• Facebook

    500 K / likes

  • Twitter

    1 M / followers

Tintype Portraits of Photography Students Created on Their Discarded Film Canisters


11_Student Tintype_004 copy

Photographer David Emitt Adams experiments with unique metal bases in his experiments with tintype photography. Last week we shared a project in which he used abandoned tin cans found in a desert to create tintype photographs.

36 Exposures is another project of his that uses unconventional materials for creating old school photos. It’s a series of tintype photographs that were created using 35mm film canisters.

Adams came up with the idea for the project after teaching an “Introduction to Photography course.” Students in the class had learned the basics of photography using film cameras, and their work in the darkroom produced a pile of discarded film canisters.

Seeing that these canisters played a crucial role in his students’ initial understanding of photography, Adams decided to upcycle them into photographs.

Each canister was flattened from a cylinder into a rectangle and then used as the metal base for tintype portraits of the students. Each of the resulting piece looks like a flattened film canister on one side, but flip it over and you’ll see a beautiful photograph created through the labor-intensive collodion process from the 19th century.

11_Student Tintype_001 copy

11_Student Tintype_007 copy

11_Student Tintype_011 copy

11_Student Tintype_012 copy

11_Student Tintype_013 copy

11_Student Tintype_014 copy

11_Student Tintype_016 copy

11_Student Tintype_017 copy

11_Student Tintype_018 copy

In addition to the tintypes themselves, Adams also created a gorgeous display case out of mahogany to store and show off the work. The case looks like a wooden box when it’s all packed up:


Open up the side, and you’ll see the collection of tintypes stored in wooden holders:

11_Display_01 copy

11_Display_05 copy

Lift up the top of the box, and the lid becomes a stand on which the portraits can be proudly displayed:

11_Display_02 copy

11_Display_07 copy

You can find more of Adams’ work over on his personal website.

Image credits: Photographs by David Emitt Adams and used with permission