News and Information from Camp Tintype

Contents and What's New

NOTE FROM JOHN: Because of inflation, we must raise our workshop prices in 2022. It was $1077.00 for the standard workshops. It is now $1077.77. I know, I know... 77 cents!!! Not my fault! My hands are tied. I'm not price goughing. Honest! (All other workshop prices will be raised by the same amount.)   -JC

   2022 "All-Around Wet-Plate" Workshops  <<< Sept. class full. One seat has opened in July class. As of 6/21/2022.
   2022 "Just Tintypes & Ambrotypes" Workshops  <<< Sept. class full. Seats in July class still available as of 6/21/2022.
   The 20X24 "Mammoth Wet-Plate" Workshop  <<< Class is over for 2022. Watch for 2023 dates.
   The "Brownie Camera Safari"  <<< July 15-17, 2022. Three seats available as of 6/21/2022.
   The "Advanced Positives & Negatives" Workshop  <<< Aug. 26-28, 2022. Two seats available as of 6/21/2022.
   The "Model T Wet-Plate Safari"  <<< Sep. 30-Oct. 2, 2022. All seats available as of 6/21/2022.
   The REAL Wet-Plate Collodion Tintype Boot Camp  <<< Classes over for 2022. Watch for 2023 dates.
   Case Making Boot Camp  <<< Oct. 7-9, 2022. Two seats available as of 6/21/2022.
   Portraiture At Camp Tintype  <<< Continues in 2022.
   Private tutorials offered  <<< Perhaps it is time!

   Announcing the Photographic Van Museum  <<< Now ready!   See info here.
   2022 Jamboree - July 29 to July 31  <<< John's Roundup of the 2021 Jam now posted!  2021 photos still arriving.
   New videos on the Camp Tintype YouTube Channel  <<< "Shorty Gets Milked" (most recently added)
   Myth Busters articles  <<< Myth Busters VIDEOS coming soon!
   Horse Hairs in My Soup - eBook series by John Coffer  <<< Chapter 12 is now posted.
   An article by John about Charles H. Tremear, his "Tintype Influencer"

   Gear for sale at the WET-PLATE Gear Sale Barn  <<< Many very rare items.
   More of John's artwork is now offered for purchase  <<< Do not delay on these rare pieces.
   The "Doers Guide" instruction manual and DVD set  <<< Now includes a genuine Ferrotype tintype made by John.
   Wet-Plate Collodion Follow-Up Kit
   The "Enhanced Nuance" developing technique continues in 2022  <<< Will be taught at any workshop.
   The Workshops Troubleshooting HOT LINE continues in 2022!  <<< For ALL workshop attendees!
   Free CFL Light Bank Primer  <<< To anyone enrolled in any workshop or tutorial.
   Original 1852 Holmes, Both, and Haydens Petzval design lens  <<< Available for workshop students to try out.

   What people are saying about Camp Tintype  <<< Letters from workshop students.
   Brief Overview of the Wet-Plate Process  <<< Scan of a letterpress handout
   Contact Information
   Biographical & Camp Tintype Information  <<< Including 21 reasons why Camp Tintype is unmatched!


Quarter-plate tintype of John Coffer in selfie mode.

James Weber's first crack at a wet-plate image at a 2012 workshop.


    Yet one more reason to attend a Camp Tintype workshop

John will now be offering Free Hamburger Night at all of this year's workshops. His own grass-fed, all-beef deluxe burgers grilled over the campfire. One of John's steers has been processed to provide over 300 pounds of all-beef, no fillers, burgers filling Anne's deep freezers. There's hamburger like they sell at Walmart and then there's Real Hamburger at Camp Tintype.

    Announcing the opening of The Photographic Van Museum!

The Photographic Van darkroom wagon was, for all intents and purposes, the rescue vehicle for the wet-plate collodion process. Without it, wet-plate would likely have sunk completely into oblivion. The little wagon that could! See the full information on this historic artifact here.

Photographic Van

    New items available to Workshop/Tutorial students

Pints of Ol' Workhorse, seasoned, ready-to-go-to-work collodion are now available to all workshop and tutorial students. The cash and carry cost is $75.00 a pint. Also available is light amber shellac varnish for $65.00 a pint.

    Something new: The "Enhanced Nuance" Developing Technique

Same chemistry as always, but just a different, but critical for best results, work flow. John will show anyone the side-by-side comparison studies he has done. Brighter highlights and cleaner blacks is what you get. Hardly anyone is on to this method at this stage of things, let alone teaching it at any other workshops, in-person or on-line. Both the beginner and the struggling wet-plate shooting masses can benefit from this technique. Camp Tintype innovations just keep coming and now the game-changing "Enhanced Nuance" developing technique. Why learn any other inferior way?!!

    Continuing: The Camp Tintype Workshops Troubleshooting Hot Line Phone.

Yes, that’s right! At the end of each workshop, all students will be given an exclusive phone number. After they get home, if they were to need any help or advice with anything pertaining to the wet-plate process, they can call or text me now. And, I might add, they won’t be talking to just a receptionist, but rather yours truly, the guy who kicked off the wet-plate revival in the early 1980’s and has been teaching and doing the process longer than anyone alive today. I will have the hot line phone in my pocket all my waking hours, seven days a week. Unlike the “institutions” and “non-profits” out there that teach rudimentary wet-plate, you’ll be sure to get instant feedback quick and fast, when you need it the most. Now try that hat on and see how ya like it!

    Original Holmes, Both, and Haydens Petzval design lens available for you to try

Come shoot your first wet-plate collodion image through the lens of history! In our beginner workshops we start everyone out with a tintype shot through our beautiful cherry wood, faithful recreation of an early sliding box half plate camera with an original 1852 Holmes, Both, and Haydens Petzval design lens. Come channel the past and the future at Camp Tintype like no other place on the planet!

Petzval lens

    Portraiture at Camp Tintype continues in 2022

Due to the overwhelming response and unprecidented demand for true 19th century authentic wet-plate collodion photography, we are offering our totally unique portrait weekends again, but with thrice as many as ever before. Don't miss this "found nowhere else" opportunity while it should last! This service will continue to be offered by John only at Camp Tintype. For a detailed description and pricing, click here for the info.

