Tin type photography is a vintage technique where wet collodion is poured onto a black japanned tin plate. The plate is then put into an antique camera with a bellows. The light sensitive emulsion is exposed by removing the camera cap and a unique portrait of the sitter/s is made over 15 seconds. The image emerges in the light as the developer takes hold. Utterly different to digital photography there is only one image made from this process although Phillip England provides a low resolution scan with the tintype.
The effect from this arcane photographic technique is a portrait that is mysterious, uniquely detailed, and a true depiction of the sitter. The process is performative as the artist arranges the subjects, checks the temperature of his collodion, mixes his chemicals and finally agitates the tray as your image coalesces from the chemical bath.
An appointment can be purchased from Nolan Art who will organise your appointment. Gift certificates for tintype portraiture can also be purchased on the site.
Wetplate collodion tintypes, invented in the 1850s, consist of photographic emulsion coated onto blackened metal, which is exposed directly in the camera and developed immediately. There is no intermediate negative or file used and each tintype is unique. Outdoor tintype photography requires a portable darkroom.
The revival of early chemical photographic processes including tintype exemplifies in part a reaction to the incorporeality of digital photography and a return to hand crafted, analogue image making. The beguiling materiality of tintypes is rarely encountered in modern photography.
Phillip England’s conceptual focus is currently the contribution of the collodion tintype medium itself to the resulting photographic “image object”, i.e. the physical photographic image produced by the process as much as the subject being photographed. He explores the resonance between the contemporary tintype image and historical tintypes. The process itself: the chemical artefacts, large format camera optics and long exposures alter the psychology of the picture space, constructing an intriguing language of representation.
Phillip’s art practice has evolved from an early interest in black and white film-based environmental abstraction starting at school through large scale digital stitched panoramic works exploring the impact of humans on their natural environment, to his present preoccupation with collodion wet plate tintype photography and its application to contemporary and historic artistic themes and portraiture.