Last spring, my mom sent me a call for entry for a group photography exhibit about fighting fires in San Francisco. She thought that some of the images I'd made in my studio of fire balls would be interesting to submit. I spent an evening spraying an aerosol can of isopropyl alcohol onto an open flame and capturing the results. (don't try this at home)
I sent two or three of these shots in and eventually heard back from Dwayne Newton, the guy who is curating the show. Dwayne didn't think that these shots were exactly right for the exhibit, however, he took a look at my website and saw my tintypes. Tintype portraits of San Francisco fire fighters would be amazing. I thought this was a tremendous idea. So he and I endeavored to set up a series of shoots of fire fighters. Ten in all.
Knowing that these images were destined to be on display in a gallery, I thought they should have some type of special presentation. I don't like the idea of a piece of glass being between the viewer and the plate. Seeing a tintype in person, you can really appreciate the tonal values and the depth. The image seems to float just off the surface. I decided to utilize some rescued redwood that is in storage at my parent's house. Collaborating with Luke Stevens, we designed and he built ten gorgeous frames. Shadow boxes, backed with velvet with the plates floating off the background. Perfect.
The show opens this Saturday, September 17th 2016 at The Harvey Milk Photo Center in San Francisco. The Art of Fire-Fighting The Beast and runs through October 16th.