Collodion tintype photography, invented in the 1850s and commonly used for portraiture until the end of the 19th century, involves exposing blackened metal plates coated with photographic emulsion in a large format bellows camera. Each tintype is a unique, permanent, one of a kind image object, with no intermediate negative or file used in its production. Tintypes exemplify a return to hand crafted image making. Their beguiling materiality is rarely encountered in modern photography.
Film traps light as silver grains yielding a look that many digital practitioners emulate. Making a large format film photograph takes time and skill and the results are compelling and poetic. Even state of the art digital cameras cannot reproduce the unique qualities of a large format film portrait.
Why black & white?
Someone wisely once said “When you photograph someone in colour you are photographing their clothes. When you photograph someone in black & white you are photographing their souls.”
Tasmanian Tintype is based out of a studio at the Salamanca Arts Centre in Hobart Tasmania, the heart of a busy and historic arts precinct in one of the world’s beautiful cities.