Harry Taylor, Modern Tintype Photographer

Chris Higgins

Harry Taylor is a photographer with an unusual specialty, at least for this century: tintypes. A tintype is a photograph made on a metal plate (often iron, and apparently never tin). During its heyday circa the US Civil War, the tintype's main advantage was the durability of the metal -- unlike delicate paper prints or photographs on glass, the metal tintype could be carried around in a pocket and more or less survive the journey. The big bonus for photographers was the ability to make the photograph quickly, so the product could be exposed, developed, and handed to a customer in a matter of minutes.

Matt Morris, the filmmaker behind Mr. Happy Man, interviewed Taylor about his modern tintypes. The result is this peaceful, evocative short film. Why would a modern photographer make tintypes? To find peace. Enjoy.

American Tintype from Matt Morris Films on Vimeo.

See also: my Daguerreotype Q&A after visiting the End of the Oregon Trail.