Thursday, April 8, 2010
The process was first described in 1853 by French photographer and inventor, Adolphe-Alexander Martin, the tintype, more properly called the melainotype or ferrotype, was a photographic process where a direct positive print was made on a sheet of iron. Technically, the image is a negative, but exposed on a background that has been painted, lacquered, or enamelled in black, it appears to be positive. The ferrotype uses the same method as the ambrotype, except that the ambrotype was made on glass and then placed in a black, backed frame. The ferrotype also reverses the image, unless taken with a special camera with a built in prism, the image will be flopped. Because the materials were cheap, and almost indestructible, unlike the ambrotype, the tintype became the first affordable photographic process, making it possible for the lower middle and poor working classes to have portraits made. I've got lots, and lots of tintypes, this first five will, in time, be followed by other tintype galleries. I've already posted a couple of tintypes, unique in themselves. Click on tintypes in the label section.