Wednesday, December 8, 2010

tintypes and a few other photographs

I'm currently studying for my American history final at the moment, but I found these in my student folder on the university server, and I thought I'd share them with you. They're some tintypes I made in my alternative processes class last spring. I'm actually really into alternative processes. I enjoy the sense of craft and tactility that is more or less lost in traditional silver printing and quite certainly lost in inkjet prints. I mean, I love the ease of digital technology as much as the next person (well, maybe a little less), but it's just not the same creative experience.

These are tintypes, which was a relatively low-cost and therefore popular photographic process back in the second half of the 19th century. I can't claim responsibility for actually creating the photosensitive plates we printed on--that honor goes to Naomi Vanderkindren, who led the workshop--but I did print and process them myself. I also can't claim ownership for taking any of the actual images. The ones of the woman with knitting are photographs my grandmother took of my great-grandmother and then printed on Kodalith film which I used to make contact prints. The one of me was made in-camera by my classmate Lucas.

These are in actuality about one quarter the size they appear here...


I like to think of this as a real piece of family history. My great-grandmother as captured by my grandmother as printed using antiquated methods by me. Four generations of sassy ladies!


This one came out very soft and overexposed. My face is blurry because it was a 10 minute exposure... and I am not very good at keeping still. Or not being a klutz. I have almost zero kinesthetic intelligence.


This one was printed on a plate Naomi had made over a year ago at the time, so it came out kind of dingy. But I like it anyway, especially after fixing it up a bit on Photoshop. On that note, all those speckles and imperfections you see are the result of the medium itself, not a dirty scanner. It's essentially dried photographic jello on a painted piece of tin. It scratches quite easily.

Anyway, since I can claim only partial authorship of the above images, I feel compelled to share with you all some of my other work using traditional processes.


gelatin silver print from b&w film, 2007


scan of c-41 negative, 2009


scan of c-41 negative, 2010


scan of c-41 negative, 2010 (this one isn't nearly so contrasty as it appears in this compressed, resized format)

Anyway, obviously still working out my aesthetic "schtick" with straight photography, but I've got time.

PS--check out some of Naomi Vanderkindren's tintypes, they're way better than mine. She's a pro with a great eye, creative approaches, and the technical skills to back it all up.

14 comments:

Stacie said...

Must send Nana the link so she can see! I love that Grandma Maizie is knitting in the one picture. 8^)

Nnenna said...

I love the ones of your grandmother knitting. What a cool way of capturing family history!

Becca said...

Lovely, vintagey, awesome.

melina bee said...

analogue photography is like alchemy in a way that digital will never be (although I love it). the tin types are awesome, I would love to make some myself. I really want to make and use a pinhole camera

Annebeth said...

10 MINUTES OF NOT MOVING? you are dedicated to your art, woman



OK I admit it, I'm a whuss.

Kallie, Happy Honey and Lark said...

these are gorgeous, i'm mesmerized by them. wtf did we do before we looked at pretty things on the internet???

Michal said...

That first tintype is really amazing. I love how it includes all the generations too- incredible.

Your photos are beautiful! I love the first two especially. Post more, post more!!

Zarna said...

these photos are all so beautiful!! so simple, yet so gorgeous!

JennaStevie said...

These are amazing!!! Great job
xJennaD

Kennedy said...

those first photos are amazing!

Tonio said...

you both are so talented, I think Naomy has a completely different style, I love yours.

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Tonio.

Come to meet Sanabra!
Hope you like her!

Tonio said...

you both are so talented, I think Naomy has a completely different style, I love yours.

THELOVELYSANDOTBLOGSPOTDOTCOM

Tonio.

Come to meet Sanabra!
Hope you like her!

Zarna said...

these photos are all so beautiful!! so simple, yet so gorgeous!

Kallie, Happy Honey and Lark said...

these are gorgeous, i'm mesmerized by them. wtf did we do before we looked at pretty things on the internet???