Harry Taylor Shoots Ambrotypes On Glass

Harry Taylor donated his time and talent to HeartsApart.org, an organization created to keep families connected while our military is serving abroad. In the video below Harry shoots 3 portraits which involve creating a positive image on a sheet of glass. This type of photography was created in the 1850s and if you are as interested in it as I was, you can learn more here.

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Hey Lee, I should have had you come back down to St. Simons Island before I just sold my wet-plate camera and gear. It is a lot of work to do and get right. I learned this from one of the current day masters, Bob Szabo. John Coffer in New York State is considered the best in the field today.

Lee Morris's picture

Yes you should have Joe!

wow! what an amazing job to get a single picture... it gives even more value to the shot. Great video.

It's very interesting to see that whole process. You have to admire his devotion to keeping things authentic as well. With all that effort it's confusing that he would do the full length portrait with that anchor stand showing so prominently.

Harry was cool, He showed up and started setting all this up in our parking lot. I had no idea I was going to do this video until I was told he was shooting Ambrotypes as he was getting ready. Shot completely on the fly.

With all that effort going into each shot, I would think they'd take a little care to have a better backdrop and hide the head brace.

I'm certainly not trying to be negative, I still love it, and appreciate seeing the process.

Brett Maxwell. I'll let Harry answer your comment further but I was there on the shoot
as Harry was shooting for us for HeartsApart.org and I had the feeling that Harry wanted to show the focus stand (also for holding pose to keep head in place) for people that aren't familiar with how photographs were created around the Civil war and pre 1860 with an 8x10 view camera. Also I thought the parachute was a great background as it was blowing in the wind in the 10 second exposures and was fluid. And I thought it was rather cool to see background of the top of his truck in the full length shot. Overall remarkable.

Absolutely, I did want the head brace in the shot. I'll change a few things next time, but I got the feeling I was looking for.
Joe- sorry I didn't get down to Charleston fast enough, I wanted to buy some of your wet plate gear.
I took a class with John Coffer to get this going(a few years back). It was alot of fun,and I hope
it shows. Hats off to Brownie and Rob for getting me involved in

I remember the first time I had to do this process in college and I cant tell you how hard it was to follow it through and make the image. We had a huge darkroom and an even bigger indoor studio. RESPECT to this man who manages to pull it off almost with ease outdoors with a mobile darkroom.