The wet plate collodion photographic process was invented in the 1850s. The first step to create a tintype is to pour salted collodion onto a black aluminum plate. For an ambrotype, the glass plate must be prepared to receive the chemistry. The aluminum or glass 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 plate 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. This time consuming process makes each tintype unique and one of a kind.
Mini Plate (2.5” x 3.5”) and 4x4 Plate
Tintype with wood holder $45
Ambrotype with wood holder $65
Half Plate (4.25” x 5 5/8”)
Tintype with wood holder $75
Ambrotype with wood holder $90
Tintype with wood holder $85
Ambrotype with wood holder $120
Full/Whole Plate (6.5” x 8.5”)
Tintype with wood holder $125
Ambrotype with wood holder $175
Tintype with wood holder $150
Ambrotype with wood holder $200
Fin & Flora and The Dilemma Series
Framed $379 - $1500
Limited edition 1/1 Plates
Framed $1000 - $3500
Tintype & Ambrotypes can be purchased in person only. Due to each plate being unique even within a series, the plates are best purchased in person.
Visit a light heist at an art show to see the latest wet plate collodion pieces. The following are past work and some are now sold out. Check out instagram to see what is being created. 2023 and later tintypes are no longer being posted here.
ephemera is a series of wet plate collodion photographs depicting flower arrangements. This project explores the significance of flowers to the rhythm of human life and the deep symbolism which we have imbued them with. While it is influenced by the compositions of still life paintings, the use of historical and alternative photographic processes presents to the viewer a fresh, provocative perspective on the beauty and meaning of flowers. (click on button below to continue...)
The scenes depicted in this series of constructed imagery photographs could quite literally fit in the palm of your hand. Over the years, I have collected miniature props and figurines from antique, craft, garden, and secondhand stores, and in this series I use them to tell whimsical vignettes, often inspired by dreams. There is no single theme or story that unifies all these images, except perhaps a suggestion to the viewer to slow down and appreciate the little things in life.
These historical processes, which I especially favor for my photographs of the aging structures of the American countryside, encourage the viewer to meditate on the passage of time. Wet plate collodion and ambrotype are venerable photographic techniques that have become all but lost with the passage of time, so I see a parallel between them and the vanishing barns, decaying grain silos and crumbling ghost towns that dot the American landscape.
The Dilemma, portrays a figure who is half-cat, half-human. He has caught a white dove, a symbol of peace, and is contemplating what to do next. Does he follow his feline instincts and kill the bird, or will he instead nurture and befriend it? This is the dilemma he faces.
Limited Edition. Created 2020
5 Whole Plates - Sold Out
9 Half Plates - Sold Out
Contemplation is the second and largest of the pieces in the series. In it, Fin is seen in consultation with a trusted companion, Flora. The topic of their discussion is the fate of the white dove: will it be killed, taken in as a friend, or freed? This piece depicts the importance of careful thought and the necessity of taking one’s time when making weighty decisions. I kept the following quote by Viktor Frankl in mind while crafting this piece: “Between stimulus and response lies a space. In that space lie our freedom and power to choose a response. In our response lies our growth and our happiness.”
Limited Edition. Created June 4, 2022
Six 8x8 Tintype Plates
One 8x8 Ruby Red Ambrotype - Sold Out
One 8x8 Cobalt Blue Ambrotype
The Decision is the third and last piece in the series. Here, Fin has finally made the choice to set the white dove free and go fishing instead. He arrives at the lake to a wonderful surprise: the bird has returned to keep him company.
By taking the time to contemplate his decision and by choosing to act mercifully, the protagonist has gained a new friend. By coming back in the end, the white dove has reciprocated the protagonist’s goodwill and offer of friendship.
Limited Edition. Created June 6, 2022
Beginning in the 1850s with the invention of wet plate collodion, the average American could visit a photography studio to have their likeness captured. A popular gesture was to send these portraits “to a loved one as the era’s most enduring pledge of friendship.” At around the same time, the now-ubiquitous custom of wedding photography first took hold.
This piece, Fin & Flora, depicts one of these special days from the mid-19th century. The newlyweds are sharing the happiness of their nuptials with their friends and family; like the original wedding pictures from the 1850s, this one allows viewers to celebrate with the happy couple their hopes and dreams for the future.
Fin - Seven Whole Plates Created June 4 & June 6, 2022
Flora - Six Whole Tintype Plates. One Whole Plate Ruby Red Ambrotype. Created May 28, 2022.
Fin & Flora Together Two Plates Custom Matted & Framed 16x20 $699 - $899