Can you tell it’s tintype season?

Ether is definitely in the air these days (along with a hell of a lot of pollen, apparently). Two tintype posts in one day…not that any season isn’t a fine time to make tintypes, but pleasant temperatures do make it a tad easier.

The past couple of days have been a chaotic mess, but despite that I managed to get a few things crossed off my to-do list. So I rewarded myself with a crazy little tintype excursion. Back in December Kari got me an old little Ansco Antar box camera for Christmas, and I recently discovered that it’s a heck of a lot of fun to make tintypes with. It combines the carefree ease of a Holga with the quality of a relatively decent glass lens.


Since I had some wetplate developer left over from yesterday, and fixer and silver were both already mixed, it’s pretty fast and easy to make a tin with this camera – no tripod (it doesn’t even have a 1/4-20 hole), no focusing, no plate holder.

The one thing about the box camera is that it has a pretty narrow aspect ratio, and I thought I’d like a landscape orientation better than vertical. I wasn’t really feeling any panoramic compositions on campus, so I thought I’d try to load up a plate and drive down to the Rockport Harbor and make a tintype there.

I tend to have a more relaxed approach to “correct” tintype conditions, in terms of temperature and wetness of the wetplate, so I figured this would probably work, even though I had to drive a couple of minutes to the location and back.

What I hadn’t counted on was my car doing this thing it does when it just doesn’t start. In this case it stalled after I drove down to the harbor. Usually it will start if I let it sit for 10 minutes, and sure enough after about 8 it cranked right up. I ran back to the darkroom and flipped the tin out of the back of the camera. It looked pretty darn dry, but I poured the developer on and the image came right up!

This Post Has 2 Comments

  1. Dad

    Your car knew what was needed better than you!!!!!!!!!!!

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