Metafilter’s signal:noise ratio renders the comment threads a waste of time, but with the magic of RSS I can scan the front page for old school posts like these:
From magullo, a link to this polished amateur continuation of the Library of Congress’ exhibit and project on the pre-WWI work of Russian photographer Sergei Mikhailovich Prokudin-Gorskii. Prokudin-Gorskii took three black and white exposures of each scene he shot, using a different filter for each; then, by projecting the plates back through the same filters he could create a single colour image on a wall. The LoC, and now Addison Godel and friends, have used modern image manipulation to reproduce some of these extraordinary images. [pic ; I made the grayscale one in Photoshop.]
   Russian settlers ca 1910, black and white image    Russian settlers ca 1910, colour image
Godel has it exactly right:

…I’d always felt that the past was somehow obscured by being viewed solely through a greyscale window. To see places, buildings, and especially people in color was to understand, on a very deep level, that they had at one time really, truly existed – that the “Typical Russian Peasant of Figure 32” was not merely some gaunt presence in the side of a textbook, but a genuine person who, if not for temporal chance, could have been my neighbor or my friend.

Shibori is a labour intensive Japanese textile dyeing method, and this is a labour intensive post from user lobakgo. Techniques similar to tie-dyeing are used to create patterns like those on the left,from which extraordinarily detailed images like the one on the right are built with months of painstaking effort. [pic 1, pic2]
   selection of Shibori patterns    Shibori image of house in winter landscape
This also ended up on MeFi, but I got it from jwz: the industrial photography of Edward Burtynsky.
   oil refinery image by Edward Burtynsky    mine tailings image by Edward Burtynksy