I hate to bust a myth: My Tintype Journey

I know so many of you are convinced I’m like a god of photography, capable of doing all sorts of magic with any camera, any process handed to me. I hate to dispel the myth, but here it is. Maybe you should sit down and take a few deep breaths.

I know it’s shocking to hear, but, sometimes I miss. I’m not always perfect as a photographer. There, I said it.

Case in point: Tintypes. I wanted to try out making some tintype photos using a kit from Rockland Colloid.  They sell a kit with the plates and some gelatin you put on the plates in a darkroom. Then you expose the plates and develop the plates in a darkroom again. Coating the plates was a lot messier than you might have thought. I was concerned I got too much gel on the plates, but stopped while I was ahead with trying to fix them.

I shot a photo of Tim using my Holga for about a second with one of the plates installed. I also did a shot of the water tower and factories on the west side of Dover, using a pinhole camera for the 4inx5in plate for a one minute exposure. Lets just say that developing the photos was much less exciting than coating the plates. I’m showing the scans I did of the plates, which I converted to black and white. I’d say both techniques “show potential”. I sent an email to Rockland tonight, asking for their expertise. I hope to have something to show in the next few weeks that looks a lot better!

Try to recover from the shock, and carry on as you were before this shocking admission! LOL

4 thoughts on “I hate to bust a myth: My Tintype Journey”

  1. Hey David, many thanks for posting this. You are WAY ahead of me, you got actual images onto your plates. I tried their kit a few years ago with absolute zero results. I went the darkroom and enlarger route. I even got a bunch of roofing tin, the thin kind, after I ran out of the plates in the kit, and spray painted them black. NOTHING worked – did not even get the trace of an image.
    I should have pursued it then, but did not. So, I am really interested in what you will find out!

  2. wow, Christian! I know you’re Mr. Alternative processes, at least for printing. I’m surprised! I’ll definitely keep you posted on progress!

  3. Hi Dave. I really like the burnt chemical look in the water tower image. If you blow it out a little more, it would make an excellent overlay for any image that you wanted to look old time-y.

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