The Tintype process is the photographic creation of a positive image on a metal plate. Black anodised aluminium is coated with collodion; it is then sensitised in a bath of silver before being exposed in camera. Whereafter it is immediately hand processed to create the final image.
A versatile, modified version of the ambrotype discovered by the Frenchman Adolphe-Alexandre Martin in 1853, tintypes rapidly became the most accessible form of photography. Democratising the captured image making portraiture widely accessible for the first time since the invention of photography.
Since the tintype is a camera-original positive, tintype images appear reversed (left to right) from reality. This creates a visual experience in great contrast to modern photographic processes. And leaves the viewer at times with a surreal impression of the sitter.
What is a Tintype photograph?