This collector's interest in photography began in college (a long, long time ago) while studying fine art. Art history reinforced this artist's conviction that the camera was as much a tool as the pencil, pen, and paint he had always employed, so the first serious camera was purchased and mastery of equipment and darkroom began with an aim toward expression instead of merely recording what the eye commonly sees.
A passion for English and American history, not just reading but collecting antique documents, cameras and images, began early. An equal fascination with how human life, and what it means to be human, was substantively changed by the invention of photography, and the social/psychological study of what people choose to record and print and preserve, greatly widened his interest in photography.
Many collectors choose a narrow topical subject, but this collector finds it hard to look past anything that tells something about the individual in images, so the Timebinder collection is unapologetically inclusive and eclectic. What is different here, however, from merely archiving faded and damaged photographs, is the goal of preserving them digitally and restoring them as nearly as one can to how they looked when they were first printed and used. This is how you see them on Timebinder – before the ravages of age and time.
As far as it is possible to determine, all the images on Timebinder are from the original negative (there is the very remote chance that more than one print was made originally and that it also has survived; the likelihood of another having been restored as you see them here is even more remote); only in the case of daguerreotypes, ambrotypes and tintypes can anyone be certain if they have the only version in existence. These are not public domain images.
In time, Timebinder will include information on collecting, archiving, preserving and restoring photographs.
Because many antique photographs have no identification – no names, no photographer, not even a place, he is attracted to the aesthetic quality of some and to the motivations and questions aroused by others. Photographs are introduced with comments that are historically and technically informed, and, as always when dealing with homo sapiens, an unavoidable measure of informed speculation that is not without elements of the absurd. The object is to enjoy, learn and share – not to offend. You the viewer will have your own natural and legitimate opinions about what you see, so feel free to comment while keeping it congenial.
We sometimes look at photos from another time and think that the people pictured look very different from us, when actually it is mostly about clothing and hair styles, the surroundings, the cultural attitudes about being photographed, and perhaps a little about diet and general health. The photos of this collector at left were taken by his son, a professional photographer, in a one half hour period under studio lighting using clothes owned and often worn by him. It is true that clothes do not make the man, but they sure do change how people see him!
This collector (now retired) spent a career as an artist, illustrator, graphic designer and photographer, first in his own agency and then for 27 years in corporate in-house advertising and marketing. He makes his home along the Blue Ridge Mountains in Virginia, with his wife of 40 years (the age of the marriage, not hers), a tiny blue parrot named Winken, and a seasonally variable population of canaries. His son, daughter-in-law, sister, brother and mother-in-law all live nearby.