• Marcello Picollo IFAC-CNR
  • Barbara Cattaneo Opificio delle Pietre Dure


photography, film, preservation, conservation, restoration, digital restoration, digitalization


The Gruppo del Colore – Associazione Italiana del Colore (Color Group – Italian Color Association, https://gruppodelcolore.org/?lang=en), in collaboration with the Istituto di Fisica Applicata “Nello Carrara” of the Consiglio Nazionale delle Ricerche (IFAC-CNR) and the Opificio delle Pietre Dure (OPD), organized the first edition of the international conference on “Colour Photography and Film: sharing knowledge of analysis, preservation, conservation, migration of analogue and digital materials” on 29th and 30th March 2021. Due to the pandemic, it was held online. The organization of the conference started in early 2020, while we were experiencing the lockdown because of Covid-19.

Although the idea to launch a conference on the state of art of contemporary photography was born within the Italian research project called Memoria Fotografica (https://www.ifac.cnr.it/images/stories/libri/archivio/BOOK/Memoria-fotografica.pdf), which was active during 2018-19, a new situation emerged in 2020, therefore also a new involvement. The growing international interest in visual memory was a direct reaction to this change. Issues related to photo and film material’s preservation, conservation, investigation, transmission and use became the topics of the conference.

Contributors were asked to share their recent research and experience on analogue and digital colour photographic and film materials. Highlights on preservation, conservation, restoration, digital migration of colour photographs and film were encouraged, including on the following topics: a) Historical and current technologies, materials, processes; b) Preservation issues and sustainability; c) Contemporary Photography Preservation Issues; d) Conservation treatments, experiences, case studies; e) Emergency preparedness and recovery; f) Digitization and digital recovery of photographic objects and film materials; g) Research, Technologies and New Tools in Film Restoration.


The scientific committee of the conference selected 30 oral presentations of 20 minutes each and 16 digital posters given as short presentations of 5 minutes. The conference counted around 140 attendees from 15 countries. The book Colour Photography and Film: Sharing knowledge of analysis, preservation, conservation, migration of analogue and digital materials – 2021: Conference Proceedings, published in August 2021, was a direct outcome of the convening. It came out as part of the open access Research Culture and Science Books (available here: https://www.rcasb.eu/index.php/RCASB/catalog/book/1).

The scientific committee, whose contribution had a great impact on the success of the event, was then invited to select the most significant papers in order to publish a special issue of the Colour Culture and Science Journal (CCSJ), where the extended contributions were submitted to a double blind peer reviewing process before their publication. The same process was applied to two additional papers, which were selected among the external submissions because they were found to be important to the advancement of the field.

The present special issue of the Journal covers the history of photographic process, their technicality and practise, nowadays nearly lost: Nayla Maaruf, Maria Kokkori, and Sylvie Pénichon investigated the principles of the Flexichrome color process; Laura Covarsì the Jos-Pe collection found at the Rijksmuseum of Amsterdam; while Nicholas Le Guern discussed the three colour Kodachrome, one of the most iconic and widely missed process; Nadezhda Stanulevich deepened the knowledge on the versatile additive process created by Prokudin-Gorskii.

The history of motion film processes was also investigated through the work of Paolo Tosini, who described and discussed the conservation of Prizma Color films found in the Mexican National Film archive; while Louisa Trott outlined the birth of the color motion photography for the amateurs.

Simone Venturini and Serena Bellotti, as well as Chenfei Fan, Stefano D'Aronco, Giorgio Trumpy and Jan Dirk Wegner presented two papers dedicated to the necessity of a wider view on the film and non-film material that are fundamental to achieve a philological restoration and the restoration and digital methods involved in the reconstruction of lenticular films, respectively.

Two extra conference papers were also admitted to the current special issue. They were by Sabrina Negri, who explored the conservation of the experimental hand painted films by Stan Brakhage, and Ivan Magrin-Chagnolleau, who presented a pedagogical approach to photo retouching and colour grading.

As editors of this Special Issue, we would like to remind you all that CCSJ is a double diamond publication and that all the contributors and scholars involved in the peer reviewing process act as volunteers, in the present case, for the empowerment of the preservation, conservation, restoration and science of the photography and film community.




How to Cite

Picollo, M. and Cattaneo, B. (2022) “Editorial”, Cultura e Scienza del Colore - Color Culture and Science, 14(01), pp. 1–6. Available at: https://jcolore.gruppodelcolore.it/ojs/index.php/CCSJ/article/view/308 (Accessed: 11 August 2022).