    Some of John's rare artwork is now for sale to the general public:

    Rare gear for sale at the WET-PLATE Gear Sale Barn:

John has many rare items for sale here in the Gear Sale Barn. Many of which can only be had by workshop students and others who make the journey to Camp Tintype. Some of the items for sale include:

    The New FREE CFL Light Bank Wet-Plate Demo and Wet-Plate by Enlarger Projection Pre-workshop Primer:

The late afternoon and evening of the day before the All-Around-Wet-Plate or Just Tintypes workshop starts, we will be demonstrating the basic wet-plate process using, currently very popular, electric CFL lights. Also, you'll get a chance to see how a wet-plate print is made under a common film enlarger using a color slide. This should suffice to give the student at least the basics should they want to go down those paths at some point in time. We'll go on the next day to the more challenging, historically amazing, and useful in the field all things wet-plate when the workshop kicks in. Camp Tintype is and has always been the place that likes to cover all the bases, bring it down to earth, and especially likes to clear the air of all the smoke and clutter that pervades the wet-plate world today. And one more thing, we don't have big archival ink (inkjet) prints "eye candy" from scans staring down at you at every turn. Here at Ol' Camp Tintype, we only have the solid analog made stuff that you may have to go out of your way for a look at, or perhaps hold in your hand in a hand crafted Super Fine case, or peer at in 3D in the old stereoscope viewer, just like they did in the real deal wet-plate days.

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"All-Around Wet-Plate" Workshop Information

    The Fun Begins long before workshop time with a "Camp Tintype" Workshop
It is our policy to send the celebrated Doers Guide to Wet-plate Photography manual with 3 ½ hour wet-plate instructional DVD set to each student soon after they sign up and send in their deposit. They can study this and get a great leg up on the process long before they arrive. Many are actually shooting and gathering their own equipment and chemicals months before setting foot on Camp Tintype. But, wait there's more! Some even gather up another really fun thing and that is "Hobo Tin", as we like to call it. Because we get into black japanning our own plates in the workshops, we can black japan a variety of materials. That can easily be thin sheet steel or aluminum salvaged from metal cans such as cookie tins, popcorn cans, gun powder cans, etc., or even your favorite beer or soda pop cans. With this you can make tintypes with a wet-plate image on one side and the artwork and logo that is on the can on the back side. This will send your work over the top from being just a wet-plate image to being a genuine Americana Folk art piece. Only at Camp Tintype can you do such fun stuff with wet-plate!

Hobo Tin - front

Hobo Tin - back

******************   Now in our 27th year of teaching wet-plate workshops!   ******************

Featuring four solid days of hands-on training in the making of:

2022 Regular All-Around Wet-Plate Workshop Date:
June 16, 17, 18, 19
< One seat left! > July 21, 22, 23, 24 < One seat left! >
< FULL! > September 2, 3, 4, 5 < FULL! >

$1077.77 per student...No lab fees!
A $250.00 deposit is required to secure enrollment.

Policy on Deposits for the Workshops:

The usual $250 deposit is required to hold a workshop spot for a student. It is refundable only if I can fill that spot with another student before workshop time. Absolutely no exceptions. Also, full payment of the rest of the tuition fee must be made 30 days or sooner before the workshop scheduled date by check, money order, or cash, just like the deposit. And also, just like the deposit, it is not refundable unless the workshop spot can be filled before workshop time. I regret this hardcore approach to the business side of the workshops, but after a couple of student no-shows, a no-show demanding his deposit back, and a rubber check in '09, I have no choice. You can only write so much off to the cost of doing business and I'm not the kind to drag people to small claims court or haggle over the filthy lucre.    -JC

Includes a comprehensive manual with instructional DVD set.
All materials and equipment provided.

Each student will receive "The Doers Guide", a complete, 165+ page, fully illustrated workshop manual covering the entire wet-plate process, including the making of albumen photographs. Manuals can be purchased separately for $90.00 ppd. USA, refundable toward workshop tuition, and includes DVDs (4 hours total). The DVD set is available separately for $45.00 ppd. Contact John Coffer by regular mail for details.

Note about the manual: Manuals are sent out at no extra cost as soon as your deposit is received for a workshop. However, if you are overseas, a surcharge of $70 to cover shipping will be tacked onto the cost of the workshop. If you are in Canada, the surcharge is $40.

Don't delay - class size is limited to only 3 students

For details and registration, write:
DUNDEE, NY 14837-9443

NOTE: Private tutoring is also available for $750.77 per day, with discounts for multiple days, as to your schedule and individual needs. I have more than 40 years experience as a professional wet-plate collodion portrait photographer and am well prepared to teach you the correct time honored methods that work consistently and the best.    -JC

EXTRA! EXTRA! Free Play Day!

For those taking the above beginner/intermediate wet-plate collodion in-the-field workshops, you are invited to stay at no extra charge an extra day! You may shoot wet-plates with our gear and supplies to your heart's content. We have found over the years that after the third day of the workshop, all the students have the routine down pat and are chomping at the bit to keep right on shooting fun images around the farm. You may even shoot plates as large as 8x10 (limited in number) if you like.

Also, remember that students are encouraged and welcome to check in the day before the workshop officially begins to settle in if they are camping, but also to look over the wet-plate gear we will be using, or have us look over any potential wet-plate gear they care to bring along for evaluation or would like to try to shoot with. Further, be it known that workshop days are very full at Camp Tintype. When the sun shines we make wet-plate hay, and after supper we usually varnish plates and mix some chemistry into the night. In short, if you are seeking as much wet-plate bang for your buck as you can get, look no further than Camp Tintype!

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"Just Tintypes & Ambrotypes" Workshops

    The popular "Just Tintypes & Ambrotypes" workshops are a continuing favorite
If wet-plate tintypes are what grabs you the most, this is the workshop for you. If you are an experienced wet-plate photographer but want to specialize in tintypes, this workshop will put you on the right path. If you are a total beginner but don't see yourself doing anything but tintypes for the foreseeable future, there is no better way to start off with learning wet-plate than with making tintypes.

    THE MAMMOTH PLATE OPTION continues for "Just Tintypes & Ambrotypes" workshop students only!
Yes, it's true! Take any of the "Just Tintypes & Ambrotypes" workshops or tutorials and get a chance at shooting a 20"x 24" MAMMOTH! I have found that after the third day of my tintype workshops that a significant number of my students are ready and able to take on a Mammoth. All that you will have to provide extra is a $400 lab fee. This will allow you to shoot two 20"x 24" plates. So, how do you know you are ready? If you can shoot a decent 8x10, you can do this. Personally, I have been shooting 20"x 24" wet-plate collodion Mammoths since 2002. The first ever Mammoth Ferrotype Tintypes were shot here. Since then my Mammoths remain unchallenged and have been exhibited by prestigious galleries from coast to coast. So, you couldn't have a more experienced Mammoth plate teacher. We will work together in and out of my new walk in darkroom booth to ensure you will perform all the steps properly. For this first Mammoth Plate experience, we will be using the extremely easy and convenient Black Trophy plaque aluminum plates (AKA aluminotype or alumitype). With these ultra easy beginner plates it becomes mere child's play, except for using lots and lots chemicals! It's a great way to top off an unforgettable Camp Tintype workshop experience. No other workshop in the world could or would dare to offer this incredible opportunity!   -JC

Note: You are responsible for the packing and transport of your Mammoths. I will not pack them and ship them for you. I suggest that you send a suitable box and packing materials ahead of your arrival if you plan to do this exciting option.


