Tintypes

Tintypes

Tintype or wet plate photograph of a young boy.In a world where things aren’t built to last, tintypes have stood the test of time. Take a quick trip through any antique store and you will more than likely see a tintype for sale that is at least 100 years old. These images are still around today and I would love to make a brand-new tintype of you that you can pass down through the generations.

Tintype photography, also known as wet plate collodion, is the most archival form of photography known to mankind. The process is called wet plate due to the fact that the photographer has around 15 minutes to expose and process the plate before the plate dries out.

A tintype is a positive image on a thin black metal plate. From beginning to end every chemical step is hand poured and created from the same formulas that were used since the process was invented in the 1850s. This gives each and every plate a unique chemical signature making each image one-of-a-kind.

In today’s world of digital photography where images primarily stay on a computer or phone, a tintype is truly unique. This is not a quick, cell-phone photo. The process is slower than most people are accustomed to, but you still get a kind-of instant gratification….it just takes about 15 minutes.

Contact me if you would like to schedule your own tintype portrait session. Your great-great-great-great grand kids will thank you.

Wet-collodion process, also called collodion process or tintype, is an early photographic technique invented by Englishman Frederick Scott Archer in 1851. The process involves adding a soluble iodide to a solution of collodion and coating a glass or metal plate with the mixture. In the darkroom the plate is immersed in a solution of silver nitrate to form silver iodide. The plate, still wet, is then exposed in the camera. After, it is developed by pouring developer over it and fixed with a strong solution of sodium thiosulfate, for which potassium cyanide is sometimes substituted. Immediate developing and fixing are necessary because, after the collodion film had dried, it became waterproof and the reagent solutions cannot penetrate it. The process is valued for the level of detail and clarity it allowed.

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