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A tintype, also known as a melanotype or ferrotype, is a photograph made by creating a direct positive on a thin sheet of metal, colloquially called 'tin' (though not actually tin-coated), coated with a dark lacquer or enamel and used as the support for the photographic emulsion. It was introduced in 1853 by Adolphe Alexandre Martin in Paris, : 51–55 Tintypes enjoyed their widest use during the 1860s and 1870s, but lesser use of the medium persisted into 1930s and it has been revived as a novelty and fine art form in the 21st century. It has been described as the first "truly democratic" medium for mass portraiture. : 51–55like the daguerreotype was fourteen years before by Daguerre. The daguerreotype was established and most popular by now, though the primary competition for the tintype would have been the ambrotype, that shared the same collodion process, but on a glass support instead of metal. Both found unequivocal, if not exclusive, acceptance in North America.
Tintypes were particularly used for portraits. They were at first usually made in a formal photographic studio, like daguerreotypes and other early types of photographs. At the time though the process like the professional were called specifically ferrotype and ferrotypist respectively (not photograph|er). Later on tintypes were most commonly made by ferrotypists working in booths, tents, or the open air at fairs and carnivals, as well as by itinerant sidewalk photographers (with carts or wagons). Because the lacquered iron support was resilient and later did not need drying, a tintype could be developed and fixed and handed to the customer only a few minutes after the picture had been taken.
The tintype saw the Civil War come and go, documenting the individual soldier and horrific battle scenes. It captured scenes from the Wild West as it was easy to produce by itinerant photographers working out of covered wagons. They captured farming families in front of their new home (house portraits), emerging towns as well as the frontier landscape, for which large plates were used.
It began losing artistic and commercial ground to higher quality albumen prints on paper in the mid-1860s, yet survived for well over another half century, living mostly as a carnival novelty.The tintype's immediate predecessor, the ambrotype, was done by the same process of using a sheet of glass as the support. The glass was either of a dark color or provided with a black backing so that, as with a tintype, the underexposed negative image in the emulsion appeared as a positive. Tintypes were sturdy and did not require mounting in a protective hard case like ambrotypes and daguerreotypes.
There are two historic tintype processes: wet and dry. In the wet process, a collodion emulsion containing suspended silver halide crystals had to be formed on the plate just before it was exposed in the camera while still wet. Chemical treatment then reduced the crystals to microscopic particles of metallic silver in proportion to the intensity and duration of their exposure to light, resulting in a visible positive image. The later prefabricated, hence more convenient dry process was similar but used a gelatin emulsion which could be exposed in the camera dry.
In both processes, a very underexposed negative image was produced in the emulsion. Its densest areas, corresponding to the lightest parts of the subject, appeared gray by reflected light. The areas with the least amount of silver, corresponding to the darkest areas of the subject, were essentially transparent and appeared black when seen against the dark background provided by the lacquer. The image as a whole therefore appeared to be a dull-toned positive. [ page needed ] This ability to employ underexposed images allowed shorter exposure times to be used, a great advantage in portraiture.
To obtain as light-toned an image as possible, potassium cyanide was normally employed as the photographic fixer. It was perhaps the most acutely hazardous of all the several highly toxic chemicals originally used in this and many other early photographic processes.
To overcome the uniqueness of each picture multi-lensed cameras and single-lens cameras with a movable back holding the plate were invented. Three men from from Boston are to name here. John Roberts first made use of multiple lenses, mounting as much as 32 of them on one camera. A twelve-lensed camera for example, developed in 1858, made a dozen 3⁄4-by-1-inch (19 mm × 25 mm) so-called "gem" portraits with one exposure. A patent for a movable plate holder was registered by Albert S. Southworth in 1855. In 1860 both methods were combined in patents by Simon Wing, who promoted these cameras successfully and tried to enforce licensing, but failed with the Supreme Court ruling his patents invalid due to their use prior to his patents. : 56f Portrait sizes ranged from gem-size to 11 in × 14 in (280 mm × 360 mm). From about 1865 to 1910, the most popular size, called "Bon-ton", ranged from 2+3⁄8 in × 3+1⁄2 in (60 mm × 89 mm) to 4 in × 5+3⁄4 in (100 mm × 150 mm).
Each tintype is usually a camera original, so the image is usually a mirror image, reversed left to right from reality. Sometimes the camera was fitted with a mirror or right-angle prism so that the result would be right-reading.
