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Going old-school: Vancouver photographers turn to tintype photography

Going old-school: Vancouver photographers turn to tintype photography

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by April 29, 2017 Photographers

Back in the 1860s and 1870s, tintype photography was all the rage: people would go into photo studios to have their portraits shot and made, through the wet-plate photography process of developing the image on a thin sheet of metal coated with chemicals.

Later, photographers brought this novelty process to fairs and carnivals, bringing the tintype photography mobile to reach a wider market.

It fell out of use as photography evolved, with the techniques and equipment morphing into the current scene today. But Vancouver, home to photographers who don’t shy away from experimentation, is seeing a resurgence of this old-school practice among a new generation of photographers.

The images, printed on thin metal sheets, evoke the feeling and look of a bygone era, but these are actually taken in the 21st century. Tintype photography enthusiasts in Vancouver are behind this renewed interest; a local Meetup group currently exists for anyone interested in wet plate collodion photography. Nearly 200 photographers are part of the group.

Copyright Ian Azariah

Copyright Ian Azariah

Copyright Ian Azariah

Several professional and local photographers are also using tintype photography for their work. Robert Kenney creates fine art pieces, while Phillip Chin has used the process for his latest show at the Shadbolt Centre. Photographer Ian Azariah, meanwhile, goes around the city on his mobile studio, the Tin Type Trike, where he can create a personalized tintype in around 15 minutes.

What’s the reason behind this renewed and growing interest in old-school photography methods? Read the full story on



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