Monday, May 26, 2014

PHOTOGRAPHY - Tintypes by U.S. Soldier

"Soldier documents experience in Afghanistan in tintype photographs" PBS NewsHour 5/25/2014


LEAD:  California airman Ed Drew’s job as a gunner on combat search-and-rescue helicopters is one of the most dangerous in the military.

When he got word he was heading to Afghanistan last spring, Drew, who’s also a photographer, was inspired to make something lasting while he was there — in case he didn’t return.

Little did he know that by reviving a long lost art he would end up making history.

Our story, narrated by Scott Shafer, was produced by our partners at KQED San Francisco.

ED DREW, soldier/photographer:  When I grew up my life wasn’t incredibly easy, my mother worked all the time, my real father was out of the picture.

I really had to learn on my own how to hold myself up.  Photography is one of those things that I used as a vehicle for self-expression ‘cause I felt in my heart that I was an artist.

SCOTT SHAFER, KQED:  Working out of a makeshift darkroom, using highly reactive chemicals, metal plates and a large format camera… artist Ed Drew is putting his own spin on a 19th century art form.

ED DREW:  I like tintypes because it’s not just something simple … you have to set it up and you have to be really physical with it, you can’t just click.

You’re basically making a photo on a piece of metal.  You’re exposing it, developing it and fixing it all right then and there.

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