Tintype Process

It’s a lot of fun and rather addictive (at least to me).

It uses chemicals and some are a bit more dangerous than others. Wearing safety glasses, gloves,  knowing and respecting the chemicals used make it a rather safe process.

Please watch this video of the wet-plate process, it was made by fellow professor Gabor Szepesi.

Wet plate work has a number of steps.

  • A plate of tin (aluminum) is coated with salted collodion.  Doing this on glass adds a number of other steps.
  • The “wet” plate is placed into a bath of silver nitrate in a darkroom or darkbox for a few minutes.
  • During this time the subjects are composed into the view camera and focus is set, lights adjusted, etc.
  • The plate is removed from the silver bath and placed into a lightproof plate holder.
  • The plate holder is brought to the pre-focused camera, the dark-slide is removed, and an exposure (ranging from a fraction of a second to a few seconds) is made.
  • The plate holder is taken back to the darkroom/darkbox where the plate is developed cheap jerseys quickly then rinsed with water.
  • The plate is now light safe, and it is placed in fixer for 2-3 minutes.
  • After fixing, the plate is rinsed and washed for a few minutes.
  • A few more minutes is spent drying the plate in a oven or over a flame.
  • The dry plate is warmed and varnish flows over the top to seal the silver and protect the delicate collodion surface.  The varnished plate is quickly dried over a flame or in an oven.
  • Your final plate is boxed with instructions on caring for your image that will last generations!

As I collect and experiment with Cheap Ray Ban Sunglasses various parts of the process I’ve been building a number of documents on various parts of the process that I use when I’m in the darkroom.

The first one of these is on developers.

For more information on tintypes and the wet-plate collodion process check out these sites:



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