Drying Nets on Lake Seliger


In May 1910, Sergei Mikhailovich Prokudin-Gorskii (1863–1944) photographed extensively in the Ostashkov region of Tver Province, with special attention given to Ostashkov itself. This view was taken at one of the fishing villages by Lake Seliger on the town’s outskirts on Lake Seliger. The Seliger lake network, which connects with the Volga River basin, was a transportation link for Ostashkov as well as important for fishing. Seen here are fishing nets hung to dry on poles driven into the lake shallows. Lead weights are visible at the bottom of the nets. To judge by the frequency with which they appear in his work, the photographer appears to have been captivated by the form of the suspended nets. The mottled surface of the water at the shore’s edge is caused by the motion of ripples during the extended three-stage exposure of his camera. A primitive buoy rests on the nets in the center. Prokudin-Gorskii used a special color photography process to create a visual record of the Russian Empire. Some of Prokudin-Gorskii’s 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

Сушка сетей на оз. Селигер

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 http://www.loc.gov/pictures/collection/prok/.

Last updated: October 3, 2016