Photographer finds perfect surface for his striking tintype photography: old tin cans


posted Tuesday, May 21, 2013 at 10:38 AM EST


The antique process of tintype photography has been around for over 150 years but a photographer recently discovered what could be the perfect medium for it: old tin cans. That photographer, the Arizona-based David Emit Adams, has been creating tintype images on discarded, weather-beaten cans he's found on the desert floor.

"The deserts of the West also have special significance in the history of photography," Adams says. "I have explored this landscape with an awareness of the photographers who have come before me, and this awareness has led me to pay close attention to the traces left behind by others."

In the tintype process, which is also known as wet-plate collodion, an image is created using a thin iron plate with a dark undercoating. The metal is blackened by painting, lacquering or enameling it, which creates a direct positive image. (Here's a good video showing the tintype photography process in action.)

Many of Adams' tintype images emblazoned on the lids of old cans are, appropriately, shots of the surrounding Southwestern landscape.

See more of his work here.

(Via Junk Culture and Neatorama)