A tintype photographer will be part of the Civil War encampment | News

While a smartphone photo can be taken by just about anyone in seconds, Rudy Salgado of River City Photography will offer a snapshot of the past with his tintype portraits at Yellow Creek Park during a wartime encampment. calendar at the park on April 30. .

Salgado, who operates a printing and photography studio in Louisville, said Monday the tintype was invented in 1851 and is one of the earliest forms of photography.

“You basically make a piece of metal out of a piece of film and then expose it through the camera and use some sort of chemistry to develop and fix the image,” Salgado said.

Portrait sessions are currently available for camp day. Prices are $70 for a 4×5 portrait and $150 for an 8×10 portrait. It is recommended that no more than two people sit for a tintype photograph.

Salgado said he first became interested in the medium of historical photography after hearing about it from a friend.

“I went to school for printmaking and studied the older techniques like copper plate engravings and stone lithography,” he said. “I met a friend who just talked about tintypes and took a class with an artist from Mississippi.”

Salgado has been photographing tintypes for three years. During this period, he took about 2,000 images in total.

Despite its name, a tintype photograph is not actually printed on a piece of tin.

“Originally they were made on glass and they were called ambrotypes, then a man started putting them on very thin steel or iron plates and that’s what everyone called de tin. But in fact, they were never made on tin,” Salgado said.

Although the process of creating a tintype in the 21st century is very similar to how it would have been done during the Civil War era, there are a few differences.

“Today, when I make tintypes, I use enameled black aluminum, and that’s what most contemporary tintype artists use,” he said.

It takes Salgado about 20 minutes to set up his camera for a tintype, and he can usually get the image developed in about 10 or 15 minutes. It may take a few minutes for the camera to focus on the person being photographed, as the image appears both upside down and upside down compared to the pose of the person in real life.

“The photo will not be upside down, but it will be reversed,” he said. “That’s one of the great things about the tintype process or the wet plate collodion process is that you’ll see yourself exactly as you would see yourself in the mirror, where all the other pictures of you in the world, it flips the image around.”

Although Salgado has a studio in Louisville and has hosted pop-up shops and other events in the past, this will be his first time participating in a pageant.

“It will actually be my first,” Salgado said. “I won’t be wearing Civil War clothes or anything, but I have vintage historical cameras and lenses and a dark room.”

For anyone interested in making a tintype, it is important to remember that the color of the clothes they were in will make a difference in the appearance of the finished tintype.

“In the tintype process, the emulsion is not sensitive to red, orange, and yellow light, so if they’re wearing a red shirt, it’ll be super black in the photo, and the orange and yellow are more dark,” Salgado said. “On the other hand, he’s very sensitive to blue light, so if you’re wearing a blue shirt, he’ll be a lot lighter.”

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