With the unstoppable juggernaut of the iPhone changing the countenance of photography forever, it is extraordinary to consider that digital photography has been around for just 26 years. Yet in that brief period, it seems that the old ways have already become quaint and old fashioned, relics of a time now long behind us. In an effort to preserve a sense of our past, photographer John Cyr has created a record of one of the singular – and integral – elements of the analog photographer’s craft, in a series depicting the developer trays belonging to the world’s most renowned photographers.
In a work of extraordinary beauty and simplicity, the trays, belonging to the likes of Elliott Erwitt, Larry Fink, Sylvia Plachy, Mark Seliger, Ansel Adams and Bruce Davidson are presented against black backgrounds, the permutations, scars and slices in the metal telling the unique and enigmatic stories of the artists to whom they belong. In a world of selfies and instant gratification, it is a gorgeous work, a novel reflection on a changing artform and a reminder of the pure beauty of hands over machines.
Happy Monday! #anotherhappymonday
Developer Trays by John Cyr is out now, published by powerHouse Books.