Tintype Outing: Owls Head Transportation Museum

dawson_owls_head_01

Pilot Richard Hornbeck poses with a 1917 Spad XIIIc.1 biplane (replica).

Several weeks ago an old high school friend commented on a tintype images I posted to Facebook, said he would like to buy one. Naturally I said “sure! What do you have in mind?”

“An airplane. I want a tintype of an airplane.”

Great. I mean, photographing at airports isn’t the hardest thing to do these days. At least he didn’t say “police headquarters”, “a nuclear reactor”, or “the President’s pet dog”.

dawson_owls_head_17

Left to Right (which, in reality is right to left – tintypes are flipped, remember?): 1934 Ford, 1964 Ford Thunderbird, 1929 Austin Bantam Coupe

I got to thinking about some local options and eventually contacted a couple of people at the Owls Head Transportation Museum just a bit south of Rockland. I mentioned that I would like to photograph some airplanes, and I think before I could finish saying that the guy I was talking to went off on an enthusiastic tangent of all the possibilities to collaborate with them.

dawson_owls_head_15

I started by going to a recent car show (at which they also brought out some of their airplanes, whew!) and spent most of the day making tintypes. I got to the museum grounds at 7:30am, and was cleaned up and done there around 3:30pm. By the time I had washed the tins and my gear it was 5pm – in all that time I had managed to make 19 tintypes, and I was absolutely wiped out. It was a Good Day.  :-)

1930 Pitcairn PA 7STintype, 3.5 x 4.5 inches.©2014 Mark Edward Dawson

1930 Pitcairn PA 7S

Since it was my first time at this location I didn’t ask for any special placement of the airplanes or vehicles, so I didn’t always get the angle I’d most want – and many of these are composed the way they are because I used the airplane to hide signs and garbage cans and such behind them.

1930 Pitcairn PA 7STintype, 3.5 x 4.5 inches.©2014 Mark Edward DawsonNext time I will have a ladder and take some time to get the above shot just right – as it was, reaching up to the camera on a tripod high above my head, I wasn’t able to get the best composition. Still like the shot, though.

dawson_owls_head_11

Above: 1930 Curtiss-Wright Travel Air D-4000 Speed Wing. I think this one was used to deliver air mail.

dawson_owls_head_13

I made this image from the open hangar doors into the museum itself, which proved wonderfully that doing wetplate photography in that space will work just dandy. Can’t wait to get started on that!

dawson_owls_head_16

That’s me reflected in both of the fenders, between the grill and the headlights.

dawson_owls_head_181956 Porsche 356 (replica)

2 Responses to Tintype Outing: Owls Head Transportation Museum

  1. Fun to see these! OHTM enjoyed them as well. I go over and shoot large format, but soft focus / film regularly. The possibilities are endless.

    https://www.flickr.com/photos/13759696@N02/sets/72157631531261637/

  2. Mark Dawson says:

    Thanks! Yes, I am very excited to do more work there. I love the things themselves, so photographing them is just an added bonus.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *