Jonathan Fleming's Blog

A Photography Blog

Posts Tagged ‘tintype

One Last Tintype Session At Photobooth

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We headed to Photobooth San Francisco this week to get what will be our very last tintype portraits made in its studio. Photobooth will be closing at the end of March 2014.

If you’ve been following my blog for the last few years, you know I love this place. Vince Donovan, one of the owners, helped me revive my dad’s old Land Camera on my second visit to the shop. I blame him for getting me hooked on shooting pack film. I discovered quirky cameras like the Lomokino at Photobooth, and connected with some really cool local artists as well. So yeah, I’m pretty bummed that its doors are closing.


But what better way to say goodbye to this truly unique studio than to have your tintype taken? Bridget had hers done a couple times before, but this is the first time I’ve been immortalized on a metal plate. We walked out with of total of eight tintypes, all brilliantly crafted by the super talented Michael Shindler.




So long, Photobooth, and thank you!

Written by Jonathan

March 22, 2014 at 7:14 am

Yet Another Visit to Photobooth

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Fuji XPRO-1 +  35mm f/1.4 XF R | 1/50 sec, f/1.4 ISO 1250 

So, one of Bridget’s good friends invited us to go check out a private opening event for the San Francisco Fashion Film festival, which just happened to be at one of my favorite spots in the city: Photobooth! What better place to hang out and snap my first frames with the Fuji XPRO-1.

Fuji XPRO-1 +  35mm f/1.4 XF R | 1/50 sec, f/1.4 ISO 640 

The most fascinating place to be at Photobooth is right at the store’s centerpiece, the tintype portrait studio. I hover there with my camera, taking advantage of the ample exposure value from the modeling lights that falls upon many an interesting face. Chemical reactions on sheets of metal immortalize those faces. I never get tired of observing the process:

Bridget didn’t have her tintype taken this time around (she already has two), but posing her next to the pretty light emanating from the studio made for a pretty nice snap:

Fuji XPRO-1 +  35mm f/1.4 XF R | 1/50 sec, f/1.4 ISO 800 

All images shot with the Fuji XPRO-1 and 35mm f/1.4 Fujinon lens. In-camera processed JPEGs. The XPRO-1 is a-ma-zing. I’m not giving up my X100, but the XPRO is just as fun to use and the image quality is just phenomenal.

Written by Jonathan

April 7, 2012 at 5:00 pm

Another Tintype Portrait

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This is the second tintype portrait Bridget had done at Photobooth, and it’s a stunner. I love how it brought out her beautiful freckles. Look at how razor-sharp the eyes are with everything in the frame immediately behind them just melting out of focus.

This little production shot I took with my iPhone 4s shows photographer Michael Schindler getting all his light modifiers in place before firing off that beautiful 4×5 camera. Now you can see what was responsible for those crazy cool catch lights in Bridget’s eyes!

If you live in or around San Francisco, you’ve got to pay this studio a visit and get yourself immortalized on a steel plate, or at least get some help firing up that old Polaroid camera of yours 😉

Written by Jonathan

March 2, 2012 at 4:50 pm

Photobooth Opening On Valencia

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Last night we headed to Photobooth, a brand new studio in the Mission District that features all things Polaroid. The first thing that drew my eyes as I entered the studio were these amazing, 4×5 blow ups of tintype portraits at the back of the studio:

The place was jam packed when we first arrived. With free food, drinks, and music going, this turned out to be a great Saturday evening hangout. The shop wasn’t set up for selling retail items just yet, but we had with us an old Polaroid camera that we found somewhere the house. Brought it to one of the owners, a really cool guy, who assured me that he has the film I need and can show me how to use the thing (you can see Bridget holding it above).

The retail store will be selling all sorts of Polaroid films from the Impossible Project, as well as Lomography gear and items created by local artists:

Speaking of local artists, we had a blast meeting other photographers there, including the Lomo expert below who stabbed me in the eye with a yard stick to make sure I was in focus. Now that’s what I call a rangefinder! Ok she didn’t really stab me….nice meeting you Amy. =)

Even ran into someone who had the Russia Day limited edition L-CA+. Then there was the guy who stuck his macro lens equipped DSLR into a tube connected to an older camera. Very interesting.

The center of attention back inside the studio was the Polaroid rig, a beautiful piece of equipment indeed:

I ordered up a tintype portrait of Bridget and watched the photographer do his thing:

It was all over in seconds, and the print went to the back to develop and dry off:

Looks pretty hot if you ask me! I’d love to get a 4×5 blow up of this image. Such a cool experience! I’ll definitely be back here to get some Polaroid film, and I’m pretty excited that we have a shop like this in San Francisco now.

All Images: Fuji X100 (Provia/Astia)

Photobooth SF
1193 Valencia Street @ 23rd.
San Francisco, CA 94110
Open: Wed- Th 1-8, Fri – Sun 1-9

Written by Jonathan

August 21, 2011 at 12:42 am