Tintype Surfers & Lost Places

American photographer Joni Sternbach is well known for Surfland, a series of unique tintype portraits and seascapes along America’s coasts. She also captures abandoned places, the ocean, the sky and other vistas.

Sternbach uses a wet-plate collodion process, introduced in the 1850s.

The 8×10″ aluminum plate is hand-coated and sensitized in a bath of silver nitrate just before being loaded in her 19th-century-style, wooden view camera. Sternbach uses a variety of antique brass and modern lenses. The entire process is done on location, with a portable darkroom.

Part craft and part theatre, the instantaneous wet-plate collodion process allows Sternbach to create one-of-a-kind tintypes that are imbued with a feeling of ambiguity, timelessness and mystery.Soulcatcher Studio, from her Surfland exhibition.

-In the field, from the series Salt Effect

-Intrepid potash, Salt Effect

-Deer Isle, from the series Abandoned

-Broken Home, from Abandoned


There are 4 comments

  1. anngrafics

    Very retro looking and her methods explain why. Interesting to see someone not just keeping with the old fashioned (now) film, but a technique even further back in time.


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