These Tintype Photos of Star Wars Toys Will Make You Nostalgic on Multiple Levels

These Tintype Photos of Star Wars Toys Will Make You Nostalgic on Multiple Levels
From Gizmodo - December 9, 2017

With The Last Jedi rapidly approaching, everyones been thinking not only of the future of Star Wars, but also of its past.

For many of us, myself included, Star Wars didnt just stay on the screen. It became a big part of everyday life. Whether that meant Halloween costumes, toys, comics, novels, or cardboard box AT-ATsStar Wars became ingrained in our childhoods.

Photographer and art editor Matthew Magruder preserves his own childhood memories with his (Tiny) Star Warsphoto series, using a technique thats been around way longer than the movies themselves: Wet plate collodion, or tintype, a photographic process that dates back to the 19th century. It gives the images a uniquely vintage look that turns carefully arranged Star Wars toys into black-and-white works of art.

We first became aware of his art through io9's Star Wars Facebook group, The Carbonite Freezer(which you should totally join), where fans share their artwork, cosplay, thoughts, critiques (and pretty much anything else) about the Star Wars universe.

We caught up with Macgruder via email to discuss his process, how he came to photograph his old toys, and what Star Wars means to him.

io9: How did you get into photography (and specifically tintype)?

Matthew Magruder: Photography started in my 20s when I was big into rock climbing and would take photos with a 35mm Canon and B&W [film] during my climbing trips and excursions. As my interest grew, I became interested in historic/alternative photography (cyanotypes, Van Dyke Brown). This trajectory led to learning the wet plate collodion (tintype) process.Ive made thousands of tintypes but the stage of watching the developed plate go from a milky blue negative to a gorgeous warm positive right there in the fixer bath never gets old. The photographic processes I hold dear are ones that resonate with the way I see and feel about the world. Tintypes in particular feel like they connect with my way of seeing. I can shoot two tintypes back to back of the same person or scene and they are each unique in flaws and light and the moment.

io9: How did you decide to start taking pics of your Star Wars toys?

Magruder: My parents were going through their storage during a move and gave me a box of my childhood toys and memorabilia. And in these boxes were all my old Star Wars toys. As I was going through them I was flooded with so many wonderful memories of playing and the prominent role Star Wars has played throughout my life. I grew up a military brat so we moved frequently. I have numerous memories of connecting in a new place with friends around things like Star Wars.

Like so many others, the Original Trilogy films have always been comfort movies for me. I watch at them least once a year out of habit, nostalgia, and comfort, especially in preparation for the upcoming release of a new one.


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