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Our buddy Adrian Whipp is the local genius behind Lumiere Tintype, an Austin mobile tintype studio. You have probably heard of him by now if you live in Austin as he has set up his little studio at La Barbecue on South First and most recently at Justine’s on East 5th. He has also been doing commissions like the above portrait of Stefan, co-owner of Revival Cycles and a recent HELM collaborator himself.

We were even lucky enough back in 2013 to nab Adrian for his help in presenting our Fall collection. He was kind enough to spend the day with us out in McKinney Falls State Park where we shot several scenes involving our new boots for that season. We love how the tintype process enhances the style of our boots and you can still see some of the shots displayed throughout our store space.

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So what exactly is a tintype? It is a photograph made by creating a direct positive on a sheet of iron metal that is blackened by paint, lacquer or enamel and is used as a support for a collodion photographic emulsion. What the heck is that? Basically it is a suspension of silver halide crystals that vary in density depending on how much and for how long they are exposed to light. Underexposure is good and therefore quick “film” speed and results in a good medium for portraiture. In its inception, tintypes were a good medium for photographers working fairs, carnivals and most significantly in the field during the Civil War.

Adrian is reviving this tradition of quick portraiture and traveling street photographers with his modern studio. He still uses the silver collodion and makes all of his chemicals. He develops on site and provides you with both a tintype of your mug and a digital scan for you to Instagram and send to mom.

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