Craig Murphy does things the old fashioned way. He uses the same methods photographers like Mathew Brady, Alexander Gardner and others used during the Civil War.

The upstate NY artist took his tintype photography studio on the road and began photographing Erie Canal locks at locations across New York State. Craig has trekked to different parts of the state to make authentic heirloom tintypes in his mobile dark room, including Lockport, Palmyra, Cohoes, Waterford, and Schoharie Crossing State Historic Site in Ft Hunter NY.

“I read somewhere there are 300 million photos uploaded to Facebook every day. Most of them are never looked at again.” said Murphy, “It takes about ten minutes to make one tintype photograph. It’s a unique, historic process”

Authentic wet plate images can be passed on from generation to generation. The photographs are made on metal (tintype) or glass (ambrotypes) using a sometimes unpredictable and always fascinating process.

More info:

Tintype made in the video at Schoharie Crossing State Historic Site in Ft Hunter, NY

Enlarged Erie Canal Lock tintype made in Cohoes, NY by Craig Murphy

Remains of the historic 19th century Erie Canal in Cohoes, NY by photographer Craig Murphy

Present-day Erie Canal tintype made in Waterford, NY by photographer Craig Murphy and Glens Falls Art tintype studio