Brighde’s Ambrotype


Went up to Tunbridge again today with a girl I met a couple of months ago. She’s the niece of a really talented and well known artist around here. I like her edgy look and thought she’d look nice in wet plate. We drove for like an hour to this location, which I had originally set aside for my first 12×20 plate (I’ll still do it, there’s more to this composition for a panorama)


Brighde checking out the view

This was the first time using my JC Sommerville 24 inch f/8 rapid rectilinear lens. Man, it’s a really cool lens on 11×14. I absolutely LOVE the long, tight focal length and I will absolutely be using it more for landscapes.

I am learning to be more accepting of lightimg situations as provided by nature. I have always really disliked shooting wetplate in open sunlight because it can be sometimes too intense and the contrast and shadows can be really crazy and hard to control. But with the right subject i think it can be made to work. I think harsh contrast works well here.

Test plate determined 1 second exposure. stuffed up the first couple of plates, and with only 1 piece of glass left we came home with this one plate. It’s a little dirty, but I think it adds to the edgy look of Brighde. The only thing I would change would be perhaps composing with her a little bigger in the frame, but it has a kind of cool Alice in Wonderland / lost world feel to it I think. She makes the twisted tree look huge.

I think the hot weather made the collodion set a little bit funny on that top left hand side, or perhaps I didn’t drain enough of it off before I put it in the silver bath. 10 minutes in the fixer didn’t clear it but c’est la vie.


Silver sunning in the greenhouse with the special cacti

Also, I got some big glass jugs for my Silver and measured out 8 litres of Silver Nitrate. I am absolutely gagging for this lens to turn up so I can get out and shoot 12×20’s.

I tried the helper tray with an 11×14 plate and I don’t think it was a success. I may have to ditch that idea.


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