Some readers may be aware of the work done by Sergey Mikhaylovich Prokudin-Gorsky.
Commissioned by Tsar Nicolas II to photographically document the Empire, Prokudin-Gorsky traveled in a railroad-car darkroom across Russia from around 1909 to 1915 taking hundreds if not thousands of photographs using a three-image colour process. When projected (or displayed on a computing device) these images created a fabulous coloured record of the time.
Apart from the fact that we can see exactly how the costumes of the people appeared in glorious colour, it also captures village and town scenes, many of which represent what Russian villages had probably looked like for 200 years. It is in this latter aspect that the real value lies for me as a lover of wargames terrain. The detail of the images is superb and inspires me to build models of these rustic structures. It also shows me just how much vegetation stands around these villages and makes me think about how I structure villages and towns on the gaming table. You can expect to see some of the ideas illustrated below crop up on these pages in the future.
The Prokudin-Gorskiĭ photograph collection, can be viewed online at Library of Congress here.