tintype portraits

I love the tintype process. I’ve taught youth to MFA students, given demos, and photographed hundreds of people. Whomever I show the process to whether it’s a student just getting into photography or an teacher who has been working in the field for years, the reaction to seeing the first plate develop is always the same “It’s like magic!”.  This is what I love about it. It reminds me of how I felt making my very first print in a traditional black and white darkroom over 18-years ago.

In 2010 I was fortunate to go to the George Eastman house in upstate New York, and saw Eastman’s first Wetplate kit. Although the process is slow, especially in this digital age, it’s also fast, enabling the subject and photographer to view the image almost immediately.  When shooting in-camera plates, the images are unique.  If I work with the digital positive, use an enlarger, and make plates in the darkroom, it allows me to make much larger images and composites.