Meet Our Photo Intern : Tony Bones

Posted by Cheyenne Pettiford on

Anthony Morrison aka Tony Bones
What is your favorite type of film / camera to use at the moment?
I have several cameras that I like to use every day, and often I'll take up to two or three with me using different film types in each. But my go-to camera is my Nikon FM3A; it's fully mechanical but does sport an aperture priority feature that is really handy. The clarity of Kodak's Ektar 100 is unbeatable but because the ISO is so low it's hard to shoot in low lighting conditions. Often times I'll just buy Fujifilm Superia Xtra 400 from the nearby pharmacy. It's perfect for all light and I enjoy the subtle green shadow cast. 
Where do you source your inspo from?
Though there are many famous photographers I look up to, I would say the majority of my inspiration comes from the film community on the internet (especially Instagram). I like to build relationships with these people from across the nation/globe and show them support or ask them film-related questions. Other inspiration just comes from growing up in the rust belt and learning to appreciate everything I used to look down on in my youth. Before I picked up a camera I thought of Pennsylvania as a dying waste land, but now that's what I love so much about it. It's really fun to photograph so many forgotten subjects in a way that revitalizes them once more. 
How has vintage clothing helped to inspire your personal style / photography ?
I work as a buyer for a vintage/resale shop here in Pittsburgh called Avalon Exchange. People bring in their unwanted clothing and every day I must consider the potential each piece has to shine in someone else's wardrobe. I began shooting strictly analog photography some years before I worked in vintage clothing, but I think my passion for it has something to do with seeing the potential of an undesirable format. People see my work and they can tell it's film simply because of the nostalgic nature of film grain, as opposed to the crystal clear sharpness of digital. Today you have so many fast fashion corporations pumping out carbon copies of trends and styles designed by their peers and competitors. With vintage clothing, you can possess a piece with personality, individuality, and most importantly a history.
Do you have a favorite photo era?
I would have to say my favorite photo era that I enjoy pulling from is the 50s and 60s. These two decades boasted the Americana aesthetic you'll find in many of my photographs. This time brought us beautifully paired color schemes and pastels, checkered floors, lapels that stayed open, stainless steel appliances, classic logos, iconic American architecture, dairy isles, and so much more. Not to mention the best of the best in classic cars and diners, diners, diners, and more diners! Milkshakes and film stock forever! 
What is your favorite spot to eat in the city?
I'm not exactly a fancy pants, so you'll seldom find me eating at any of the high-end restaurants like the ones in the cultural district downtown. You can catch me posting up at places like Thai Gourmet in Bloomfield; it's so delicious and their prices are unmatched. If I'm feeling really hungry I'll head over to the buffet over at All India in North Oakland. I also love to travel around the areas located just outside the city for photographs and I've encountered some awesome diners and dive bars. Tom's Diner in Dormont is the only 50s style diner I've been to that also has beer on tap. Jenny's Lafayette Hotel in Sharpsburg is not exactly where you'd take your first date (unless you're me), but it's certainly the full yinzer experience. Jenny's doesn't serve any food but if you want someplace that's comparable, check out Nied's Hotel in Upper Lawrenceville and try their "Famous Fish Sandwich!" 
Favorite Coffee Shop?
I've moved around a lot in the six years I've lived in Pittsburgh, so my coffee spots vary. I really like hanging out at Espresso a Mano in Lawrenceville to do my computer work. It has so much open space, but it can get a little crowded at times. Since I work in Squirrel Hill, I'll hit up Common Place; the staff is so nice there! I recently moved to Polish Hill and Kaiber Coffee (formerly Lilly Cafe) has become my latest haunt spot. They serve vegetarian and vegan food and the owner Chris is very friendly. 
Favorite shopping spots?
Since I oversee all the stuff that comes into Avalon, I'm constantly bringing home vintage pieces from work. So I guess I shop at my job the most, which is the most dangerous thing in my opinion. But when I get the chance to shop elsewhere, I check out Clothes Minded in Bloomfield. The owner, Josh, runs it sort of the same way we do at Avalon in terms of the Buy/Sell/Trade process. Then also my thrift spots are probably split between the Goodwill and Thriftique in Upper Lawrenceville and the Red White and Blue thrift store out on Ohio River Boulevard.


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