The tintype studio

Workshops

Taking a workshop is the best way to learn about this unique process, find out more

Tintype Workshops

The Tintype Studio offers one-day workshops which teach the Victorian, wet-plate collodion process from start to finish. Learn how to flow and then sensitise a metal plate in the darkroom. Frame and focus your picture on a vintage camera and then insert the plate to make the image. Watch as your image on a sheet of blackened aluminium emerges as a negative in the darkroom and then transforms into a one-off positive image in the fixing bath. 

All materials are included and at the end of the day, you will walk away with your own tintype. 

 
Students with 'Hilda', our Victorian camera, on the November course at the Old Mortuary in Rotherhithe, South East London.

Students with 'Hilda', our Victorian camera, on the November course at the Old Mortuary in Rotherhithe, South East London.

WHAT THE DAY INVOLVES

We start at ten and James gives a short briefing on the history of the process and some health and safety info. Then James and Ben take you through all the parts of the process; starting with plate making, to taking the picture and then developing and fixing. Once your are acquainted with the process, you will get the chance, under James' guidance to make a plate yourself. 

We rotate roles with someone working the darkroom, taking the pictures, on lighting and a person posing so everyone gets the chance to learn each part of the process, including being on the other side of the lens. 

Inevitably there are a few disasters!

Inevitably there are a few disasters!

limited numbers

For students to get the most from the day; we limit each workshop to a maximum of five people. This makes sure that everyone gets a chance to explore the various elements to the process. It also allows everyone to have themselves to be immortalised in a tintype. 


Flowing the plate to make a collodion base to fix the silver

Flowing the plate to make a collodion base to fix the silver

take away your work

Towards the end of the day, you will be taught how to preserve your images with varnish. Once dried you will be able to take away the pictures which have been made of yourself during the day. 

“I spent a day with James and Ben learning the alchemy of chemicals and light to make the most beautiful and unique tintype photographs.

In a modern world of digital photography, it’s so refreshing and magical to go back to the beginnings of photography and be taught how to make something from scratch and hold the result in your hand. The whole process is just magical ,

James’s knowledge and passion for this nearly forgotten craft is enthralling and I am now eager to learn and make more tintypes. “
— Clive Holland, student