The process was first described by Adolphe-Alexandre Martin in France in 1853. In 1856 it was patented by Hamilton Smith in the United States and by William Kloen in the United Kingdom. It was first called melainotype, then ferrotype by V. M. Griswold of Ohio,a rival manufacturer of the iron plates, then finally tintype.
The ambrotype was the first use of the wet-plate collodion process as a positive image. Such collodion glass positives had been invented by Frederick Scott Archer in 1851. Although it is a widely held belief James Ambrose Cutting might have named the process after himself, in actuality, "ambrotype" was first coined by Marcus Aurelius Root, a well known daguerreotypist, in his gallery as documented in the 1864 book The Camera and the Pencil.
The tintype was essentially a variant of the ambrotype, replacing the latter's glass plate with a thin sheet of japanned iron (hence ferro). Ambrotypes often exhibit some flaking of their black back coating, cracking or detachment of the image-bearing emulsion layer, or other deterioration, but the image layer on a tintype has proven to be typically very durable, although the iron support might oxidize at its corners.
Compared to their most important predecessor, the daguerreotype, tintypes were not only very inexpensive, they were also relatively easy and quick to make.A photographer could prepare, expose, develop and varnish a tintype plate and have it ready for the customer in a few minutes. Although early tintypes were sometimes mounted in protective ornamental cases, like daguerreotypes and ambrotypes, uncased tintypes in simple paper mats were popular from the beginning. They were often transferred into the precut openings provided in book-like photograph albums like the later prints on cardboard.
One or more hardy, lightweight, thin tintypes could be carried conveniently in a jacket pocket. They became very popular in the United States during the American Civil War. Although prints on paper (see cartes de visite and cabinet cards) soon displaced them as the most common type of photograph, the tintype process continued to enjoy considerable use throughout the 19th century and beyond, especially for casual portraiture by novelty and street photographers. In contrast to the considerable amount of manuels, books and articles in journals on the different photographic processes, they were seldomly treating the ferrotype. Whereas Edward M. Estabrooke stated in his almost unique extensive monograph The Ferrotype and How to Make It, published in 1872, that the amount of ferrotypes taken would probably surmount the production of all other techniques combined.His book and the introduction of low cost variants known as "Gem ferrotypes" and the invention of the photo booth in 1888, helped to sustain the tintype's longevity.
John Coffer, as profiled in a 2006 New York Times article, travels by horse-drawn wagon creating tintypes.
In 2013, California Air National Guard member and artist Ed Drew took the first tintypes in a war zone since the Civil War, when he photographed Air Force pilots serving in the Afghan War.
The contemporary photographer Victoria Will created a series of tintypes of Hollywood stars at the 2014 and 2015 Sundance Film Festivals, including portraits of Anne Hathaway, Nick Cave, and Ewan McGregor.The portraits were later published as a book.
Organisations such as the penumbra foundation still continue to use this technique, offering tintype photography sessions.Their work has been featured in the New York Times.
Different utilizations and genres of ferrotype and their settings, arranged chronologically.
A photograph is an image created by light falling on a photosensitive surface, usually photographic film or an electronic image sensor, such as a CCD or a CMOS chip. Most photographs are now created using a smartphone or camera, which uses a lens to focus the scene's visible wavelengths of light into a reproduction of what the human eye would see. The process and practice of creating such images is called photography.
Calotype or talbotype is an early photographic process introduced in 1841 by William Henry Fox Talbot, using paper coated with silver iodide. Paper texture effects in calotype photography limit the ability of this early process to record low contrast details and textures. The term calotype comes from the Ancient Greek καλός, "beautiful", and τύπος, "impression".
Daguerreotype was the first publicly available photographic process; it was widely used during the 1840s and 1850s. "Daguerreotype" also refers to an image created through this process.
The collodion process is an early photographic process. The collodion process, mostly synonymous with the "collodion wet plate process", requires the photographic material to be coated, sensitized, exposed, and developed within the span of about fifteen minutes, necessitating a portable darkroom for use in the field. Collodion is normally used in its wet form, but it can also be used in its dry form, at the cost of greatly increased exposure time. The increased exposure time made the dry form unsuitable for the usual portraiture work of most professional photographers of the 19th century. The use of the dry form was mostly confined to landscape photography and other special applications where minutes-long exposure times were tolerable.
