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What...?

You may well be wondering: what on earth is a tintype?  It's actually a kind of photograph, taken on a metal plate. An ambrotype, is a photograph made on a glass plate by the same process. The process, known as ‘wet plate collodion’ was invented in 1851 and was an important advance on earlier methods such as the caloytpe and Daguerrotype. It greatly improved the accessibility and quality of photographs and was the most widely used technique for the next quarter of a century.

By modern standards it’s insanely cumbersome, expensive and time-consuming, but there’s a magic to wet plate collodion and the images it produces which makes it worth doing, even in the digital era. Like vinyl records and manual typewriters, wet plate photography has a tangible physical quality and a magical ingenuity which makes it highly engaging to observe and practise. It’s no exaggeration to say that everyone who has walked through the doors of our studio has been blown away by their first experience of wet plate photography. Our Victorian ancestors must have felt much the same way when they first encountered this extraordinary photo-chemical process 170 years ago.

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Our Story

Teddington Tintype was set up by two photographers, Simon Whitehead (@threebythree) and Pete Swann (@cameraeccentrica). Both began their careers shooting film, and have long-standing interests in alternative photography. Both discovered wet plate collodion and were captivated by the magic of the process. Simon works at Teddington Photographic a couple of days a week repairing film and digital cameras (@camerarepairs) in between commercial photo shoots (www.simonwhitehead.photo). Pete is an industrial designer, artist (www.peteswann.co.uk) and builder of large format cameras (www.cameraeccentrica.co.uk), and a regular customer of the shop. They have teamed up to deliver a mind-expanding experience of photography to the people of SW London and beyond.

Come to Teddington Tintype and see it with your own eyes!

Meet The Team

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