Lumber Cutting in the Mountains


In 1909 and 1910, Russian photographer Sergei Mikhailovich Prokudin-Gorskii (1863–1944) traveled extensively in the territory around the Ural Mountains, where he photographed railroad installations, factories, urban settings, and natural landscapes. In the summer of 1910 he traveled along the Samara-Zlatoust Railroad (built in 1885–90; now the Ufa-Chelyabinsk line), subsequently a link in the Trans-Siberian Railway. In 1905 a spur line was built from Viazovaia Station to Katav-Ivanovsk, located 37 kilometers to the southwest. The line passed by the Iuriuzan Iron Factory (in present-day Chelyabinsk Oblast). The Iuriuzan-Ivanovskii factory, as it was originally called, was founded in 1758 by Siberian entrepreneurs Ivan Tverdyshev and Ivan Miasnikov. This sweeping view of the hills surrounding the factory shows a forest (primarily spruce, pine and fir trees), with timber cut for firewood on the left. In the center, a solitary tall pine tree rises above young tree growth, which probably arose on the site of a conifer forest felled several years earlier. The peaks of the southern Urals hover in the right background. In the foreground, the wind rustles the leaves of the young growth. The blurring of the leaves was caused by motion during the three-stage extended exposure used by Prokudin-Gorskii in his photographic process. 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.

Date Created

Subject Date

Title in Original Language

Заготовка дров в горах

Type of Item

Physical Description

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

Last updated: September 28, 2016