The wet plate collodion process is labor-intensive and requires keen attention. First, I cut a tintype out of black aluminium and pour salted collodion onto it. The plate is then immersed into silver nitrate. While it is still wet, it is exposed in the camera with my Voigtländer-Petzval 1846 lens. After exposure, each tintype is immediately returned to the darkroom for development and fix. The last step is to varnish the plate with sandarac lavender oil, which is applied by hand and warmed over an alcohol lamp.
Due to this process, each tintype is unique and possesses small imperfections that make each plate one of a kind. Tintypes can potentially last up to 150 years, so plan to pass the plates down to future generations!
Ambrotype, 2012. Self Portrait