Autochrome portrait of a woman, c 1910.
© National Media Museum / Science & Society Picture Library
Photograph by Etheldreda Janet Laing. As if caught in a moment of quiet reflection this woman sits with a closed book in her lap. It is possibly a self-portrait of the photographer herself. The autochrome process was comparatively slow and required a lot of light. Indoor photographs are, therefore, less common, most photographers preferring outdoor scenes in bright sunlight. 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.