The Tin Gypsy: Taking Antique Photography Processes on the Road

Keep New Times Free
I Support
  • Local
  • Community
  • Journalism
  • logo

Support the independent voice of Phoenix and help keep the future of New Times free.

One new idea for every day in 2011. We're talking big, small, local, international, in action and on the drawing board. Here's today's -- what's yours?

Meghann Gilligan is the very proud owner of a 1961 Lil Loafer Travel Trailer that she's lovingly named "The Tin Gypsy."

Gilligan's a Portland-based photographer fascinated with antique photo processes including wet plate collodion tintypes, ambrotypes, albumen printing, and salted paper printing, which date back to the 1800s.

And as soon as she get her Gypsy revived and retrofitted with a darkroom/studio, she'll be on a mission to take her photo knowledge on the road.

"What really draws me to the practice of early photographic methods, like Wet Plate Collodion and Albumen Printing, is the process. It's a slower, more intimate and handmade experience than many modern photographic practices," Gilligan writes. "There is a feeling of mystery and magic and a little bit of danger... mixing chemicals, coating plates, watching the images slowly appear on the metal or glass as the developer works - it's all really amazing to me."

Gilligan hopes to follow the example of 19th Century photographers and portrait photographers, who converted buggies into mobile darkrooms in order to take their wet plate and tintype processes into the field.

She's currently raising funds on Kickstarter to revamp the old trailer and stock it with a few supplies for the maiden voyage. Gilligan writes that in August, she'll be blazing through the Pacific Northwest and stopping to take photographs of the people and places she encounters.

Read more about The Tin Gypsy on Gilligan's Kickstarter page and in the video below ...

Follow Jackalope Ranch on Facebook and Twitter.

Keep Phoenix New Times Free... Since we started Phoenix New Times, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Phoenix, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering Phoenix with no paywalls.

We use cookies to collect and analyze information on site performance and usage, and to enhance and customize content and advertisements. By clicking 'X' or continuing to use the site, you agree to allow cookies to be placed. To find out more, visit our cookies policy and our privacy policy.


Join the New Times community and help support independent local journalism in Phoenix.


Join the New Times community and help support independent local journalism in Phoenix.