How Civil War-Era Tintype Photographs Were Made

Ever wonder how photographs were made back in the days of the Civil War? This video by the George Eastman House provides an interesting step-by-step look at how tintype photographs are created. It’ll make you feel spoiled as a modern day photographer.

(via Photographs on the Brain)

  • John Milleker

    There’s nothing more fun. You want to work on your compositional skills? You’ll learn how to spot common mistakes quickly when each photo takes about 20 minutes and the chemicals add up.

  • tttulio

    And the photographers used to charge much less than todays’ EOS 5D mk2 wielding kind.

  • whippersnapper

    And I used to walk up hill through the snow both ways!!!!

  • Adriana Glackin

    Wow – so enjoyed watching this. :)

  • Cloverbjc

    as a civil war reenactor and photographer ive seen theis process done up close and personal. its awesome. there are guys that go to all the big reenactments and take tin photos for reenactors. its awesome. there arent that many people that do this but they are incredible and some of the nicest guys ive come across.

  • will hall

    Stick iPhone in the box, apply instogram, print on metal. They’ll never know!

  • Alan Dove

     Bullshit. Ten seconds on Google reveals that the typical price of a tintype in the 1860s was between $0.25 and $1. Correcting for inflation, that’s about $10 for a single image, shot in a stock pose with fixed lighting in a process that took 15-20 minutes in total. A modern three-hour portrait session with multiple lights and poses, or an all-day wedding shoot that produces an entire album (plus video in many cases) is a bargain.

  • Sdad

    I would have preferred a commentary to the banjo!  I’m none the wiser about the process.  Are they assuming we all know HOW to do it and just want to WATCH?