Hither Woods / 3 February 12, 2023February 12, 2023 | johntodaro Montauk NY Share this:FacebookTwitterLike this:Like Loading...
6 thoughts on “Hither Woods / 3”
This photograph is quite appealing, and I’m not sure why I don’t miss the whites. Can you comment on why you chose to render the photo with this limited range of tones?
An excellent question (and one which makes me feel like I should starting writing again). 😊 I’ve had an interest in 19th century photography for years and the inspiration for this series is drawn, in part, from tintypes. Maybe you recall the small metal photographs of long-gone relatives? Technically speaking, they weren’t tin; they’re thin sheets of lacquered iron, and because of that, the earlier name “ferrotypes” is more accurate.
Tintypes were a direct positive. The light-sensitive metal was exposed within a camera (actually producing a negative image), but because the tintype’s surface is dark metal, the transparent areas appear black and the image looks like an under-exposed positive. That’s the inspiration for the missing whites and compressed tonal range.
As I mentioned to Lynn in the previous post, those old print types are rich with melancholy, and to me, many develop a profound loveliness over time. As Susan Sontag observed, this aspect of photography is independent of the original intent of the photographer.
I collect these images and while working on this series I kept an 1890 portrait of a woman next to my monitor.
I have seen “tintypes,” and maybe that’s why I don’t miss the white in your photograph. Thank you for such an interesting and surprising response to my question.
Visit much appreciated–thanks!
Another thank you for the discussion and yes, more writing is a good thing!