Built around a self-contained, solar-powered, mobile photographic studio and darkroom, together with my trusted K9 companion, Buddy Dog, I am traveling the country in search of the ignored. Utilizing digital media and antique wet plate tin-type photography, a technique developed in the 1850's, the project goal is a Mission of Human Exploration. Please join us as we explore America and attempt to rediscover who and what we are.
"We are the witnesses through which the universe becomes conscious of its' glory. "
- Alan Watts
WHAT IS A TINTYPE?
- IMAGES FASHIONED IN SILVER BY LIGHT -
If you have ever seen a photograph of Abraham Lincoln, that was likely a Tintype, part of the wet plate collodion process. Invented in the 1850's, wet plate collodion was one of the earliest prominent forms of photography. Using teams of horses pulling mobile darkroom wagons, or "photographic vans", the first photographers were traveling chemists. These itinerant shutterbugs roamed from town-to-town producing photographs printed with silver on metal plates that are so durable they survive to this day. In 2019, the horse-drawn wagons may have faded, but the method remains largely the same.
The magic of tintype photographs resides in their absolute uniqueness. Every image is completely one-of-a-kind and impossible to reproduce exactly. Tintypes are made of silver layered upon black metal and have an ageless, immutable quality that transcends time. Being handmade, and utilizing antique equipment from more than a century ago, tintype photography incorporates certain imperfections that leave an alluring, charming quality which heightens their remarkable nature. The psychology of viewing a tintype portrait is undeniably different from a modern digital photograph, and can't quite be expressed in words. It truly must be seen, and experienced, to be appreciated.