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Tintypes II: haunting portraits of actors by Victoria Will


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Photographer Victoria Will has started a legacy at the Sundance Film Festival which consists of capturing portraits of actors and celebrities on tintypes instead of film or instead of using a digital camera.

The Sundance Film Festival is an annual film festival taking place in Utah at the beginning of the year. This year, it occurred between January 21 and February 1. The 2015 edition was also the second year in a row in which photographer Victoria Will decided to hold a different type of photo session with actors taking part at the event. Instead of using a film or a digital camera, the artist is capturing portraits using a technique that used to be prevalent back in the 1860s. It is called tintype photography and it involves capturing photos on thin metal sheets.

Victoria Will captures stunning portraits of actors using tintype photography

The legacy began at the 2014 Sundance Film Festival by Victoria Will, who was looking to create something that was unique, as anybody can grab a pro-grade DSLR and shoot portraits of famous actors or celebrities.

At the 2015 Sundance Film Festival, the photographer decided to keep it going and to create the Tintypes II project. The series offers a different take on these stars, one that is more natural, but strikes as weird because people are accustomed to seeing actors portrayed as perfect human beings. In magazines or in movies, the shots are most likely edited to remove all imperfections, while in Victoria’s portraits the actors look like regular folks.

The vintage look is joined by a dramatic feeling with this combination leading to a somewhat poignant sensation. The actors look trapped in another world and it seems like they have reconciled with the idea that they are never coming back. Either way, Victoria Will’s Tintypes II portraits are beautiful, special, and exceptionally executed.

Powerful flashes were used for Tintypes II to drastically reduce exposure times

Victoria Will is a renowned photographer who worked for the New York Post at the beginning of her career. Years later, she has managed to take her photography to amazing levels and her images have appeared in The New York Times, Vogue, and the Associated Press.

Tintypes II has been shot with a Graflex Super D camera. Her gear also included a bunch of flash guns in order to cut down the exposure time. Tintypes usually require many seconds or even minutes of exposure, but the flashes have allowed the actors to stand still only for a few moments.

Developing is the hard part when it comes to tintypes as you need toxic elements to complete the process. Additionally, while a tintype is freshly-taken, the artist must complete all the processing actions in just a few minutes and mistakes are simply not allowed.

More photos as well as details about Victoria Will can be found at her official website.

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