    The Pretty Big Plate Option
If Mammoths seem just too big a leap or you would like a stepping stone up to them you'll love this option. For only an extra $150 lab fee you can shoot two 11x14 Aluminotype Tintypes. 8x10's are an option for any student who cares to try that pretty dang big plate size at no extra charge.

    "Just Tintypes & Ambrotypes" workshops dates for 2022

2022 Just Tintypes & Ambrotypes Workshop Dates:
June 2, 3, 4, 5
July 7, 8, 9, 10
< FULL! > September 15, 16, 17, 18 < FULL! >

$1077.77 per student...No lab fees!
A $250.00 deposit is required to secure enrollment.

EXTRA! EXTRA! Free Play Day!

For those taking the above Just Tintypes Workshops, just like for the All-Around Workshops, you are invited to stay at no extra charge an additional day! You may shoot wet-plates with our gear and supplies to your heart's content. We have found that after the third day of the workshop, students have the routine down pat and are chomping at the bit to keep right on shooting fun images around the farm. You may even shoot plates as large as 8x10 (limited in number) if you like.

    This class is sure to be productive and exciting!
We will be shooting both authentic Ferrotype tintypes, as well as the popular peel and pour, non-authentic (but great for practice) aluminotype tintypes, in sizes up to 8" x 10". Everyone will get a chance to black japan their own plates by the original baked on asphaltum paint method. Hand coloring will be practiced on plates of your choice for spectacular image results. Stereo tintypes and round badge tintypes will also be a couple fun options. Without a doubt more plates will be shot in this workshop than any other!

    FAQ - Can I make a couple of ambrotypes in the "Just Tintypes" workshop?
Glad you asked! Sure, you can. (Notice the name change of this workshop.) Lots of students have and you can, too. And at NO extra charge! After you get the hang of making Tintypes, it's just a matter of a few minutes of further instruction on how to prepare a glass plate. Then you'll be good to go to pour an ambrotype.

    FAQ - Will we be making "Hobo Tins" (as mentioned in the All-Around Workshop section)?
Definitely! We do that for sure in this class. As stated earlier, because we get into black japanning our own plates in the workshops, we can black japan a variety of materials. That can easily be thin sheet steel or aluminum salvaged from metal cans such as cookie tins, popcorn cans, gun powder cans, etc., or even your favorite beer or soda pop cans. With this you can make tintypes with a wet-plate image on one side and the artwork and logo that is on the can on the back side. This will send your work over the top from being just a wet-plate image to being a genuine Americana Folk art piece. Only at Camp Tintype can you do such fun stuff with wet-plate!.

    Class size is limited to 3 students, so register soon.

To sign up for this unique class, write to:

John A. Coffer
1236 Dombroski Rd.
Dundee, NY 14837

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Mammoth Wet-Plate Workshop

    To be held June 24, 25 & 26, 2022!   Class size is limited to only two students. < 2022 class now over. Watch for 2023 date. >

Camp Tintype still remains the only workshop anywhere in the world offering students a chance to learn how to prepare and shoot plates in the full Mammoth size. Again, this special class is limited to only two students with prior wet-plate experience. To warm up to big, students will start off with shooting several of the intermediate size of 11x14 before moving on to the monster 20x24. Each student will shoot a minimum of three 20x24 Mammoths, either as aluminotype Tintypes, ambrotypes, or glass negatives.

    Look at the Mammoth Plate Camera at work:

Mammoth camera   

    Tuition is $1,977.77 for the three days. No lab fee. The first two $250 deposit checks grabs these spots.


To sign up for this unique class, write to:

John A. Coffer
1236 Dombroski Rd.
Dundee, NY 14837

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Brownie Camera Model T Ford Safari

    The Brownie Camera Model T Ford Safari is here!!   July 15, 16 & 17, 2022 only!

This is NOT a deep Wet-Plate Collodion photography workshop. In this one we will be using factory made film and paper, but still it will be very much in keeping with the new antiquarian alternative photography movement ala the years just after the 20th century’s ”Spanish Flu” influenza pandemic, the roaring 1920’s. Yes, that’s right, the era when the Brownie box camera was the people’s camera. Just like the Model T Ford was the “universal car”. We’ll provide the cameras from the era as well as the cars: “Lula” our 1923 Model T touring car and “Nelly Brown” our 1929 Model A Ford Tudor Sedan. But, as often happens at Camp Tintype, there will be a unique twist. For cameras, yours or ours, that do not take common 120 black and white roll film, we will be making paper negatives using cut-to-size RC photographic paper. Yes, that’s right, paper negatives, which is in effect the “universal film”. It even fits our rare and long extinct for film size 180 degree Brownie panoramic camera, which you are welcome to take a shot with. Developing of our film and paper negs will be done and taught as well as black and white print making from them, be it silver prints or cyanotype contact prints. Also, period toning options and print spotting methods will be demonstrated.


    The days will be busy but we won’t go hungry

We’ll make lunch stops at some of the area’s most renowned eating establishments such as Tabora, Jerlando’s, and the snack bar at the upper picnic and parking area of Watkins Glenn State Park. Well, maybe the snack bar isn’t that renowned but the other two sure are! This sunny side, in the fresh air three-day photo-vacation/experience, will be limited to just three students. Film and materials as well as a copy of a 1925 Brownie camera owner’s manual will be provided. No hidden lab fees! Be sure to see “Lula” the Model T in action on the video “T’ing at Camp Tintype” on this site. Total Fun!

    This is a unique three day photo-vacation/workshop experience limited to just three students

      Tuition: $977.77.  |  Three student limit.  |   July 15-17, 2022.  |   A $250 deposit will secure your spot.

To sign up, just write to:

John A. Coffer
1236 Dombroski Rd.
Dundee, NY 14837

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"Advanced Positives & Negatives" Workshop

    The "Advanced Positives & Negatives" Workshop continues in 2022!

