In Conversation: Joni Sternbach on Tin Typing by the Sea Shore

A decade long environmental portrait project collected in new book

From Surf Site Tin Type© Joni Sternbach
From Surf Site Tin Type© Joni Sternbach
From Surf Site Tin Type© Joni Sternbach
From Surf Site Tin Type© Joni Sternbach

Making tin types isn’t a simple photographic process. The 19th century technique is time consuming and requires chemical precision when done inside a controlled environment like a studio. When a photographer choses to create a traveling tin type studio, they’re signing up for an additional set of challenges.

For nearly a decade Brooklyn-based photographer Joni Sternbach traveled with a large format camera, a portable dark box and a small pile of chemicals to make environmental tin type portraits of surfers around the globe. The results of her coastal travels are being published in a new book, Surf Side Tin Type,which will be published by Damiani later this month.

“The nature of working with a wet chemical outdoors is spontaneous and unpredictable,” Sternbach wrote via Kickstarter when raising funds for her book last summer. “This lends an element of risk and surprise to the process.”

Tonight Sternbach will join Harper's Magazine art director Stacey D. Clarkson at New York City's Penumbra Foundation for an in-depth conversation about this decade long project. Event begins at 7:30 p.m, RSVP to attend here.