First Tintype Photographs In A Combat Zone Since The Civil War

Between combat missions in Afghanistan, Air Force defensive heavy weapons and tactics specialist, Ed Drew allowed art to keep his mind busy. With his old fashioned tin type photography equipment, Drew contrasted the past with the present. The photographs taken from the Civil War all used the tin type process and this technique has not been used in a combat zone since. On a 3 month deployment from April to June 2013, Drew captured these still portraits of his team, like a time warp back to 1865.

Soldier creates Civil war-era Tintypes in Afghanistan


This year California Air National Guardsman Ed Drew got called to the Helmand Province in Afghanistan to serve a three month tour of duty. A couple months before, his second son was born and Drew thought about his own mortality.
If he was killed in duty, what could he leave for his son to remember him by? There was a chance this could happen considering Drew was an aerial gunner, manning a 50-caliber machine gun aboard an HH60-Pave Hawk search and rescue chopper. Drew decided to bring a large format Speed Graphic camera to shoot portraits of his fellow airman with the goal of capturing their humanity. And if he unexpectedly got killed, his son could see his work and know who he served with and how they knew him.