Yesterday I had an amazing opportunity to learn about the tintype process. One of my instructors held an informal ‘class’ at his home and demonstrated this type of photography. He used an old 4X6 camera with a modified slide to allow for the plates. I have never used a 4X6 camera before and have only read about tintypes.
The images that this process creates are spectacular. Their depth, character, and texture are simply amazing. They almost have a 3D quality to them. You can almost recreate tintype coloring with split toning in Lightroom or Photoshop, but even then they are not quite the same.
I received some good instruction on how to operate the 4X6 camera, and was walked through the exposure process. The sensitizing and development of the plate was handled by my instructor as this was meant to be more of a demonstration. I learned a lot and was surprised at really how simple the process was. It is definitely something I want to continue learning about and experimenting with once I have my own darkroom. While my image was slightly underexposed, I feel it is a great first attempt at both medium format photography, as well as tintype.
There was one other official student at the get together, but there was also another one of my instructors there and several other well established and very talented photographers (Dr. Bill Kostelec and his wife Kathy) there as well. It was fun to sit around and listen to their discussions and take advantage of their experiences.