CAMERA OBSCURA

Bryan Hiott revels in the beauty of tintype photography

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New Vintage // Photographer Bryan Hiott specializes in tintype photography, which has led to unique portraiture, as well as an examination of the microscopic flaws that appear when he develops images.

“I wanted to explore personality using tintype photography,” he recalls. “The images appeared vintage only from the antique process. These were portraits that felt new again.”

Pushing the boundary of portraiture, Hiott began to allow defects to occur during development that intentionally created unique images. A speck of pollen or the angle of the collodion pour would alter a tintype photo, creating border striations or fractal formations.

When he photographed and scanned these inclusions into high- resolution detail, he discovered a world of chemical topography unlike anyone knew existed. The manipulation has led Hiott back to landscape, though of a microscopic variety.

The new series, titled Abstractions, includes nine works. Each amplifies a grid-section of the same collodion plate. Hiott is working in conjunction with science faculty at Wofford to discover how these patterns form, and, as he puts it, “the why of what it is.”


Bryan Hiott offers tintype portrait sessions for $300-$1,000. Visit him at Greenville Open Studios, November 7–8, at Taylors Mill (250 Mill Street, Suite 00, Taylors); or view his work at bryanhiott.com.

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