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SURF SITE TIN TYPE, is a book project of contemporary tintype portraits of surfers around the globe Read more

Brooklyn, NY Photobooks
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This project was successfully funded on July 10, 2014.

SURF SITE TIN TYPE, is a book project of contemporary tintype portraits of surfers around the globe

Brooklyn, NY Photobooks
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About this project

 My Story

Since 2006 I have been making tintype portraits of surfers at the waters edge. I began the series close to home in Montauk, NY and over the years the project has taken me to California, Australia and this summer to Cornwall in the UK, documenting this sub culture of surfers.

I work with a large-format camera and the wet collodion process that must be prepared and developed on location. The procedure is rather elaborate and fortunately draws spectators as well as entices new subjects.

Joni photographing Charlotte photo by Ben Duchac
Joni photographing Charlotte photo by Ben Duchac

Most of the people posing for my pictures are a result of a chance meeting on the beach. Once the subject and location are chosen, I compose the frame and then coat and sensitize the plate. This process usually takes around 5-15 minutes. I then place the sensitized plate in the camera back and return to my subject to take the picture. 

Darkbox, Morro Bay, CA
Darkbox, Morro Bay, CA

Typically I make only one plate of each person and on an average day I make anywhere from 1 to 12 pictures. After the plate is exposed, I return to my portable dark box and develop the tintype. It is then fixed in daylight, usually with the subject beside me looking on. This is the most exciting part of the process, watching my subject see their image turn from what looks like a negative into a positive image right there on the beach!

Photographing Lulu at Ditch Plains
Photographing Lulu at Ditch Plains
Lulu ©Joni Sternbach 2012
Lulu ©Joni Sternbach 2012

The nature of working with a wet chemical outdoors is spontaneous and unpredictable. This lends an element of risk and surprise to the process. Many think of it as the Polaroid of yesteryear because the results are immediate. This project also has a performance element to it, based on the fact that all of my work is made in public on location. 

I have worked with historic processes on several projects prior to this one. My intention here is the same, to create a contemporary context for this medium, using it as just another valid choice in the ever changing world of photography. Photographing these individual surf souls is my attempt to understand the [American and] surf character. 

Read more about Joni Sternbach

About The Book

Surf Site Tin Type includes essays by Lyle Rexer, noted critic and author, April Watson, Curator of Photography at The Nelson-Atkins Museum and champion surfers, writers, and filmmakers Chris Malloy and Johnny Abegg.

excerpt by Lyle Rexer

"Sternbach’s tintypes deliberately recall an age of photographic investigation and documentation of other cultures – “foreign,” “exotic,” “oriental.” Looking at these portraits, with their rich hues and their strong graphic patterning, especially on surfboard decorations, bathing suits and tattoos." 

Surf Site Tin Type is a chronicle and celebration of the fascinating denizens of regional surf spots across the globe. 

160 pages Hard bound with cloth 3 mm smyth sewn + individually shrink-wrapped.Size: 24,8 per 30,5 cm approx.

Still photographs in video courtesy of Eric Taubman and Michael J Rovnyak

Limited Edition Prints 

  •  5x7 signed Archival Inkjet Print, limit 50 
  • Available only to people who support this project through Kickstarter
11.09. 27 #5 Duke's Board
11.09. 27 #5 Duke's Board
11.03.07 #7 Kazzie Mahina
11.03.07 #7 Kazzie Mahina
  • 8x10 Signed, Archival Inkjet Print, limit 15
  • Available only to people who support this project through Kickstarter
09.02.03 #9 Charlotte
09.02.03 #9 Charlotte
  • 16x20 Signed, Archival Inkjet Print, limit 8 
  • Available only to people who support this project through Kickstarter                                                
Three Surfers, Morro Rock
Three Surfers, Morro Rock
  • 16x20 Signed, Archival Inkjet Print, limit 8
  • Available only to people who support this project through Kickstarter

 Limited Edition Surfland Book

Limited edition Surfland book with Valerie print in folio and slipcase
Limited edition Surfland book with Valerie print in folio and slipcase
Limited edition Surfland book with Hawaiian Ed print in folio and slipcase
Limited edition Surfland book with Hawaiian Ed print in folio and slipcase

 Deluxe Edition of Surfland

Deluxe edition of Surfland with a unique 8x10" tintype in a clamshell box, image Renny
Deluxe edition of Surfland with a unique 8x10" tintype in a clamshell box, image Renny
Deluxe edition of Surfland with a unique 8x10" tintype in a clamshell box, image 08.02.12 #7 Marni
Deluxe edition of Surfland with a unique 8x10" tintype in a clamshell box, image 08.02.12 #7 Marni

Some Press for Surfland

About Damiani Editore

Damiani was founded in May 2004 as the new publishing branch of the printing company, Grafiche Damiani, in Bologna. Damiani was set up in the 1950s to specialize in art and photography lithographic printing.

Today, Damiani continues this long-held tradition, aiming at producing volumes characterized by high handmade quality and innovative technology. What distinguishes Damiani is the attention devoted to exploring and understanding the forms of the contemporary imagination.