There is nothing like steel and glass when it comes to one-of-a-kind images that will set your work apart! Also, there is nothing quite like a real deal wet-plate negative for making the ultimate handmade alt POP prints. This workshop is specifically designed for the broad minded, already practicing wet-plate shooter who would like to expand their horizons far beyond just what the pack is doing. In this special workshop, we will explore a multitude of options for unique one of a kind handmade imagery like you have never seen before! Students will learn about, and have the chance to explore, a wide range of options. Such things as: Faux Daguerreotypes, relievo ambrotypes, mica glass ambrotypes, stereo tintypes, and collodion transfer imagery. Students can also play with spirit photography and other double exposure techniques. Learn to black japan your own Ferrotype plates, and make hobo tintypes from any can of your choice. Have fun making real photo-booth multiple image sets on a single plate with the multiplying camera, or make funner than fun tintype photo-buttons. You can get going with hand coloring to make your wet-plate work really stand out and totally pop! Learn about all the durable options for creating a deep black background for your clear glass ambrotypes. Learn how to produce great tonal range glass negs and the easy way to intensify them. Catch onto the all new Enhanced Fine Nuance Development method. Shoot plate sizes from 35mm to 8x10. All this and much, much more that cannot be found any place else but at Camp Tintype.


    "Advanced Positives & Negatives" Workshop dates for 2022:

2022 Advanced Positives & Negatives Workshop Dates:
August 26, 27, 28

$1,777.77 per student...and no lab fees!
($2,900.77 to book this class all to yourself.)
Send a $250 check or Money Order deposit towards tuition
and nail a spot today!

    Only two students will be admitted to this special workshop, so register soon.

OR if you would like to make this a private workshop all to yourself, the cost is $2,900.77.

To sign up for this class, write to:

John A. Coffer
1236 Dombroski Rd.
Dundee, NY 14837

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The "A to T Wet-Plate Safari" Workshop

    Introducing a new and unique workshop!

There are wet-plate workshops in institutional settings, there are wet-plate workshops in the field, there are wet-plate workshops in hip foreign lands, there are even wet-plate workshops on boat "excursions", but there is only one Model A and Model T Ford Wet-Plate Safari Workshop!

    Nothing else like it!

Yep, that’s right. Come to Camp Tintype for the best three days of your alt photography life shooting Ambrotypes and Tintypes up to 5x8 in size (which we often use for stereo views you are welcome to shoot) on locations that we will get to in Camp Tintype’s collection of 1920’s vintage Fords. These old girls are a blast to ride anywhere in, let alone with our in-the-field wet-plate gear on board, bound for the grandest of location work to be had in the world famous Finger Lakes country. Such places as the various scenic water falls in the area, canal locks, one room school houses, churches, ancient grave yards, and... well, you get the picture. Just a whole plethora to choose from.

Safari photo Safari photo Safari photo Safari photo

All photos are 5x7 tintypes taken by Sara Coulter on location at Watkins Glenn State Park, Altay School, and Altay Cemetery.

    Only 2 students per class

As in all our workshops all equipment and materials are provided. This workshop is for the experienced, pro-active shooter and will be limited to no more than two students. The first day will be about teaching you safari style wet-plate and getting you up to speed in the style of “Camp Tintype” here at base camp. The next two days we will be “safari days” traveling to locations in the Model A or Model T Fords. Only at “Camp Tintype”! Don’t miss out!

    "A to T Wet-Plate Safari" Workshop date for 2022 (only one):

2022 A to T Wet-Plate Safari Workshop dates:
September 30, October 1, 2

$2,100.77 per student...and no lab fees!

Send a $250 check or Money Order deposit towards tuition
and nail your spot today!


To sign up for this class, write to:

John A. Coffer
1236 Dombroski Rd.
Dundee, NY 14837

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Wet-Plate Collodion Tintype Boot Camp

     The Real Wet-Plate Collodion Tintype Boot Camp

That's ?????????? a Tintype Boot camp? You got to be kidding me! You know, the one up at the great monolithic ivy clad institution to the North. The one with the limited day where they pretty much rush you in and out and gouge you for a non-authentic aluminotye tintype face blaster portrait, shot by a docent, who will send you off with a generalized pamphlet overview of the process. Why would anyone waste their time with such mediocrity, when, only ninety miles south of Rochester, in the heart of the beautiful Finger Lakes country, one can have a Real Deal Tintype Boot Camp day for only $207.77. Here at legendary Camp Tintype you can get a natural light lit authentic 5x7 Ferrotype Tintype or 5x7 glass Ambrotype portrait and a whole lot more education for your hard earned money. To be sure, you'll be able to follow the process in and out of the darkroom to see in detail how it works. You can even pour the collodion on your own plate if you like. Just takes a few minutes of practice using our collodion and plates kept aside for that purpose.


     But wait, there's more than just what meets the eye to be had here at Camp Tintype.

If you're so inclined and the extra adventurous sort, for a scant $150.77 more you can even make an analog, non-electric, all acoustic audio recording of yourself. Speak, sing, play music or all of that into the recording horn of our 1906 Edison Home talking machine and make an archival 2 minute wax cylinder record for you and all posterity. Take it home in its own velvet lined original or period correct tube. But before you do that, hear immediate play back on the Edison with its unique crackly in the distant past sound. Capture it on your phone and send it and your Tintype likeness instantly to friends and family. Think about it: Enjoying a historic retreat experience, archival portrait, and archival sound recording all in the same day, where else but Camp Tintype?

     Clearly it can't get any better than that! Well it can.

How about a free ride through the horse and buggy Mennonite farm country, in our 1923 Model T Ford touring car "Lula" (weather permitting) to top it all off. And double better: Free Camping! Yes, really. Bring your own tent, RV, or use one of our tents or teepees if you want to stay overnight here on the grounds and talk wet-plate into the night by the glow of the evening campfire with the guy who kicked the whole wet-plate revival movement off over thirty-six years ago and has been teaching and doing it continuously longer than anyone alive today.

     Be very much advised:

If you are really serious about taking up wet-plate collodion photography, you must have the best and most complete manual on the subject ever written, the world acclaimed Doers Guide to Wet-Plate Photography complete with its four hour video DVD set. Get it while you are here for $80 and save ten bucks on shipping. Also, we can supply you with, the best to be had anywhere, Wet-plate chemistry starter kit to take home with you (not for air travel, of course), plus cameras, lenses, and other various pieces of vital equipment we have on hand for sale. So, yeah, Tintype Boot Camp? How could there be any other choice but Camp Tintype. Come one come all!


P.S. Bring your boots.

    Here are our special Boot Camp Days for 2022:

2022 Tintype Boot Camp Dates:
May 21
May 28

$207.77 per student...and no lab fees!

    Give us a heads-up by mail that you plan to attend.

To sign up for this class, write to:

John A. Coffer
1236 Dombroski Rd.
Dundee, NY 14837

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Case Making Boot Camp

    Case Making Boot Camp: October 7, 8 & 9, 2022 only!

