5 Dec 2017

Collapsing time and other photographic tricks

Several months ago I posted about some 'tintypes' I'd been making. This project continues to chug away quietly in the background - I'm finding that only specific sorts of faces work for these portraits, so I am only shooting them when I come across someone who gives me that 'Aha!' sensation. Writer Catherine O'Shea's china-doll colouring somehow works perfectly even in black and white, while artist Ella Hempsted's Pre-Raphaelite hair gives the ideal frame for her face - I'll share these another time when the project feels like it's coming to some kind of fruition. 

Part of the reason I like making these fauxtypes is because of the way they collapse time - smashing past and present together and carrying it forward into the future. My latest subject is interested in the same thing, adding another layer to the images again. 

I'd been following Jordan J. Lloyd's Dynamichrome project online for ages; vintage images are digitally recoloured in astonishing detail, bringing the past vibrantly to life. As a fan, I attended the exhibition that launched the book The Paper Time Machine, created with Wolfgang Wild of Retronaut. Imagine my surprise when, describing the event to my studiomate, she revealed that he was a childhood friend. I jumped at the chance to add Jordan's 'tintype' to the gallery and we met at the Barbican. This itself is a total layer cake of history and I couldn't resist bringing the 'real' camera along to try and capture some of those surfaces - medieval, Brutalist, contemporary - too. Check out the Dynamichrome project online or on Instagram and buy the book! (This video is so worth watching for the jawdropping skills displayed).


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