Portrait of Manuel - Tintype

Tintype portrait of artist Manuel Schmettau that I made on his visit to my studio with Ann Stoddard (a colleague from the Wofford College fine arts faculty). Whole plate (6.5″ x 8.5″), 19th century wet plate collodion.

 

Portrait of Isobelle

Whole plate tintype (6.5″ x 8.5″).  19th century wet plate collodion process.  7 sec. exposure under 12 6500K UV tubes.  I made this portrait in my studio at Taylors Mill.

Rev. Keith Turbeville

Rev. Keith Turbeville

Tintype portrait of Rev. Keith Turbeville taken recently in my studio at Taylors Mill.  Keith is an Episcopal priest, who just completed his tenure as an associate minister at Christ Church Episcopal in Greenville, SC.  He and his family are  moving to Texas, and he will become rector of a new church, Holy Trinity by the Lake in Rockwall (near Dallas).

This image was made using the 19th century wet plate collodion process, which was invented in 1851 and replaced Daguerreotypes as the most popular means of studio photography.  Wet plate collodion was the primary means of making photographs through the 1880s.  For this tintype, I used a reproduction 19th century wooden box camera with bellows and an original brass barrel Ross lens made in London in 1872.  The exposure time was 4 seconds under two arrays of 6500K UV lights.

Maliasmark Rust and Ruin Reborn

In a recent post on Meliasmark Rust and Ruin Reborn, my studio at Taylors Mill was listed as one of the spots to visit during the upcoming First Friday arts evening in Greenville (May 3rd).  Click the link above for the text of the full blog post.

Portrait of Caren Lasseter

Tintype of Caren Lasseter made last weekend outside my studio in Taylors, SC.  This is a whole plate (6.5″ x 8.5″) shot with an 1872 Ross portrait lens.  Exposure 7 sec. during late afternoon.   19th Century wet plate collodion process.

Isabella Sophie Gerber

Whole plate ambrotype  (6.5″ x 8.5″) of Isabella Sophie Gerber shot in my studio recently under UV light.  An ambrotype is a slightly underexposed image made on a glass plate using the wet plate collodion photographic process.  It appears as a negative until placed against a dark background, which reverses the tones, rendering the image as a positive.

This ambrotype was shot using two six-tube arrays of UV lights.  Each array contained five 48″ 6500K fluorescent tubes + one 48″ blacklight.  I used a 19th century reproduction tailboard camera with an original 1872 brass barrel Ross portrait lens (f/4) made in London.  Exposure time was 10 seconds.

Tintype Portrait of Jamie Michael Condon

Tintype Portrait of Jamie 

This is a recent tintype that I made just outside my studio, which is in an old Textile Mill in Taylors, SC.  Just across the street from the studio is a vast field, part of which is marshy, that extends for over a mile to a railroad trestle.  The field is surrounded by dense forest, and I thought it was a perfect location for making a tintype portrait.  This subject of this whole plate (6.5″ x 8.5″) is Jamie, the son of an artist friend, who will be going off to college in the fall.

As I processed this plate, I allowed it to remain in the fixer for a much longer time than normal, causing the collodion to begin to dissolve around the edges.  The mysterious looking terrain behind Jamie seems to be melting away – just as the world of high school is, as he prepares for college life in an art school.  Yet he is standing on a solid platform – not the literal concrete drainage entrance – his own emerging sense of self as artist.  He’s a very gifted photographer, and I’m sure we’ll continue to see more amazing work from him in the coming years.

This is my first blog post in a while.  A move will do a lot to interrupt a normal routine.  So will a new job.  So will taking a new studio.  All three happened to me last summer – at once.  After 15 years in New York City, my wife and I moved back home to Greenville, South Carolina, where I opened a new photography studio in the old Taylors Mill.  I also began teaching art history and studio art at The University of South Carolina – Upstate.  But it is time to resume my postings, and I am including here a tintype that I made this week on location at the Reedy River Falls in beautiful downtown Greenville, SC.  I will post more of these location images in the coming week.  The tintype below was made with a 1916 Kodak Brownie camera.  It was a cold day, which can bring issues with the chemistry, and I was using old developer – which accounts for the stormy-looking streaks at the top of the image.  In spite of all that, I still like it very much.

Tintype of Reedy River Falls in downtown Greenville, SC.

Tintype of Reedy River Falls in downtown Greenville, SC.  Image Size:  2.75″ x 4.5.”

The Reedy River Falls were long obscured by a 1960s era bridge, connecting Camperdown Way with the lower Main Street area on the West End.  As part of its downtown revitalization plan, the city of Greenville approved the demolition of the old conventional bridge and replaced it with the Liberty Bridge, a unique, curved and cantilevered suspension bridge for pedestrian traffic.  Providing dramatic views of the falls and the city beyond, the Liberty Bridge has become extremely popular with downtown visitors and is iconic of a progressive Southern city.  Thanks to the superb leadership of Mayor Knox White, Greenville has become attractive to international businesses and professionals seeking a combination of affordable location, great quality of life, ample cultural resources and a modern, vibrant downtown.  I’m happy to be back here!

Liberty_Bridge

Tintype of the Liberty Bridge, Greenville, SC (Whole Plate 6.5″ x 8.5″). Taken with and 1872 Ross lens.

Alumitype by Bryan Hiott (2007).  Pool filtration system, East Hampton, NY.

Alumitype by Bryan Hiott. Pool filtration system, East Hampton, NY.

 

An alumitype is a sheet of trophy aluminum used in the wet plate collodion process to make a positive image.  It is distinct from a true tintype (also called ferrotype) which is made from a sheet of enameled or japanned iron.  Coloring was done in Photoshop CS3 using the lasso tool to select specific areas and the hue/saturation tool to adjust color.  The original size of the alumitype was 3.5 in. x 4.5 in. (quarter plate).

For your viewing pleasure, I have presented an image of a pool filtration system in posh East Hampton, NY.  Why have I lavished such attention on such banal subject matter?  Good question.  This was shot during Eric Taubman’s workshop through the Center for Alternative Photography.  While the other participants were busy trying to recreate the look of a Mathew Brady or Julia Margaret Cameron portrait, I went off and photographed what William Eggleston might have if he were using the wet plate process.  I suppose I was just being contrary or, as Eggleston would say, “democratic” in my image selection.