In this class, you will be shown how I make my unrivaled, correct to the finest detail, late Ambrotype/early Tintype era super fine cases. Just what you need for the display and protection of your finest Ambrotypes or Ferrotype Tintypes. This workshop is not about making cheap plastic polymer resin cast, gaffers tape hinged factitious cases that look good online or at about six feet. No! This class will be about the making of real deal embossed leather covered wood frame, with true metal mat and preserver, embossed velvet pinch pad, early 1860’s style cases. You’ll find that these babies look and feel right even upon close inspection and handling. Each student will see all the steps in the making of these exquisite cases and will go home with one of my Super Fine Cases in the popular in the era quarter plate size. You will also learn about the restoration of original cases and tips on making cases from salvaged original parts. We will be working out of the letter press Print Shop, along-side vintage printing presses that figure into the various steps in the manufacturing process. Rest easy, as various options for the making of dies and doing embossing will be explained and explored. Yes, all my secrets and innovations after twenty-five years of making cases will be revealed in detail! The needed sources of equipment and supplies will be shared, as will pattern sheets for the common case sizes from 9th to ½ plate. This class is limited to only two students. Granted, very few in the wet-plate community have any desire to make cases, but if you are a lover of the extraordinary, and not one to follow the pack, then we’ll see you in October! Price: $1,777.77. Like the other classes and workshops, a $250 deposit towards the tuition fee is required in advance to hold your spot.

Case    Case   
Case    Case   

    Another Camp Tintype exclusive

      Cost: $1,777.77.   Two student limit.    $250 deposit.

Sign up today! Just write to:

John A. Coffer
1236 Dombroski Rd.
Dundee, NY 14837

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Private Tutorials with John

    Perhaps it is time for a PRIVATE TUTORIAL day or two or more.

The price is right! At $750.77 per day (with discounts for multiple days - see below), it is the lowest in the wet-plate and alt photography instruction field. Factor in that you are welcome to camp here in your own tent or RV or in one of our own classic tents or teepees for FREE and it becomes dirt cheap. You will always get more for your buck at Camp Tintype and a private tutorial is no exception. Be prepared for a solid ten hours of instruction. We start at 9:00AM and go till noon, take a quick half hour lunch break, continue shooting and working till 5:30PM, have a two hour dinner break, and then work till 10PM.

    Customize your tutorial experience as you like!

Are you a first time wet-plater? No problem, we can get you pouring fine plates the first day, lickity-split. Been at it for awhile but have hit some bumps in the road? It might only take one day to get you on the right track and smooth things out. Have you been wanting to go really big or exotic? How about 20x24 Mammoths? These monster size plates will require an extra lab fee of $300 per day. There are no extra lab fees for anything else. You can learn to make relievo-variant ambrotypes, do wet-plate by projection, get into letter press printing your own card mounts, move on up to negative and albumen paper making and printing, make your own Collodio-Choride Aristotype POP paper, and other numerous options and combinations, many of which would be only open to you as a tutorial student. Just let me know what your interests and priorities are and when you'd like to come out. The warmer half of the year is preferred, and also times not conflicting with workshop and Jamboree dates.

    Don't miss this exciting opportunity.

You are welcome to arrive and settle into camp or check in in the afternoon of the day before, and make a leisurely departure the following morning after your last tutorial day. Lastly, there is something to be said for having studied under the man who kicked off the modern wet-plate movement.

Mammoth camera   

Matted Aristotype print by JC

    This is a learing experience like no other!

The cost is $750.77 per day.   And only one student - YOU!
NOTE: If you book more than 3 days, take 10% off. More than 4 days, take 15% off.
ANOTHER NOTE: Other than if you choose to shoot a Mammoth plate, there are no hidden lab fees.
You keep all plates you shoot free of charge.

Sign up today! Just write to:

John A. Coffer
1236 Dombroski Rd.
Dundee, NY 14837

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Manuals and DVDs Now Available

AUTHOR'S NOTE: This manual has cost me way more money than it's made. Why? Because it's so utterly thorough and complete. And especially so, with its three and a half hour instructional DVD set included with it! Many a would-be wet-plate photographer has bought it, taught themselves the process, then gone onto making award-winning wet-plate images without ever setting foot in my workshops or anyone else's, for that matter. That said, do keep in mind that a workshop experience at "Camp Tintype" is something beyond just a workshop. It is a life changing experience.   -JC

    The Doers Guide to Wet-Plate Collodion Photography and Albumen Paper and Print Making, plus complete DVD Set

The "Doers Guide" and Complete Wet-Plate Instructional DVD Set cover all aspects of wet-plate photography, including chemical mixing, managing, and maintaining. The new "Doers Guide" for 2022 is ever larger and will now even include a for real Ferrotype tipped into it made by the author. Correctly 1860's style metal matted, as well. A true collectors item and the most up-to-date manual on wet-plate in the field in the world.

The Doers Guide to Wet-Plate Collodion Photography manual, with the complete DVD set, is available for $90.00 ppd. (Canada cost is $130.00 ppd. and overseas cost is $160.00 ppd.) $80.00 if bought at "Camp Tintytpe".

    Updated Doers Guide only, without the DVD Set

For those that would like just the updated version of the manual only, without the DVD set, it is available for $80.00 ppd. (Canada cost is $120.00 ppd. and overseas cost is $150.00 ppd.) $70.00 if bought at "Camp Tintytpe".

    Genuine Ferrotype plate made by the author now included with the "Doers Guide"

Now! Included in the “Doers Guide” manual find a new made, real deal Ferrotype Tintype made by the author. Also, actual samples of a black japanned Ferrotype plate alongside a trophy aluminum plate. Why? Students, now days, need to know firsthand and up close, what a new made authentic to the core Tintype looks and feels like. Also, it is important for all to see, without question or doubt, that the blacks are deeper and richer on a correctly black japanned plate. Grab a “Doers Guide” while this unusual offer lasts!    - JC


    Suitable for Framing: Wet-Plate History and Fact Sheet

Painstakingly composed in 1988 and small run letter press printed by this author using hand set lead type and period metal cuts.
The Take-Away: It comes FREE with the manual. Order the one, the only Doer’s Guide today!

History and Fact Sheet   

    Here are some Questions & Answers about ordering manuals:

    And last, but not least:

Here is an unsolicited letter of endorsement for this manual and DVD.

To order any of the above material, write to:

John A. Coffer
1236 Dombroski Rd.
Dundee, NY 14837

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Your Wet-Plate Collodion Follow-Up Kit

    Finally, a reliable kit for the beginning wet-plate workshop student
You are now able to take this home for an uninterrupted flow of wet-plate fun!

    For only $450.00, this kit includes the following:


NOTE: The kit absolutely does NOT contain an alcohol burner spirit lamp, otherwise known as the "Molotov Cocktail of wet-plate photography." (Read my Myth Busters article to get details as to why it's gotten that tag.)