Louis-Jacques-Mandé Daguerre was a French artist and photographer, recognized for his invention of the eponymous daguerreotype process of photography. He became known as one of the fathers of photography. Though he is most famous for his contributions to photography, he was also an accomplished painter, scenic designer, and a developer of the diorama theatre.
Collodion is a flammable, syrupy solution of nitrocellulose in ether and alcohol. There are two basic types: flexible and non-flexible. The flexible type is often used as a surgical dressing or to hold dressings in place. When painted on the skin, collodion dries to form a flexible nitrocellulose film. While it is initially colorless, it discolors over time. Non-flexible collodion is often used in theatrical make-up. Collodion was also the basis of most wet-plate photography until it was superseded by modern gelatin emulsions.
The ambrotype also known as a collodion positive in the UK, is a positive photograph on glass made by a variant of the wet plate collodion process. Like a print on paper, it is viewed by reflected light. Like the daguerreotype, which it replaced, and like the prints produced by a Polaroid camera, each is a unique original that could only be duplicated by using a camera to copy it.
The term alternative process refers to any non-traditional or non-commercial photographic printing process. Currently, the standard analog photographic printing process for black-and-white photographs is the gelatin silver process. Standard digital processes include the pigment print, and digital laser exposures on traditional color photographic paper.
Heliography from helios, meaning "sun", and graphein (γράφειν), "writing") is the photographic process invented, and named thus, by Joseph Nicéphore Niépce around 1822, which he used to make the earliest known surviving photograph from nature, View from the Window at Le Gras, and the first realisation of photoresist as means to reproduce artworks through inventions of photolithography and photogravure.
The history of photography began with the discovery of two critical principles: camera obscura image projection and the observation that some substances are visibly altered by exposure to light. There are no artifacts or descriptions that indicate any attempt to capture images with light sensitive materials prior to the 18th century.
Hand-colouring refers to any method of manually adding colour to a monochrome photograph, generally either to heighten the realism of the image or for artistic purposes. Hand-colouring is also known as hand painting or overpainting.
The following outline is provided as an overview of and topical guide to photography:
Analog photography, also known as film photography, is a term usually applied to photography that uses chemical processes to capture an image, typically on paper, film or a hard plate. These processes were the only methods available to photographers for more than a century prior to the invention of digital photography, which uses electronic sensors to record images to digital media. Analog electronic photography was sometimes used in the late 20th century but soon died out.
Opalotype or opaltype is an early technique of photography.
James Ambrose Cutting (1814–1867) was an American photographer and inventor, sometimes called the inventor of the Ambrotype photographic process.
Paper texture effects in calotype photography limit the ability of this early process to record low contrast details and textures. A calotype is a photographic negative produced on uncoated paper. An important feature is that a relatively short exposure in a camera produces a latent image that is subsequently made visible by development. Then positive images for viewing are obtained by contact printing. This technique was in use principally from 1840 into the 1850s, when it was displaced by photography on glass. Skilled photographers were able to achieve dramatic results with the calotype process, and the reason for its eclipse may not be evident from viewing reproductions of early work.
The practice and appreciation of photographyin the United States began in the 19th century, when various advances in the development of photography took place and after daguerreotype photography was introduced in France in 1839. The earliest commercialization of photography was made in the country when Alexander Walcott and John Johnson opened the first commercial portrait gallery in 1840. In 1866, the first color photograph was taken. Only in the 1880s, would photography expand to a mass audience with the first easy-to-use, lightweight Kodak camera, issued by George Eastman and his company.
Craig Murphy is a fine-art photographer specializing in the wet plate collodion process. Craig travels with his mobile tintype studio in upstate NY making ambrotype and tintype portrait and scenic images using the original 19th century photographic process. Craig makes images of the Hudson River in the Adirondacks and of different New York State Erie Canal locks in Cohoes, Lockport, Palmyra, NY and Waterford, NY. In addition, Craig makes handcrafted reproduction Daguerreotype tintype cases.
The conservation and restoration of photographic plates is caring for and maintaining photographic plates to preserve their materials and content. It covers the necessary measures that can be taken by conservators, curators, collection managers, and other professionals to conserve the material unique to photographic plate processes. This practice includes understanding the composition and agents of deterioration of photographic plates, as well as the preventive conservation and interventive conservation measures that can be taken to increase their longevity.