30/04/2015 07:33 BST | Updated 30/06/2015 06:12 BST

100-Year-Old Colour Photos Taken On The Beach


At first glance, there is nothing particularly remarkable about these photographs of a teenage girl on a British beach.

The sepia tone is artful, as if it's been filtered by Instagram, and the flowing style of the girl's red hair is very much in fashion.

But look more closely at what she's wearing when these lovely photos were taken and you'll see that she's not a modern teenager at all.

For these shots were taken in 1913 at Lulworth Cove in Dorset – and they are some of the earliest surviving colour photographs.


The images, which are currently on display at the National Media Museum, Bradford, are among a collection of the world's oldest surviving photographs.

The teenage subject was Christina O'Gorman, posing for her father, electrical engineer and photographer Mervyn O'Gorman back in 1913.

Mervyn was 42 at the time when he took the images of his daughter, who languidly sits, in different vibrant red outfits, including a swimsuit, a cloak and a shirt.


Mervyn was known as an early pioneer of colour photography and used the autochrome process to capture the haunting images.

Patented in 1903, the process involved using glass plates covered in potato starch grains to filter pictures with dye.

The National Media Museum explained: "The comparatively long exposure time has given the sea a glassy quality and the large aperture setting and narrow depth of field has put Durdle Door in the background into soft focus."


The repetition of the red attire was due to the fact that the vibrant colour captured particularly well in an autochrome process.

Mervyn died in 1958, with his wife Florence passing 27 years beforehand in 1931. As to Christina's life, there are no recorded details.

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