Besides the projects concerning the unpublished activity by leading figures from the art and photography world, Damiani also constitutes an observatory of the new generations of international artists and of social phenomena, which meet with the solid architecture of accurately edited books, creating real art objects.

Risks and challenges

The risks and challenges when publishing a photo book include the possibility of delay, however Damiani Editore is very experienced at dealing with the production and printing challenges involved in making exceptional photo books. If this campaign is successful, I will do everything possible to make sure the book is published and limited editions shipped by April 2015.

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Rewards

  • You selected
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    19 backers

    Receive acknowledgement in the book SURF SITE TIN TYPE

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    142 backers Limited (58 left of 200)

    A signed copy of the book SURF SITE TIN TYPE and acknowledgement in the book.

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    Ships anywhere in the world
  • You selected
    Pledge $100 or more

    49 backers Limited (1 left of 50)

    5x7 inch signed archival inkjet print of 11.03.07 #7 Kazzie Mahina, edition of 50. Includes a signed copy of the book, SURF SITE TIN TYPE and acknowledgement in the book. Available only to kickstarter backers.
    Prints courtesy of LTI-Lightside

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    Ships anywhere in the world
  • You selected
    Pledge $100 or more

    39 backers Limited (11 left of 50)

    5x7 inch signed archival inkjet print of 11.09.27 #5 Duke's Board, edition of 50. Includes a signed copy of the book, SURF SITE TIN TYPE and acknowledgement in the book. Available only to kickstarter backers. Prints courtesy of LTI-Lightside

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    Ships anywhere in the world
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    6 backers Limited (4 left of 10)

    2 signed copies of the book SURF SITE TIN TYPE and acknowledgement in the book.

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    Ships anywhere in the world
  • You selected
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    2 backers All gone!

    2 Artist Proofs 5x7 inch signed archival inkjet print of 11.03.07 #7 Kazzie Mahina, edition of 50. Includes a signed copy of the book, SURF SITE TIN TYPE and acknowledgement in the book. Available only to kickstarter backers.
    Prints courtesy of LTI-Lightside

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    Ships anywhere in the world
  • You selected
    Pledge $155 or more

    4 backers All gone!

    These are the last 4 copies of my previous, sold out monograph, Surfland, Limited Edition in a slipcase. Includes a signed copy of the book, SURF SITE TIN TYPE and acknowledgement in the book.

    Estimated delivery:
    Ships anywhere in the world
  • You selected
    Pledge $300 or more

    10 backers Limited (5 left of 15)

    8x10 inch signed archival inkjet print of 09.02.03 #9 Charlotte, edition of 15. Includes a signed copy of the book, SURF SITE TIN TYPE and acknowledgement in the book. Available only to kickstarter backers.
    Prints courtesy of LTI-Lightside

    Estimated delivery:
    Ships anywhere in the world
  • You selected
    Pledge $400 or more

    10 backers All gone!

    Limited edition of my previous, sold out monograph, Surfland with 8 x 10 inch “Valerie” print or 8 x 10 inch “Hawaiian Ed” print (5 of each available). Includes a signed copy of the book, SURF SITE TIN TYPE and acknowledgement in the book. 5 of each

    Estimated delivery:
    Ships anywhere in the world
  • You selected
    Pledge $400 or more

    3 backers Limited (1 left of 4)

    Limited edition of my previous, sold out monograph, Surfland with approx 8 x 10 inch “Valerie” print. Includes a signed copy of the book, SURF SITE TIN TYPE and acknowledgement in the book.

    Estimated delivery:
    Ships anywhere in the world
  • You selected
    Pledge $400 or more

    0 backers Limited (5 left of 5)

    Limited edition of my previous, sold out monograph, Surfland with approx 8 x 10 inch “Hawaiian Ed” print . Includes a signed copy of the book, SURF SITE TIN TYPE and acknowledgement in the book.

    Estimated delivery:
    Ships anywhere in the world
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    Pledge $1,500 or more

    1 backer Limited (7 left of 8)

    16x20 inch signed archival inkjet print of 13.02.23 #6 Three Surfers, Morro Rock, edition of 8. Includes a signed copy of the book, SURF SITE TIN TYPE and acknowledgement in the book. Available only to kickstarter backers. Prints courtesy of LTI-Lightside

    Estimated delivery:
    Ships anywhere in the world
  • You selected
    Pledge $4,500 or more

    0 backers Limited (2 left of 2)

    Deluxe edition of my previous, sold out monograph, Surfland with 1 unique tintype (Marni or Renny) in a clamshell box. Includes a signed copy of the book, SURF SITE TIN TYPE and acknowledgement in the book. Limit 2

    Estimated delivery:
    Ships anywhere in the world
  • You selected
    Pledge $4,500 or more

    0 backers Limited (2 left of 2)

    A commissioned 8x10 one-of-a-kind tintype portrait of you on the beach with your surfboard at Ditch Plains in Montauk, NY. A signed copy of the book and acknowledgement in the book

    Estimated delivery:

Funding period

- (31 days)