How Victoria Will Shot the 2015 Sundance Celebrity Tintypes [RF Video of the Week]

By // April 17, 2015 // Posted in Portrait, Video, Video of the Week

Victoria Will came back to the Sundance Film Festival this year for another round of celebrity tintypes, this time with some more experience in her back pocket (though this was her fifth year photographing the stars, last year was her first time trading in her DSLR for the collodion process).

Traditional daguerrotypes rely on daylight, meaning subjects sit for several minutes for the plate to be properly exposed—which obviously Will had no time for, having to flash off two quick plates tops and shuffle in the next sitter.

The collodion on the tintype is ISO 0 to 1, meaning Will had to use incredibly powerful bursts of light to get the exposure the plates need within a fraction of a second. For this job, she used 9600 W/s of light via four Profoto-8A packs, a beauty dish and a 5-foot octabank.

Pre-visualization was especially helpful, Will says, since focusing the cameras she uses can be challenging. She had two cameras in her tintype studio this year: a 1940s 4 x 5 Graflex Super D SLR camera fitted with an 1860s 203mm f/3.8 Hermagis Petzval lens, and a Sinar P2 4 x 5 camera with a Wollensak Raptor 210mm f/4.5 lens. Check out the behind-the-scenes video to see how it all came together:

Check out more Videos the Week, and email Libby Peterson with submissions.

Related Links

Turning Back Time with Victoria Will

Shooting Benedict Cumberbatch in the Woods (and Water) for Vanity Fair

Photographer Angela Strassheim’s Musings on Large Format and Her Girlhood Project

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Libby Peterson

Libby Peterson

Libby Peterson is the Features Editor of Rangefinder. A Minneapolis native, she moved to New York after graduating from Indiana University’s School of Journalism in 2013, starting off as the magazine's editorial intern.

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