In December, Mosaic Science hired me to create a tintype portrait of biologist Dr. Craig Venter for an upcoming article. Dr. Venter was the first to sequence the human genome and currently heads Human Longevity where they are working on cracking the code to human aging. Here are the tintypes I created and the article that was written by Roger Highfield.
I was thrilled (but a little nervous) when I pulled up to Human Longevity. The building is daunting in size! I knew that my time with Dr. Venter was very limited, but I had hoped to create 3 tintypes during our shoot and was focused on that goal. I was staged with my studio lights and camera set up in a lounge area and the darkroom just outside, visible from the indoor space. I had asked Dr. Venter’s assistant for a call letting me know when the Dr was on his way, so when I got that call I quickly rushed outside to coat the first plate. I had just under 20 minutes in his schedule when he entered the lounge. I approached him with my mask and apron on, gloves in hand, ready to shoot. Dr. Venter made himself comfortable in the lounge and I rushed outside to gather the first plate. After exposing the first plate, I ran outside to develop. Dr. Venter was able to watch the fixing of the first plate. He let out a ‘wow’ when his tintype came to life in the fix. I then asked if he could give me just a few more minutes for two more plates, which we then quickly made. The whole shoot was weeks in the making, but just lasted under 20 minutes!