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Photographer Makes Tintypes Out of Old, Rusty Cans

While the "tin" in tintype gives a clue on the taking medium of the age-old photographic process, it seemed to have sparked an interesting concept and idea in photographer David Emitt Adams. Take a look at his interesting work after the jump!

Traditional tintypes involve developing images over black iron plates coated with collodion and photosensitized afterwards, but photographer David Emitt Adams came up with a brilliant idea to make unique tintypes: he used old, rusty cans in place of the iron plates.

Rusty, discarded cans, some of them decades old. A handful of them will be picked up by Adams and transformed into unique photographic pieces.

For his series called Conversations with History, Adams collects discarded cans coated with the distinct rustiness painted by time and exposure to elements out in the Arizona desert. The “reddish-brown rusty patina,” he says, is the “evidence of light and time, the two main components inherent in the very nature of photography.” From this realization, he imprints the cans through the tintype process with some images that “speak of human involvement” with the deserts of the American West.

On the Arizona desert, which he knew since childhood, he says:

“Never have I known this landscape without roads, homes, buildings or urban sprawl. This notion of land untouched by the hand of man is so foreign it might as well be make-believe. As long as people have been in the American West, we have found its barren desert landscapes to be an environment perfect for dumping and forgetting.”

If you liked this article, you might also enjoy reading these tintype/collodion-related articles:

Paintball Battlegrounds Given a Vintage Look by Civil War Era Photographic Techniques
The World’s Smallest Tintypes Taken Using the Fisheye Baby 110
How Tintype Photographs Are Made
iPhone Glass Back Becomes Wet Collodion Photo Plate

What do you think of this series of unique tintypes by David Emitt Adams? Share your insights with a comment below!

All information and photos for this article were sourced from David Emitt Adams Official Website and PetaPixel.

written by plasticpopsicle

3 comments

  1. bsdunek

    bsdunek

    Very neat! I love these. This inspires me to try something similar.

    over 1 year ago · report as spam
  2. plasticpopsicle

    plasticpopsicle

    @bsdunek Very neat indeed -- it never crossed my mind that tintypes could be and would be done on this type of "tin" so I find the work of this photographer really unique! Do tell us about your own take on this! :)

    over 1 year ago · report as spam
  3. mafiosa

    mafiosa

    Awesome!!

    over 1 year ago · report as spam

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This is the original article written in: English. It is also available in: Nederlands, Deutsch & Italiano.