Prokudin-Gorskii's photographs show:
sacred architecture and associated shrines of note (churches, cathedrals, monasteries, and mosques)
liturgical and secular objects of historic significance (vestments, icons, reliquaries, and other objects relating to saints, previous Tsars, and the Napoleonic War)
public works (the engineering, construction, and use of railroads, bridges, dams, canals, locks, and roads)
industry (iron, gold, and copper mining; production of cotton and silverware; professions as varied as shepherds and street vendors)
agriculture (tea plantations and farming activities such as planting and haying)
people, often posed in traditional clothing
views of cities, villages, waterfronts, landscapes, and flowering plants.