    This kit is only available to workshop & tutorial students at "Camp Tintype"
No other workshop or tutorial anywhere offers this extra service. Yet another reason why "Camp Tintype" workshops are the Best!

    Black acrylic silver baths also available
We will be selling sturdy, well-made, black acrylic 5x7 silver baths for only $85.00 to workshop students ... only this year!

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Jamboree 2022 - July 29, 30, & 31

     JAMBOREE 2021 Roundup, by John

It’s been five months since the 20th anniversary annual International Wet-Plate Collodion Jamboree took place. Seems like just yesterday, it remains so fresh in the mind. As usual, it was one romping, stomping success. Again, the pesky pandemic did not stop us. We had one of the largest turnouts ever. The weather was near perfect despite being in the middle of a very wet spring and summer. With that said, if you weren’t there, here are a few of the things you missed:

First off, we had a memorial table set up for the late Will Dunniway, who passed away in April. Will was one of the “old guard” from the earliest days of the wet-plate revival. Despite living in far off California, he had been to Camp Tintype and the Jamboree many a time. A great artist in the craft, he will be sorely missed.

Speaking of the “old guard”, Bob Szabo made it after a long lapse of a number of years. More folks needed to watch this master of the craft at work, as he made gorgeous real deal Ferrotype Tintypes and clear glass ambrotypes. Come back in 2022, Bob!

Yours truly did a couple of demos. One was on how to keep a plate wet in the holder and totally viable for up to two hours without loss of film speed or dry down damage. That’s not a typo, I said 2 whole hours! The other was about proving that hot developer will not chemically fog a plate if you are on your toes and develop it properly. To prove the point, the standard strength developer was heated to 110 degrees! And, chingo!, crisp, rich blacks and fine bright highlights. Of course, I used the new Enhanced Nuance method of developing I’ve been using and teaching for the past couple of years. Not to be found on YouTube or “virtual places”. Another reason to come to the one and only Jamboree! Real world, real innovation!

Then there was, just for fun, the “Shoot-out”. We circled up in front of the log cabin and all shot a plate simultaneously of each other. The results? Well, like I said, it was lots of fun. Maybe we’ll give it a go again next Jam.

Always, one of the great highlights of the Jamboree is “Brownie’s Mega Raffle”. It was the best yet for prizes: two bleached cow skulls from the herd here, a vintage Petzval lens, many envelopes of serious money, chemicals and plates, darkroom trays and glassware, books, frames, and just more stuff than I can remember. All donated by the faithful. Thank you! Thank you!

Again, the free catered dinner, Saturday, paid for by Art Craft Chemicals was superbly tasty and way more than we could all eat!

The group Tintype went off without a hitch. One try, one fine plate, and a real Hobo-Tin Ferrotype Tintype at that. Talk about working under pressure! Please, somebody else do it next year. Bucky as always held perfectly still. The live dogs in the scene did pretty good too!

Our big Saturday evening campfire by the cabin was well attended. I demonstrated the new “Beer Can Method of Pouring Collodion on a Plate”. All agreed it can’t get much easier. None will use it, not even me, in real life! Our fellow wet-plater, Troy Bennett, master banjo and guitar player and songster, performed his usual best on through the evening. We hope for an encore in 2022!

The dates are: July 29, 30, 31. As always, it is FREE. All active wet-plate shooters from around the world are invited to the one and the only Jamboree!

     The 2022 Jamboree dates have been officially announced

The 2022 Jamboree will be held on July 29, July 30, and July 31. Start making your plans now to attend.
More 2021 Jamboree photos coming in!

     The 2021 Jamboree is over, but not forgotten

Jamboreers, if you have any photos or scans of your plates that you would like to see on John's website, please email them to the Webmaster.

For more information and authorization to attend the next Jamboree, please write to:

John A. Coffer
"Camp Tintype"
1236 Dombroski Rd.
Dundee, NY 14837

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Contact Information

E-mail address:

Click here to email John
Please note that since John does not use Internet access at Camp Tintype, all email sent to this email address will be printed and mailed to John every couple of weeks. To receive a reply from John as soon as possible, please include your mailing address in the email. It will be faster to write him a letter directly and send it to…

Mailing address:

John A. Coffer
"Camp Tintype"
1236 Dombroski Rd.
Dundee, NY 14837


Please rest assured that although John does not use the Internet himself at Camp Tintype, that is by choice. Students should have no problem accessing cellular service, and thus Internet access, and are encouraged to bring mobile devices, cell phones, laptops, digital cameras, etc. They can even be charged up via solar panels on-site. You may also shoot digital stills and videos all you want.
John, however, prefers to long-distance communicate and do business by good old reliable U.S. mail. You'll be surprised at just how fast, fun, and more personal it is. Send inquiries, workshop deposits, and manual orders (check, money order, or cash) to the above mailing address.

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Biographical & Camp Tintype Information

"Camp Tintype" is the best known and longest running learning center for wet-plate collodion photography in the world. It is the creation of its founder, John Coffer. Its humble beginnings started in 1978, when John hitched a bay workhorse named "Brownie" up to a 19th century style darkroom wagon dubbed the "Photographic Van" and criss-crossed the continent for seven years, plying his trade as an old time traveling portrait photographer. This was an experience as unique as the many tintypes and prints from glassplate negatives he made and sold along the way.

Having started out using commercially available, at the time, dry plate tintypes and glass negatives to make his living, he eventually was able to glean enough information from historic archives and gather up the necessary chemicals from different sources, that by 1982, he was able to do the much more desirable wet-plate collodion process. That spring, he immediately began making wet-plate collodion Tintypes (the real Ferrotype kind), ambrotypes, and glass plate negatives for his patrons, as he camped on field and farm and small town back lots along his way.

In 1985, after more than 11,000 wagon miles and having passed through 36 different states, John and his horse "Brownie" settled down on their own 50 acre farm in the heart of the beautiful "Finger Lakes" country of up-state New York.

John & Brownie

John Coffer and his old traveling horse, Brownie, at Camp Tintype.

Albumen print from a wet-plate collodion negative.  ©2001 by John Coffer.

He began offering his, now famous, three day wet-plate collodion photography in the field workshops in the summer of 1996. Since then, to keep up with the demand, he has had to schedule steadily more workshops each year and is, also, increasingly busy with private one-an-one tutorials.

"Brownie" went on to graze in the big pasture in the sky at the ripe old age of 34.

