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Monday, May 27, 2024

Photo story: Wilmington’s 19th-century photographer finds himself in a 21st-century world

Harry Taylor in his studio downtown Wilmington where he develops film using true 19th century techniques. (Port City Daily photo/Johanna Ferebee)

WILMINGTON — Harry Taylor’s work lines the billboards on Highway 17. You’ll see it on your way in — and out — of Wilmington off the Cape Fear Memorial Bridge. His clientele includes the city itself and the biggest developments in the region.

Great commercial work is art; as Taylor said, “It has to be.”

But what you haven’t seen on billboards are Taylor’s 19th-century creations. One of the few craftsmen continuing the technique of tintype photography into the new millennium, Taylor prefers the original equipment and process credited with bringing God to the hands of men.

Raised by antique collectors, he was born an old soul. Not, dress-up-like-it’s-the-20s, or try-out-35-millimeter-film-because-it’s-now-cool, old soul. For Taylor, he doesn’t have a choice.

View the full photo story below:

Harry Taylor, last of his kind

Get in touch with Harry Taylor or view his work on his website.

Send tips and comments to Johanna Ferebee at

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