The Appeal of Tintype Photography in a Digital Age

More

In American Tintype, professional photographer Harry Taylor describes the distinctive imperfections and limitations that drew him to the 19th century technique. With a bulky camera and complex chemistry, shooting and developing images becomes a slow, labor-intensive craft.

"The great thing about doing all these processes is you really get deeply involved with it," he explains. The images are inherently unlike modern photographs because of how long they take to expose. "Sometimes, you know, after a 20-second exposure, someone will go 'oh wow' -- there's just something different about holding still for a 10 to 20-second exposure ... you're reading the thoughts of someone ... there's more depth." Taylor's haunting tintypes and ambrotypes (see more on his website) capture contemporary faces in way that feels of another era, if not otherworldly.

Harry TaylorHarry Taylor

This short documentary by Matt Morris goes behind the scenes at Taylor's studio to watch the photographer at work. Morris has had two other short documentaries featured on the Atlantic Video channel: Mr. Happy Man, about a beloved local character in Bermuda, and Pickin' & Trimmin' about a barber shop bluegrass group in North Carolina. 

For more films by Matt Morris, visit http://www.mattmorrisfilms.com/.

Jump to comments

Kasia Cieplak-Mayr von Baldegg is the executive producer for video at The AtlanticMore

Cieplak-Mayr von Baldegg's work in media spans documentary television, advertising, and print. As a producer in the Viewer Created Content division of Al Gore's Current TV, she acquired and produced short documentaries by independent filmmakers around the world. Post-Current, she worked as a producer and strategist at Urgent Content, developing consumer-created and branded nonfiction campaigns for clients including Cisco, Ford, and GOOD Magazine. She studied filmmaking and digital media at Harvard University, where she was co-creator and editor in chief of H BOMB Magazine.

Get Today's Top Stories in Your Inbox (preview)

Saving Central: One High School's Struggle After Resegregation

Meet the students and staff at Tuscaloosa’s all-black Central High School in a short documentary film by Maisie Crow. 


Elsewhere on the web

Join the Discussion

After you comment, click Post. If you’re not already logged in you will be asked to log in or register. blog comments powered by Disqus

Video

Where Time Comes From

The clocks that coordinate your cellphone, GPS, and more

Video

Computer Vision Syndrome and You

Save your eyes. Take breaks.

Video

What Happens in 60 Seconds

Quantifying human activity around the world

Writers

Up
Down

Just In