Creating Tin-Type Prints ??

Discussion in 'Alternative Techniques & Photo Gallery' started by errant_star, Apr 26, 2005.

  1. errant_star
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    errant_star New Member

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    Okay I have a question for all you alt-technique gurus on the board ...

    As some of you may know ... I've been trying to help my mother photo-document our family history. As of yet I've just been photographing physical locations with some sort of historic value to our family and lineage. However my mom also has mass amounts of old family photographs including tin-types and the old cardboard mounted portraits and she's asked me how I could save them for her. My first thought was just to digitally photograph them and touch them up and then print them out ... but I'd like to possibly make them a little more authentic.

    So here's my question ... would it be possible using a polaroid day-lab to make a polaroid of a digital print of the original photographs and then through an emulsion lift process re-create the tin-types?? and if so has anyone else tried this and how were your success rates using tin as a base for the emulsion?

    Thanks in advance to you all


    Oh and btw this is all in speculation as I do not own a daylab and have never done an emulsion lift ... but if this is plausible it is a road I may take to restore some of these photographs.
  2. terri
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    terri Administrator Staff Member

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    Hi Jen! A Daylab is a slide printer, meaning you can project slide film images onto various Polaroid films, and depending on the film type, you can do an emulsion lift or image transfer from that film. It has nothing to do with tin types, per se, though you could probably transfer the emulsion to a plate. Not sure how well it would show up, however.

    Of course, there is always a way. ;) If you really want to use the Daylab, get slide images of the family photos. You can borrow or rent a copy stand, and lay out some of these prints and photograph them. You'll use slow speed tungsten film, and the results can be pretty good, but it depends on the status of the photo you're shooting. You'll still have a picture of a picture, but you'd be free to do what you wanted with it. If you end up with good quality slides, you can have them scanned to disk as well.

    If you want to attempt actual tin types, that's a whole other ball game. There are tin type kits available. I'll do a little hunting if you'd like. :D This calls for liquid emulsion to be applied to the tin, and you can project the image onto the tin. You'll need negatives of the photos, which again can be obtained using a copy stand.

    I've never thought about doing that, so I'd have to do more research. The photo restorations I've done have been by scanning the original image, fixing them in PS, then printing them out, and either hand coloring (if client wants it) or using sepia in PS. It's fun, and definitely the most direct approach to photo restoration.

    Let me know if any of this has helped and you want more into. Meanwhile, others may weigh in here with additional suggestions. Good luck!! :)
  3. errant_star
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    errant_star New Member

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    Thanks Terri,

    I suppose I wasn't terribly specific, when I was checking this out earlier I came across the Daylab - CopySystem (http://www.daylab.com/Products/CopySystem/copysystem.html) which allows you to do an emulsion lift from a print.

    this was what I was wondering if the emulsion would adhere to the metal very well.

    If you had any more info about the kits for creating tin-types that would be great.

    Thanks again :mrgreen:
  4. terri
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    terri Administrator Staff Member

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    The Daylab copy system only accepts prints 4x6 and smaller. If all the prints you have from your Mom are small, then this system would probably do fine. I just think the size restriction is too limiting to be very useful in the long run. :)

    I'll be glad to check around about tin type kits. It's something I'd like to try myself, some of them can be sooooo gorgeous! :thumbup:

    The emulsion should stick all right. Someone on here (Karalee, I think) recently did a lift using a piece of tile as her receptor, and she said it stuck like glue. ;) If you had trouble with the tin plate, there is a product called LiquiTex out there that you can apply before the transfer that helps them adhere to the surface. No biggie.
  5. ksmattfish
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    ksmattfish Now 100% DC - not as cool as I once was, but still

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  6. terri
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    terri Administrator Staff Member

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    Wow!! This is a cool site! This may or may not be the one I've heard of, but for $25 it sure looks like an easy way to try this out. And lots of other goodies, too, like instructions and FAQ pages.

    Thanks for that link, Mr. Needham. :thumbup: This should be added to the resource list sticky. :)

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