Matt Morris has created a slight but beautiful film about Harry Taylor, a photographer fromWilmington, North Carolina. Following the death of his mother, Harry turned to the ancient medium to tintype to help "take away the static." The film is less than four minutes long but serves up a remarkably clear window into Harry's journey to where he is now, and does a good job of sampling, or implying, the richness and depth of his methods and concerns, and his photographs.
This is an example of what used to be called "alternative process" photography—the deliberate use of an offbeat or antiquated process for expression. Of course, nowadays all optical/chemical processes are "alternative," so it remains to be seen what name the old alternatives will acquire in the new age.
Filmmaker Matt Morris has promised to stop by TOP later today to answer questions and field comments, so if there's something you'd like to ask him, please do. I can't promise he'll address every comment but at least you'll hear directly from him about his work.
You'll like this, I think—
(Thanks to Matt Morris Films)
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A book of interest today:
(To see all the comments, click on the "Comments" link below.)
Featured Comments from:
Matthew Miller: "Mike, Harry actually gives an answer to your question in the film: antique process."
Eric Rose: "I tend to like these tintypes better than some I have seen. The ghoulish portraits made by some tintype practitioners leave me quite cold."
Howard Sandler: "Really enjoyed Matt's film. I appreciated the variety of close detail shots interspersed with the wider views, and the slow rotating zooms on the tin types was an effective use of the Ken Burns effect. Loved the way the credits 'developed' too."
Colleen Leonard: "My first contemporary tintype experience was Joni Sternbach's surfer series and then had the pleasure to see Quinn Jacobson at work at the Foire de la Photo in Bièvres, France. Tintypes are going strong in Paris thanks to him I would say. Soho Photo Gallery has a tintype exhibition on in NYC right now—Masterplaters collective. I really think tintypes are the thing to do right now. Everything digital is not."
Robin Dreyer: "I'm also happy to report, having met him a couple of times, that Harry is a really good guy."
John Sarsgard: "It's all about giving yourself permission to do the work you love, whether it be tintypes, photograms, photoshop, or whatever, then finding the elbow room in your life to do it. Film, digital, large format, manipulated, wet plate, and all those choices ain't the issue. You don't have to argue with the world about what's best. You just have to do what you love and also make a living."