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Color photography is photography that uses media capable of capturing and reproducing colors. By contrast, black-and-white (monochrome) photography records only a single channel of luminance (brightness) and uses media capable only of showing shades of gray.
The foundation of all practical color processes, the three-color method was first suggested in an 1855 paper by Scottish physicist James Clerk Maxwell, with the first color photograph produced by Thomas Sutton for a Maxwell lecture in 1861. Color photography has been the dominant form of photography since the 1970s, with monochrome photography mostly relegated to niche markets such as art photography.