How To Do Tintype Photography

How To Do Tintype Photography

“How To Do Tintype Photography”. One of the earliest forms of photography, tintype photography is all about capturing images on a sheet of photo paper that has been coated with a light-sensitive emulsion.

In this tutorial, we’ll show you how to do tintype photography using supplies you likely already have at home – including the white paper, a negative carrier, and a darkroom. So whether you’re a budding photographer looking to experiment with an old form of photography, or just want to create some unique prints for your home collection, this tutorial is for you!

What is tintype photography?

Tintype photography is a technique that was once popular among early photographers. Essentially, tintype photography is a printing process where the image is made on a metal sheet coated with a light-sensitive emulsion. When the photograph is taken, the light shining onto the metal surface will create an image that can then be exposed to light and printed as usual.

How to do tintype photography

If you are interested in learning how to do tintype photography, you have come to the right place! In this article, we will discuss the basics of tintype photography and give you a few tips on how to get started.

A tintype is a popular form of photography that uses a negative image created from a positive original photograph. The process is simple: a coating is applied to a copper sheet, which then prints onto photo paper.

The most basic version of this process is called the “black and white” tintype, but there are many other variations that can be more interesting or challenging to execute.

To start, you will need some supplies. You will need an original photograph, some type of coating (most often lacquer), photo paper, and a copper sheet (or other light-sensitive material). You can buy all of these supplies or make them yourself.)

The first thing you will want to do is find an original photograph that you would like to use for your tintype.

This photograph should be in good condition and free of damage. Make sure that the image is large enough so that it will fit onto one side ofthe copper sheet (or other light-sensitive material).

Now, you will need to apply the coating to the copper sheet. The most common type of coating is lacquer, but there are a variety of other options available. You can buy lacquer or make your own using some type of solvent and a brush.

Once the coating is applied, you will need to print the photo onto photo paper. To do this, you will need to place the photo paper over the coated copper sheet and then expose it to light (usually by exposing it to sunlight).

The amount of time that you expose the photo paper will determine the darkness or brightness of the tintype image.

After the photo has been exposed, remove it from the copper sheet and enjoy your newly created tintype!

How To Do Tintype Photography

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What to use for tintype photography

There are a few different things you can use for tintype photography. The most common material is wet photographic paper. Other materials include leather, cloth, and even books. One important thing to remember is that the material you use should be resistant to water.

Tips for tintype photography

There are a few things you’ll need to do in order to start tintype photography: choose a camera, find an interesting subject matter, and develop the film yourself. The rest is up to you!

  • Choose a Camera

The most important decision you’ll make when starting out with tintype photography is choosing the camera you’ll use. There are a few different types of cameras available, but the two most common are the single-lens reflex (SLR) and the twin-lens reflex (TLR).

Each has its own advantages and disadvantages, so it’s important to choose one that will fit your style of shooting. If you’re just starting out, a basic SLR will work fine. As your skills increase, you may want to consider investing in a more specialized camera, such as a TLR or rangefinder camera.

  • Find an Interesting Subject Matter

Once you’ve chosen your camera and found an interesting subject matter, the next step is to start shooting. The key to successful tintype photography is capturing detail in your subjects’ faces and clothing.
To achieve this detail, use careful composition and framing, and try to vary your shooting angles to capture different aspects of your subject’s appearance.

  • Develop the Film Yourself

One of the biggest challenges of tintype photography is developing the film yourself. This process can be time-consuming and requires a few specific supplies, so it’s important to be prepared before you start shooting.

Make sure you have enough light, develop your film in a darkroom, and follow the instructions carefully. If you’re new to this technique, it’s best to start with simple projects first and gradually work your way up to more complex projects.

The different types of film for tintype photography

Film for tintype photography can be divided into three main categories: paper, metal, and plastic. Each has its own unique qualities that make it the best choice for certain types of photography. Here is a brief overview of each type of film and what it is best suited for:

Paper Film: This type of film is made from a paper base that is coated with chemicals that create an image when exposed to light. It is the oldest type of film and is still used today in some traditional photo studios. Because of this, the paper film is best suited for portraits or photos with a natural look.

It can also be used for black and white photography, but color images will suffer in quality.

Metal Film: This type of film is made from a metal base that has been coated with chemicals that create an image when exposed to light. The metal film has the advantage over paper film in that it can be processed more easily to create different effects such as metallic prints or silver screen prints.

It can also be used for color photography, but because it has a more reflective surface, color images will suffer in quality compared to black and white images.

Plastic Film: This type of film is made from a plastic base that has been coated with chemicals that create an image when exposed to light. Plastic film is the most modern type of film and has many advantages over the other two types.

It is less prone to fading and can be processed more easily to create different effects such as glossy prints or matte finishes. It also has the advantage over the metal film in that it can be used for color photography, which makes it perfect for creating professional-looking images.

How to light a tintype photograph

If you’re interested in lighting a tintype photograph, there are a few things to remember. First, make sure the light is coming from behind the subject. This will help create a more authentic look for your photo. Second, use a small light source to avoid harsh shadows.

Finally, keep your exposure short and allow the light to blend into the background.

final thoughts

If you’re new to tintype photography, you’re in for a treat! This unique style of photography is incredibly easy to learn and produces stunning results. Here are four tips to get started:

  • Choose the right paper. The type of paper affects the final result, so be sure to test out different types before your shoot.
  • Shoot in natural light. Tintypes look their best when shot in natural light with a slight amount of diffusion or backlighting.
  • Use good composition. Keep your subject in the center of the frame and use simple compositions that focus attention on your subject.
  • Experiment! There’s no wrong way to do tintype photography, so have fun and experiment with different settings and poses to see what looks best on your subject.


Tintype photography is a great way to capture personal memories for posterity. Not only can you create beautiful prints of your favorite photos, but you can also use tintypes as keepsake mementos to remind you of special moments.

Thanks for reading! Stay tuned for new updates.

Author: Eshant

My journey toward photography has been an interesting one. I started with a very basic DSLR camera, and after several years of experimentation with its manual settings, I finally made the jump to single-lens reflex (SLR) cameras. Being a photographer is not just about having a camera or being able to take pictures well. It requires the ability to process information from raw data, which is why I am passionate about learning things and implementing them in real life. Hey! I am Eshant, an 18-year-old student from India who loves blogging and photography. I was born and raised in Haryana India but moved to Chandigarh for education when I was 14 I want to be able to utilize my skills in both online and offline businesses so that's why I'm learning about internet marketing and my goal is to start a blog. I am passionate about learning new things, hence why I love blogging too. Please feel free to contact me via email or twitter if you have any questions!

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