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#a230 :: Tintype

October 1, 2008

ENLARGEBalefully he stares at the lens and struggles to hold his pose.

The photographer has gone to lengths to make him appear comfortable – with a little wall and urn upon which to lean poeticallly – and “natural” – with tufts of grass and twigs underfoot and a bough of oak leaves overhead.

But he cannot look comfortable: He must stand stock still for up to 20 seconds. He doesn’t really want to be here. His collar is tight. The shoes pinch.

Are you ready? The photographer pulls the dark slide from the holder carrying the prepared sheet of japanned tin.

I guess so. The man steadies himself and exhales deeply, buy searching for inner calm.

Hold it now.

The photographer pulls off the lens cap and looks at the man. Okay now – just a little while longer.

The man waits. He cannot help blinking at least once, this and glancing around the studio: this blurs his eyes on the painfully slow emulsion.

In happier times, shop before the marriage, and the kids and the mortgage, this fellow might have enjoyed hanging out with these fellows. But not here. No longer. That life is gone.

The photographer vamps: Just a liiittle longer … the man sighs. His shoulders lift and his head moves, imperceptibly fuzzing the edges of his face.

… aaand, okay, sir. Thank you. He caps the lens, and the ordeal is over. The man’s picture is now inside the camera, and the photographer must get it out.

Filed under: Art, Artifact, Facsimile, Found Object | Comments (0)

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