Yellowstone 📸 Creating Season 2 Tintype Photographs | Paramount Network

Yellowstone 📸 Creating Season 2 Tintype Photographs | Paramount Network

There’s some sort of intrinsic value to film that digital doesn’t have and it yields beautiful portraits and that’s what we wanted to capture. My name is Sarah Coulter and I am the Senior Photo Editor at Paramount Network. Tin Types were the predominant and mostly only photography in the mid-19th century.

A lot of that early frontier imagery was made by these photographers who were traveling in a caravan and it’s a nice throw back to that. But also, the themes in Yellowstone, like the traditional values met with the world as it is today, we just thought it was a great fit. I had been shooting wet plate and tin types for about four years. I really enjoy tactile photography, like something you can touch.

Tin types are kind of like the original Polaroid. It’s an instant photo. We’re, it’s starting to think about our photography for season two, how can we make it different? Our creative team loved the idea of doing tin types. I was very excited about it.

There’s so many different nuances of it and things you can change up. Tin types are part of a process called wet plate collodion and that involves creating your own film, essentially, which is collodion. You use that coat a surface. You put it in a silver tank and that sensitizes it. You have to put it in a film carrier, run it over to your camera, frame your shot, pull up the dark slide, get your shot, put it back in and then you have to run back to the dark room and develop it, fix it.

Fixing the images was what turns it from a negative to a positive and then you have to wash it all while it’s wet and you have about 15 minutes to get your shot. On this shoot, no one can do everything themselves. Everyone has one job and we did it with a skeleton crew, I think. We ended up driving across the country in a U-Haul with all our gear, cameras, chemicals, black cloth to turn the U-Haul into a dark room on site, just, everything we could possibly need.

The process itself is very chemically intensive. You’re using more than 20 types of chemicals. Traditionalist use cyanide, it yields more punchy blacks.

One of the things that happened that really brought home this powerful image of Beth was an uneven developer pour. The tin types do feel very raw, especially the cowboys. I think some of those are the most powerful images.

Those guys were so great. They would use their gloves or belt buckles as props. Shooting Rip, we brought out the gun and I think that really signified his role as the protector and this was a shot that ended up being Cole’s favorite and also one of my favorites. I really like a few tight portraits of Costner where it looks like he’s in distress.

It captures his character this season and everything that’s going down. We were only able to get one shot of the family which was entirely unplanned. That image we were having a heart attack about while we were waiting for it to come out of developing and it actually developed perfect.

It was interesting bringing this process to the set. This cast, they got really into it and thought it was fun. It’s such a cool thing to watch. You don’t even feel like you’re working. I remember thinking of those 1920 shots, that, you know, so suddenly to see myself thrust back into that time, it’s kind of haunting.

This was a different look completely. In the moments of chaos, it was calming to be on this beautiful, sprawling ranch with horses and, like, technicolor sunsets. It was a great location. New York is very hectic.

There’s some sort of intrinsic value to film that digital doesn’t have and it yields beautiful portraits and that’s what we wanted to capture. My name is Sarah Coulter and I am the Senior Photo Editor at Paramount Network. Tin Types were the predominant and mostly only photography in the mid-19th century.

Yellowstone 📸 Creating Season 2 Tintype Photographs | Paramount Network

A lot of that early frontier imagery was made by these photographers who were traveling in a caravan and it’s a nice throw back to that. But also, the themes in Yellowstone, like the traditional values met with the world as it is today, we just thought it was a great fit. I had been shooting wet plate and tin types for about four years. I really enjoy tactile photography, like something you can touch.

Tin types are kind of like the original Polaroid. It’s an instant photo. We’re, it’s starting to think about our photography for season two, how can we make it different? Our creative team loved the idea of doing tin types. I was very excited about it.

There’s so many different nuances of it and things you can change up. Tin types are part of a process called wet plate collodion and that involves creating your own film, essentially, which is collodion. You use that coat a surface. You put it in a silver tank and that sensitizes it. You have to put it in a film carrier, run it over to your camera, frame your shot, pull up the dark slide, get your shot, put it back in and then you have to run back to the dark room and develop it, fix it.

Fixing the images was what turns it from a negative to a positive and then you have to wash it all while it’s wet and you have about 15 minutes to get your shot. On this shoot, no one can do everything themselves. Everyone has one job and we did it with a skeleton crew, I think. We ended up driving across the country in a U-Haul with all our gear, cameras, chemicals, black cloth to turn the U-Haul into a dark room on site, just, everything we could possibly need.

The process itself is very chemically intensive. You’re using more than 20 types of chemicals. Traditionalist use cyanide, it yields more punchy blacks.

One of the things that happened that really brought home this powerful image of Beth was an uneven developer pour. The tin types do feel very raw, especially the cowboys. I think some of those are the most powerful images.

Those guys were so great. They would use their gloves or belt buckles as props. Shooting Rip, we brought out the gun and I think that really signified his role as the protector and this was a shot that ended up being Cole’s favorite and also one of my favorites. I really like a few tight portraits of Costner where it looks like he’s in distress.

It captures his character this season and everything that’s going down. We were only able to get one shot of the family which was entirely unplanned. That image we were having a heart attack about while we were waiting for it to come out of developing and it actually developed perfect.

It was interesting bringing this process to the set. This cast, they got really into it and thought it was fun. It’s such a cool thing to watch. You don’t even feel like you’re working. I remember thinking of those 1920 shots, that, you know, so suddenly to see myself thrust back into that time, it’s kind of haunting.

This was a different look completely. In the moments of chaos, it was calming to be on this beautiful, sprawling ranch with horses and, like, technicolor sunsets. It was a great location. New York is very hectic.

You’re very confined and I’m more of an out-doorsy person as it is so this was like a dream job for me. I felt like it was some of my best work and I wasn’t expecting that. You know, there’s a lot of room for error with these cameras. They have a very shallow depth of field.

The fact that you have to put all these steps into it, that it’s something you can hold, that it’s a one-of-a-kind, it has more value and it feels very authentic and that was a really big deal on Yellowstone because Paramount has a long history of cinema and I think that these images have very much a cinematic quality to them. For me, it’s been really great working with Paramount Network and being able to do film things. Everyone is so supportive.

They wanted to make it our office art and it was really crazy to see them that big and it was amazing to get all this support from my coworkers and the creative freedom to do these things.

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