In an era of instant gratification, to see the products of that generation take a step in a different direction and appreciate the old craft seems to be happening across the creative skills board. Tyler Orton is one of these young artist taking a step “backwards” and taking the time to learn the ways of old. Like many photographers, Tyler first got into photography through his school’s art program and took it to his own personal interests, skateboarding and snowboarding. His strong eye and ability to capture the energy of a moment makes Tyler’s work very memorable. I took a minute to chat with Tyler about his photography, snowboarding and more…
1) How many years have you been shooting photos and what first got you into photography?
I’ve been shooting since I was 17, so 6 years now. When I was taking a photo class my senior year in highschool, my teacher suggested that I kept shooting and after that, the thought of shooting my friends snowboarding sounded like a lot of fun. So I bought his backup body and a stock lens, and thats when it all started.
2) Who are the Sweeney Todds? The Sweeney Todds are everyone you see in the edits. Too many names to list. But it started when Jd Dennis, Logy B, Justin Norman and myself moved into a house that used to be a barber shop. I had recently bought a camera that could do both video and photo and thought we would make a couple edits just for shits. When I saw how hyped they were to see footage of themselves, I kept filming.
3) Do you think that switching between video and photography gives you an advantage in figuring out the best angles to shoot from? I’d say you can apply one view to the other for sure. It’s helped open my eyes a little more and understand what real filmers go through, where they might be shooting from when we’re setting up to shoot a wedge, rail or whatever so I don’t have to worry about getting in their shot. But I’ve learned the amount of hours they put into just one edit yet alone an entire movie is crazy. Lots of respect for those guys. I’ve also learned that they are totally two different animals though. The operation of making a photograph and making an edit are so different from each other.
4) Why do you still feel the need to shoot film when so many people have written it off? My personal opinion, shooting film helps you learn and pay attention more to what you’re actually doing. You have to know or at least have a good idea of what everything is going to look like before you click the shutter and if you fuck up, there’s no going back but in the long run it’s easier to reflect on what you did wrong. I do all of my processing at home, so the amount of control you have over your images is far greater in my mind. Processing on your own also gets you away from the computer screen. I find it more entertaining, tangible and an art form then plugging your memory card into the usb drive. I could keep going but I’m not going to flood this interview with my rambling.
5) Explain the Arkives to those not in the know. Are their plans to do more with it than just a blog? The Arkives was started by Erik Hoffman and myself in the summer of 2013 at The Ark Motel in Welches, OR. We were both shooting photos for Windells and decided to create a makeshift darkroom in my bathroom so we could develop our film. It’s basically a 100% analog photo blog based around the culture of skateboarding, snowboarding and wherever our lives are at.
Aside from that, we do have plans of releasing our first ‘book’ titled, “Vol 1” featuring the works of Erik Hoffman, Brandon Huttenlocher and I. We don’t have an exact release date but there will be limited copies and If your following us on instagram, you’ll see us posting more info about it soon.
6) Say your house was burning with all your photos in it and you could only save one of them, which would it be and why? Does my negative binder count as one? If so, then that’s what I would grab. The feeling that you get when you see a good negative or scan is incomparable to digital. Therefore, my negatives are far more sentimental to me then my hard-drive.
7) What other photographers inspire your photography?
I would have to say:
Erik Hoffman; Talk about someone who works harder and smarter. I have much respect for his drive and motivation. He’s always experimenting and learning more. Dudes a boss.
Cole Barash; I’ve been following his work for a long time now, since the Forum days. It’s incredible what he’s accomplished, and who he has become as an artist at such a young age is insane. That shit isn’t just handed to you.
Darcy Bacha; He hired me to shoot for Windells and has always pushed me to keep shooting. Always on the grind with photos and with life in general. He’s seeking the world and isn’t stopping anytime soon.
My plan for this season is to cover as much as I can in the northwest region and really focus on photos rather then video. A trip to Baker is way over due. Also, getting out to some zones I’ve never been to before and shooting with newer people. There’s nothing like seeing a brand new canvas.