Here are twenty-one reasons why "Camp Tintype" workshops and tutorials are simply the best anywhere:

1.    High student teacher ratio and more.
Our regular workshops are limited to only four students and will be taught regardless if any fewer than that should sign up. Also, and this really sets us apart from the average institutionalized workshop, as each student becomes familiar with the basic process and work flow, they will be assigned to their own dark box/darkroom set-up with camera, chemicals, plates, etc. for complete hands on use. This way there's no waiting to use the equipment or having to rush so someone else can have a turn. Working at your own focused pace, correcting mistakes immediately as you go, is as good a learning experience as anyone could ask for. Fine wet-plate art is a personal and not a group effort, or a half done for you by the teaching staff thing. Compare and shop. Think about it, if you have already taken some of these other "razzle dazzle" workshops, don't overlook taking a workshop here, be it the beginning class or a unique advanced level one. You will go away with skills and knowledge far above and beyond just a weak "starting point".

One more thing about the student body: There is no age limit. We have had students as young as thirteen and as old as eighty. It's amazing what these kids and seniors can do!

2.    Students shoot a lot.
Typically, a workshop student will go home with over a dozen good to great plates they've shot. Many have done twice that and some have gone away with over thirty. Sizes run from 35mm up to and including 8x10. This kind of volume and diversity is encouraged. Fact is; you learn wet-plate best by doing wet-plate and not by running around watching others in an overcrowded institutionalized class shoot their measly two or three plates. It's a hell of a lot more fun and productive shooting rather than just watching and waiting your turn!

Depending on the particular class, each student will make Tintypes, Ambrotypes, glass Negative, and Albumen Prints. Don't worry; your work will be expertly critiqued for its flaws, remedies for, and successes why, as it is made right there at the rinse sink when you have a chance to do something about it, rather than at some pretentious "Critique Session" at the end of the workshop. There is also a lot of casual critiquing going on as the group varnishes their plates in the log cabin in the evenings. Yes, that's right in the evenings and not in the daylight lit productive part of the day when you are fully absorbed in shootin! But, have no fear, we do in fact have a valuable official "critique session". Not of your work or of anyone alive today's work but rather in the form of our little collection of original 19th century "flawed work". Nope, we can't take you through a prestigious museum's collection of old masters work you are not allowed to touch or even photograph and is nearly all found in history of photography books, anyway. Stuff that is, granted, interesting, inspiring, and prestigious, but teaches little or less than little about actually getting into the process. As with most everything at Camp Tintype, we are here to teach the solid stuff and not just mesmerize you with cloud negatives and other exotica.

3.    Ideal Span of Time.
Three days has proven to be the ideal time span for total immersion. But in fact our standard beginner workshops can be longer than that if you stay over for "Free Play Day" on Sunday at no extra charge. If you take the opportunity to arrive early for the workshop and set-up camp or just check in on Wednesday afternoon, you can watch the free wet-plate demos offered in the late afternoon through early evening. But, have no fear, there will be time to hang out around the evening campfire and get acquainted, as well.

4.    The Price is Right.
Shop around, do the numbers, and you'll find our prices are more than competitive. Others are often significantly more expensive at the get go, or at least when you factor in expensive lodging and actual workshop time and work output. We do not teach in minimums or just starting points, as in as little as they can get away with, but more in maximums, as in as much as we can teach and you can do given your time here. Be it known, there are many things we teach and have you do that cannot be found any place else. No brag, just fact.

5.    Free Camping!
Many of our students bring their own tents or RVs (no hook-ups) and camp here. We also have free to use teepees and other primitive style tents students are welcome to bunk in all to themselves. They are appointed well with rock slab floors and heavily built log bunks with camp mattresses. There are two fine barrel system composting outhouses on site. Also, we have a 60 gallon wood fired primitive shower set-up with curtains. Grocery stores and restaurants are just a few miles away in Dundee. Also, the area has plenty of motels, hotels, and B&B's to choose from if you don't care to rough it.


6.    Close to Photography Mecca, Rochester, NY.
Camp Tintype is about 90 miles south. If you plan on visiting the George Eastman House International Museum of Photography you might want to call ahead and possibly make an appointment (you must give them at least two weeks lead time) to see their behind the scenes collection of rare early cameras and images. Cost is only the standard price of admission.

7.   The Workshops are geared towards doing wet-plate in the field.
Most newbie- wet-platers see themselves going on the road and shooting in the field at least at some point in time. This requires a certain know-how and set of gear, unlike the generally far less challenging indoor electric lit studio with walk-in-darkroom situation. After learning to do the process in the field and becoming comfortable with that, the shift to a cozy studio is easy. Not so, the other way around!

8.   Camp Tintype is laid back, well, sort of.
"Rebel" the rooster starts sounding off at 5:30AM, but class doesn't start till about 9:00AM. We'll take a short lunch break at noon (bring your own food and beverage) and then class resumes till about 5:30 PM. A supper recess is taken till 8:00PM. We then gather together for plate varnishing, other wet-plate chores, and some show and tell in the log cabin till about 10:00PM. After that you will probably be forced to hear some of my early 1900's Edison cylinder recordings on my vintage talking machines.

We request that there not be any imbibing all day and evenings till after all the assigned work is through, and then only in moderation after that. No smoking in the tents, teepees, cabin, or work areas.

9.   The Most Experienced Wet-Plate Teacher in the World.
That's a mighty big claim but it happens to be true. John Coffer has been doing wet-plate collodion photography professionally, or any other way you look at it, longer than anyone alive today, shooting his first wet-plate image on a Ferrotype in 1982. He has been teaching apprentices, doing demos, and teaching workshops practically from the get go. Literally he is the teacher of the teachers who taught the teachers. His personal work is well known in the art photography world, having shows regularly in New York City and Santa Fe and other prestigious and even some backwater not so prestigious galleries across the country.


10.   The world's most thorough wet-plate Manual and Instructional DVD set.
At a whopping 165+ pages, no other contemporary manual compares. And it comes with a 4 hour video instructional DVD set that covers all the bases. Such as choosing of equipment, chemical safety and mixing, black japanning your own tin to make real deal Ferrotypes, and many other, must-see to appreciate, vital aspects of the wet-plate collodion process. And, if that isn't enough, you will receive your copy through the mail as soon as you sign up for a workshop, Free! (If you are in Canada or overseas, there will be a surcharge added to offset the extra cost of shipping.)

Here is an unsolicited letter of endorsement for this manual and DVD.

