Two girls on a balcony, 1908.
© National Media Museum / Science & Society Picture Library
An autochrome of her daughters leaning on a balcony railing, taken by Etheldreda Janet Laing. The sunshine accentuates the bright colours of the girls' dresses and the flowers in the foreground. Both wear large sunhats and the younger girl carries her toy dog under one arm. In the summer of 1908 Laing took a series of autochrome portraits of her children in the garden of the family home, Bury Knowle. As a young woman she studied art in Cambridge and became an enthusiastic amateur photographer. The autochrome process was the first really practicable and commercially successful process for colour photography. Patented in 1904, it was invented by French film pioneer brothers Louis and Auguste Lumiere. Autochromes are transparent images on glass, similar to lantern slides.