Tintypes continue to fascinate us. Despite the process being over 150 years old, its methodical, almost meditative procedure and striking results have kept it alive. It's also a fairly scientific process that involves a good bit of chemistry. Check out this video to learn more about the technical and practical aspects of the practice of shooting tintypes.
I've always thought the science of tintypes was pretty cool, especially considering how clever it was for its time. Michael Shindler, a San Francisco photographer, takes us through the entire process, from the creation of the plates to the final development. He notes that the plates have an equivalent ISO of about 0.75, or about 133 times slower than the base ISO of 100 of many of today's modern digital cameras. The plates are so slow that he can even walk in and out of the darkroom while they're sensitizing with no real consequences.
The process is intricate, the science is fascinating, and the results are beautiful. Without starting yet another analog vs digital debate, I certainly think there's something about the images that can't be replicated with a digital apparatus, and I can certainly say the process itself is vastly different (and seemingly more satisfying than digital work). I'm itching to try it out myself.