THE TINTYPE: Easy, quick and inexpensive.
By Bill Dobbins
From the late 1800s, with the introduction of photographic film, to the late 1990s the technology of photography evolved constantly but fairly slowly, with lots of improvements but little that was highly revolutionary. From the time George Eastman introduced transparent plastic rolls of film in 1885, photographs were primarily done using this process until digital recording became the new standard a relatively few years ago.
But for some four or five decades at the very beginning, photographers pursued the use of a variety of very different different technologies. An early popular type of photography was invented by Louis Daguerre in the 1830s. The daguerreotype was created by exposing a polished sheet of silver-plated copper to chemical fumes rendering it light sensitive.
But one of the more popular other types of photographs in the 1860s and 1870s was the Tintype. This process produced images images on a metal surface but processing was easier and didn’t involve time spent drying the plate so photographers could shoot, process and deliver a final photo to a customer in just a few minutes. Studio photographers shot tintypes but you also saw this process used by sidewalk photographers and those working in booths at carnivals and other events.
Tintypes were easy, quick and inexpensive to make and in a time when having a professional photographer shoot pictures of yourself or your family was a relatively costly and involved procedure. So a lot of people took advantage of this process. In fact, the making of Tintypes continued well into the age if film Photo booths were available at booths, carnivals and other events to allow people to capture and record fun times and holiday experiences.
As with other photographic processes, there are photographers who continue to do art photos using the tintype process even today.
Bill Dobbins is a pro photographer located in Los Angeles. He is a veteran photographer and videographer who has exhibited his fine art in two museums and a number of galleries and who has published eight books, including two fine art photo books:
The Women: Photographs of The Top Female Bodybuilders (Artisan)
Modern Amazons (Tashen)
BILL DOBBINS PHOTOGRAPHY
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FEMALE PHYSIQUE SITES