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On a Wet Bough.
Photographs by Keliy Anderson-Staley.
Waltz Books, 2014. 144 pp., 85 duotone illustrations, 11x14".

 

Selected as one of the Best Books of 2014 by:

Publisher's Description

This stunning monograph of tintype portraits is culled from an archive of hundreds taken over the last decade by Keliy Anderson-Staley. The long exposure time needed to make a tintype requires that the sitter remain as still as possible to produce a sharp image. As a result, the subjects of these tintypes often display an intense and guileless expression that immediately connects their faces to those of 19th-Century portraits. Stripped of the modern default behavior of smiling in front of a camera, these images, with all the exquisite detail afforded by the wet plate process, suggest an important rethinking of what it means to photograph and be photographed.


Anderson-Staley mixes and pours the emulsion for each plate on site shortly before a portrait is made. The process of hand-coating each piece leaves behind traces of the maker that are as beautifully and deeply embedded in the final image as the perceived identity of the subject.

Read the review by David Ondrik


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