Re: Dry plate ferrotypes?

From: Christopher Wright ^lt;[email protected]>
Date: 06/16/05-08:08:11 AM Z
Message-id: <a06110400bed7359d6135@[]>

Hello Dianne:

 From your description (and without seeing the images) what you saw
were probably tintypes made with the wet plate collodion process.
This process produced the "classic" tintype of the nineteenth and
early twentieth centuries. It will produce, when well-done, strong
whites and clear blacks (the latter from the japanned layer on the
metal); the thin emulsion (with irregular corner(s)) is the collodion.

There are a fair number of collodion photographers who specialize in
making tintypes for the public. These are largely found among the
Civil War re-enactors who are very serious about being true to the
techniques and methods of the period. (See Bob Szabo's thorough and
intelligently-done website, which includes a Wet Plate Forum where
such issues as you describe are posted:

Also, there are a number of Art photographers who produce some pretty
impressive tintypes in large sizes (quite rarely done in the 19th

Try doing a Google search for "Collodion," or for "Tintype
Photography" and you'll be amazed (some more!).

Good luck and have fun!

Christopher Wright/

At 8:16 AM -0500 6/16/05, Best, Dianne wrote:
>Can anybody tell me where I can find information on the emulsions
>that were use in the dry plate, positive image processes of the
>I have been playing with Rockland's "Liquid Light" for awhile now
>and thought it was pretty good.
>Yesterday I had the chance to examine a large number of tintypes
>that were produced in the 1880s by a couple of different
>photographers and they KNOCKED MY SOCKS OFF!!! The whites were
>intense, the blacks were truly black, and the details were sharp and
>crisp. They were obviously homemade (obvious from the crude and
>irregular cut of the plates). The metal appears to be hand-painted
>with black lacquer paint (thin coat but VERY black). The emulsion
>layer was quite thin. The overall contrast and detail was most
>impressive and I would KILL to spend a day with those
>It is time for yours truly to get down to some serious chemistry and
>figure out how these old-timers got such fantastic results!
>aka Calamity Jane
Received on Thu Jun 16 08:08:40 2005

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