fixed in place in the emulsion layers and using a single developer to produce the positive image.

1939 The Agfacolor process introduces a monopack color negative film and a mono pack-emulsion paper for negative-positive printing.

1942 Kodacolor film, the first negative film with completely anchored color couplers in each emulsion layers is introduced.

1950 Kodacolor negative film is produced with residual colored couplers to produce a self-masking feature that compensates for the printing deficiencies of the cyan and magenta image dyes.

1972 A self contained, single-sheet color diffusion transfer film is introduced, Polaroid SX-70 film.

1981 Agfa and Ilford introduce films that produce black-and-white negatives by chromogenic action with a standard color negative developer.

1982 Kodak introduces diffusion transfer materials for color printing in the darkroom from negatives or transparencies.

1983 Kodak introduces a one-sheet diffusion transfer color camera film in which the positive image can be peeled away after processing so that the bulky base material and negative layers can be discarded.

1983 Polaroid Corp. introduces a diffusion transfer 35mm color slide film in corporating an additive-color screen.

Encyclopedia of Photography, International Center of Photography





丹尼斯 ·瑞德 院长


自诞生之日起,摄影术无法记录或者复制事物本身彩色的事实就被达盖尔法 – 第一种具可行性的冲印方法 – 所提供的优雅细节和色调特性所改变。然而,希望得到彩色影像,或者某种尽可能的现实主义色彩的努力仍然贯穿了19世纪许多摄影师和实验者的人生。事实上,直到今天这个努力仍在继续。为了给影像加上色彩,大量替代方法被发明,不论是手工着色,还是借助化学反应,或者是在单色材料上做分色影像处理。


1810年,约翰·斯别克注意到银版以氯化银部分感光时可以复制光的色彩。1840年代后期,这个发现成为彩色照相术的基础:直接把彩色影像记录在达盖尔版上, 埃德蒙·柏克奎瑞尔和尼派克·徳·圣维克多曾分别探索过这种技术。这也是乐维·希尔1850年早期希洛彩板“骗局”的技术基础。




1868-1869年,杜卡斯·杜·昊容发表了“彩色照相术”,为其后所有加减法色彩合成工艺奠定了理论基础,包括马赛克系统和丝网工艺 — 在一层网膜上用细小的三原色元素对影像进行基本的色彩分析。同时,查理斯·克洛斯独立演示了基于三色分离正负像的影像合成。两个人都是使用红蓝黄(而不是绿)作为原色,但是因为绿中包含的黄色光,他们的演示都还算是成功。








1925年,乔思培公司推介一种染料吸入工艺,分色片中的雕版用相减式色彩(青,品,黄)印染,然后对齐转印到一张明胶底片上得到染色影像;这是其后的特艺色彩, 可冲洗雕板,和染色转印工艺的基础。

1934年,盖思帕彩色材料引进了第一个商业印染减色工艺,通过剥离而不是增加感光乳剂中的染料来制作减色影像。这个工艺是1910年尤托彩色工艺的改进版,在J.H. 克里斯廷森1918年后所获专利的基础上研制;也是二战后引入的西霸克罗姆工艺的先驱。