After many sessions that have left me frustrated and angry and failed, I’ve finally started to have some success shooting tintypes. I’ll hopefully be blogging about my equipment and setup in the near future once I get it a bit better nailed down, but I’m happy with what I’ve got thus far.

The amazing thing about shooting tintypes is that they were the polaroid photos of their day. Photographers (who were considered craftsmen and not artists) would set up on the streets and shoot people’s portraits, creating the film, exposing it, and developing it all in one sitting. I go from a blank piece of metal to an image in about 10 minutes.

Scanning doesn’t do these photos credit. I’ll have to start shooting photos of them instead. The varnish I use gets dust in it that you don’t see with your eye but that the scanner picks up.

Anyhow, I moved to an interior light setup and I love what I’ve been getting.


But I’ve gotten a few decent ones from direct sunlight:


the whole set is on my Flickr

2 thoughts on “Tintypes!”

  1. Looking awesome!

    > Scanning doesn’t do these photos credit. I’ll have to start shooting photos of them instead

    Here, have a photo I took of some other photos I took in a different way! I only realized how ridiculous this was when I noticed flickr telling me “this was photo was taken 3 hours ago.” “How does flickr know when magpie did the tintype? Wait a second….”

    Have you seen the awesome steampunked out artcar van that happened to be at artscape this year and last? I wanted to take a picture to show you, but, you know, tintype devices are hard to carry in your pocket (plus, I have no idea how to use one, plus I don’t own one. What, your PHONE takes pictures? Weird.)

  2. Wow! Congratulations! It takes quite the skill to make and shoot those. I’ve toyed with the idea of attending a collodion process workshop myself but never done it.

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