The team from Tested, including Jamie and Adam of Mythbusters fame, all had their portraits taken by San Francisco based tinytpe photographer, Michael Shindler. Take a behind the scenes look at Jamie’s portrait session and recieive a bonus education on the entire tintype process from Shindler in this 6:30 minute episode of Tested.
According to Shindler, the ISO of his camera when shooting tintypes is about 0.5, about 7 full stops below ISO 100. With that information, you can probably imagine how much light you need to expose one of these portraits. Outdoors on a sunny day, Shindler says an exposure will take betwee 2-10 seconds. In the studio, you need to bring a lot of light to the plate (pun somewhat intended).
“A tintype is a one of kind photograph made on a metal plate and it’s a photo process that was invented in 1852, so it’s pretty early in the history of photography. It’s made by coating a plate with a coating of nitro cellulose which has a couple different salts added to it. It’s then sensitized in a bath of silver nitrate, then you take the plate out, load it into the camera, make the exposure, then bring it back into the darkroom to develop it. You only get one copy of this image and it’s on a metal plate. The entire process takes about five minutes.”
Another thing Shindler explains is that the size of print you get is directly related to the size of the camera. In other words, you need a whole different setup for each size print you want to make. The plates can be made on a number materials, Shindler uses black metal sheets that are traditionally used for engraving. He notes that glass and stainless steel work, too.
To learn even more about the process, take a look at the behind the scenes footage, here:
[ via Reddit ]