Photographer rediscovers passion for tintype photography following tragedy


posted Thursday, November 15, 2012 at 1:43 PM EDT


The antique process of tintype photography is over 150 years old, but photographer Harry Taylor says it offers him something that shooting digital does not.

"I think the perfection that you get with digital is so easy, you just can't help but take it for granted," Taylor says in this poignant short film by Matt Morris. "With the antique process, the process itself speaks to the image, and it will make things happen [including] flaws."

Taylor has long been a digital photographer but rediscovered tintype after his mother passed away from cancer.

"I pretty much took film and digital photography as far as I could go to get a look I always had in my mind's eye," he notes. "And then I discovered the tintype. Some time after she passed away, it just became clear that this is what I needed to do."

He says the tintype process, where an image is created using a thin iron plate with a dark undercoating, helps him connect better with a portrait subject, who must sit still during the course of a 20-second exposure.

"There's just something different about holding still for a 10 to 20 second exposure to where you're reading the thoughts of someone," he says. "there's more of their thoughts that come through, there's more depth."

Check out the video, entitled "American Tintype," below. To see Taylor's tintype and ambrotype photos, click here.

(Via Gizmodo)