Amanda E. Corbett
About the Process
This 1850s technique called Wet Plate Collodion or more commonly, a tintype, is the style of photography your great-great-grandparents would have experienced. All of the chemistry used in the process is hand mixed. The collodion is used to coat the metal plate and in the darkroom Silver Nitrate sensitizes it to light. Once light sensitive, the plate is enclosed in a light-secure plate holder and placed in the back of the camera to be exposed. Exposure times vary depending on amount of natural and/or studio lighting available. After exposure, the plate holder is removed from the camera and taken back into the darkroom to develop the image on the plate. When a negative image begins to appear, a fixer is applied changing the image from a negative to a positive right before your eyes. During this whole process, chemistry must remain wet giving the photographer 10-15 minutes to create a one-of-a-kind photo from start to finish. Once the plate is dry a special wax is used to coat the image, providing protection from the diminishing elements of time, making this an heirloom to be passed on for generations.
This being the 21st century, I offer a digital scan of your image emailed to you giving the freedom to print and share to your heart's content.
Now, let’s go create something beautiful
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