Just in case you weren’t aware, “Wet Plate Collodion is the photographic process of pouring Collodion onto a plate of thin iron or glass, then exposing and developing that plate while it’s still wet.” A tintype is a positive image made directly on a sheet of iron metal which is blackened by enamelling lacquering, or painting. The tintype was a novelty item that photographers peddled at carnivals and fairs at the turn of the century in 1900. We’ve all come across a photo editing app trying to simulate vintage photo effects, but perhaps this tintype app which is the first and only of its kind, could be just the treatment for the shots you take on your iPhone, but with even more convincing results. The app called Tintype does a remarkable job of simulating pictures that used the tintype process from as far back as a century and a half ago.
To get as authentic an effect possible, creator Mike Newton worked closely with a tintype photographer for advice and guidance in refining the app. Part of the inspiration behind designing Tintype is to also educate people on this rare and bygone process. Towards this end, the app has a history page where interested iphonographers can look up the process and its roots. Newton likewise plans to put together and make public a national directory of the remaining tintype photographers.
The app has been under development for the past 7 months, with fine tuning input from the world-class tintype photographer based in the Chicago area. Part of the appeal of this old school process is the contrast it lends to the ultra modern smart phones. Today’s cutting edge, but sometimes antiseptic technology, can surely use some old world charm that has an abundance of character. People seem to be unknowingly seeking this old fashioned aesthetic, along with all its inherent limitations.
The app is free and comes with a $0.99 upgrade option. Head on over to their website to get it and view a video on the tintype process.
If you’re interested in reading more about tintype photos, here’s how photographer David Adams created his own on old rusty cans.