11.   We've got Cyanide!
By far the best fixing solution for wet-plate photography is Potassium Cyanide {KCN}. See my Myth Busters page for a comparison study of fixing solution options. KCN is also the most difficult to obtain of all the chemicals used in the wet-plate process. When I say difficult I mean really really difficult unless you are well connected with some large institution or have some black market connections and have bags of money. Because we are always willing to go the extra mile here at Camp Tintype for our workshop and tutorial students, they can buy a limited amount on site only. In 2020 single half pound lots will be $150 cash and carry. That may seem pricy but a little bit goes an amazingly long ways. That amount would last the average shooter at least two or three years cranking out hundreds upon hundreds of plates. Kept in a well sealed plastic bottle, its shelf life in the raw or in the form of diluted working solution is unlimited. KCN will even fix plates perfectly, as weak as a .01% solution. That is one gram to 1000mls of water. That is incredibly dilute but you should expect fixing times as long as 3 to 4 minutes, or not much longer than sodium thio-sulfate which is your best authentic alternative to cyanide fixer. Despite the slow fixing time, a super dilute KCN solution may be just the ticket for those who fear working with it or having KCN fixing solution around in a public setting. The normal working strength we use in the workshops is 1.1% solution for a super quick fixing time of only about eight seconds or less. If you fix much longer than that it acts as a reducer which can be helpful if your image is slightly over exposed and needs darkening and a bit more contrast. For those who do not want to mess with the raw extremely poisonous stuff in powder form we can sell KCN premixed in 1.1% solution for $20 a liter. Again, cash and carry to our workshop and tutorial students only and at the workshop they are in only. Our supply is limited and once it's gone there will be no replacing it.

We are one of the few wet-plate collodion workshops in the world that uses KCN to fix with and the only one you can buy any at.

12.   Top-notch Cameras and Equipment.
We do not use any ultra rare and fragile original mid-19th century wet-plate era cameras. We do use finely crafted of the correct materials reproduction wet-plate cameras with original brass lenses of the celebrated Petzval and other designs and also, and very importantly, an assortment of 20th century cameras of all shapes and sizes, adapted to doing wet-plate. We have way more than enough to go around. There is no waiting your turn to use the camera! You can even try out wet-plate dedicated view cameras we often have on hand for sale at reasonable prices.


13.   Charlie.


14.   Ferrotypes.
Ours are the only wet-plate collodion workshops in the whole world that teach you firsthand how to make and then use real deal Ferrotype plates for the making of truly authentic Tintypes just like they used to be before the modern slick trophy aluminum plate tintype high-jacked the modern wet-plate scene. The aluminum trophy plates are admittedly very easy to use and unintimidating to the first time wet-plate student and we use them quite liberally in the class as well.

15.    "Tin Lizzies".
The Model T Ford car was the car that democratized the automobile, just like the Tintype democratized the picture portrait. But, the similarity to the tintype doesn't end there. Henry Ford is quoted as saying," You can have any color Model T you want as long as it's black." If he had been a little more specific, he might have said black japanned. That's how most of the cars parts and bodies were painted. The asphalt based formula paint was inexpensive but gave a very durable deep glossy black finish. It was basically the same formula that was flowed on thin iron plates and baked on the same way to make Ferrotype plates back in the glory days of the tintype. The trivia, links, and associations between the Model T and the tintype, of which both, I might add, Henry Ford had a great fondness for, are fun and interesting, but there are some things that will even top that. Have you ever ridden through the countryside on a warm summer day in a Model T Ford touring car? Barring wet weather, we'll load the class up and go for a jaunt in "Lula", my 1923 Model T Ford, before your stay is over. She gets her picture taken a lot. But, don't forget "Gertrude" the 1925 Model T Coupe and "Ol Smokey" my 1927 Model TT truck. They like to be Tintyped as well.

Car    Car

16.   Letterpress Print Shop.
Yes, that's right, we have the nicest little "Print Shop" you ever did see. In some of our more advanced workshops and tutorials it is vital equipment. But whether you do or do not use it, it is here, and most find it, at the least, interesting, if not downright inspiring. Our shop contains three letterpress printing presses and a ton of type and related equipment. Come see! Come use!

17.   Heart of the Finger Lakes.
One of Upstate New York's most prized possessions is the Finger Lakes Country. Camp Tintype lies nearly dead center of it. The Finger Lakes is known far and wide as world class wine country. Wineries are over every hill and dale as are vast tracks of vineyards. Rapidly it is becoming known for its craft beer, using locally grown hops and grains, as well. Some like to take the wine and spirits tour after attending a workshop and take a few bottles home with them.

This area also has one of the largest settlements of Old Order horse and buggy Mennonites in the country. It's been called the Lancaster County of the North, but without so many trinket shops, congestion, and traffic. A parade of black buggies on their way to one of the nearby meeting houses goes by out front of Camp Tintype every Sunday morning like clock- work. Now that's eye candy! Also, don't forget the incredible natural wonder of Watkins Glenn State Park, just 16 miles south.

18.   Chemical safety is stressed and exercised at all times.
Right from the moment you sign up for a workshop you'll get safety tips. In class we will go over all the ins and outs of safe chemical handling, storage, mixing, and disposal. We do, however, follow a common sense approach and not a hyped one that can paralyze students in fear. In over 25 years of teaching workshops we have not had a single wet-plate chemistry mishap and intend to keep it that way while keeping it fun and relaxed.

19.   Camp Tintype is off Grid.
Ever wonder what it might be like to use alternative energy and not be so dependent on the big old "system" out there, then you're gonna like our set-up. Wind, solar, and animal traction powered electrical generation is on tap. Yep, you can charge your phone here.

We do some things by the time honored manual methods but some by the latest high tech. In other words, we choose our technology rather than let it choose us. Camp Tintype is not, nor has it ever been, an 1850's living history farm museum despite reports to the contrary floating around.

20.   We Got Oxen.
We have lots of them! After training my first team of oxen from calves, while laid over at the Living History Farms in Des Moines, Iowa, I continued on East in my far flung wagon travels in ‘83. Bodie and Dillard pulled the Camp Wagon over twelve hundred miles to Dundee, NY where we put down roots in ‘85. The boys pulled the logs in from the woods for the log cabin I built. They tilled the land, and all manner of draught animal jobs they were called on to do. The Milking Devon cow, Daisy, I acquired on the trek in Ohio, became the grand dame of many more oxen over the years. Oxen are as timeless as Tintypes and the traditions continue on for both in their most noblest forms here at Camp Tintype. Take a look at this great article from 1996! And check out the video Whitey & Red (4:40)

Oxen    Oxen

Oxen    Oxen

21.   FREE! Sunday Pancake Breakfast.
Yes sir, stick around Sunday morning and enjoy with us a fine breakfast featuring pancakes hot off the big griddle over the campfire, lathered with butter and our own maple syrup from our own sugar bush. Wash it all down with creamy raw milk from one of the cows. Also, eggs if our hens are laying (the same ones that provide albumen for the albumen prints we make) and hot fresh brewed coffee. Sunday is "Free Play Day" so you can get a little more shooting time in after you fill up.


Note: There are no phones or E-mail at "Camp Tintype".
Correspondence is, by preference, done by mail. Write:

John A. Coffer
"Camp Tintype"
1236 Dombroski Road
Dundee, NY 14837

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Website updated on: 6/21/2022

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