Sugomak Lake after Sunset
From 1909 to 1912, Russian photographer Sergei Mikhailovich Prokudin-Gorskii (1863–1944) made several trips to the territory around the Ural Mountains, where he photographed railroad installations, factories, urban settings, and natural scenes. Among the towns Prokudin-Gorskii visited was Kyshtym (in present-day Chelyabinsk Oblast), a settlement linked to an ironworking factory founded in 1757 by Nikita Demidov. When Prokudin-Gorskii visited, the Upper Kyshtym Factory was still one of the largest in the Urals. Defining natural features of Kyshtym are Lake Sugomak (shown in this photograph) and a nearby mountain of the same name. Lake Sugomak is not large in size (about 3.7 square kilometers, with an average depth of 3 meters), but it is a protected natural landmark, as is Sugomak Mountain and Sugomak Cave. Despite the factory nearby, the lake is considered pure and provides drinking water for Kyshtym. This photograph of the lake, taken just after sunset, falls into the category of a nature étude (study) that shows a lyrical side to the work of the photographer. Prokudin-Gorskii used a special color photography process to create a visual record of the Russian Empire in the early 20th century. Some of his photographs date from about 1905, but the bulk of his work is from between 1909 and 1915, when, with the support of Tsar Nicholas II and the Ministry of Transportation, he undertook extended trips through many different parts of the empire.
Title in Original Language
Озеро Сугомак после заката
Type of Item
Glass negative (presented as a digital color composite)
- Prokudin-Gorskii’s photographic work survives primarily in two forms: 1,901 black-and-white triple-frame glass plate negatives, made with color separation filters, which Prokudin-Gorskii used to make color prints and lantern slides; and 12 albums of sepia-tone prints, made from the glass negatives, which Prokudin-Gorskii compiled as a record of his travels and studies. The Library of Congress purchased the glass plate negatives and the albums from the Prokudin-Gorskii family in 1948. In 2004, the Library of Congress had digital color composites made from all the surviving glass negatives using a software algorithm to automatically align the color components. As with most historical photographs, title and subject identifications are corrected and enhanced through new research. Current information on the collection is at http://www.loc.gov/pictures/collection/prok/.
Last updated: September 28, 2016