Large Format Photography – Day 17 in the Netherlands

On the Wednesday I would meet Angela Verkade. She was the very first person to respond to the previously mentioned casting call on Model Mayhem and even though she is a beginning model I really liked her look and enthusiasm. You can find her Model Mayhem profile here. She travelled down from Lelystad for the shoot and had brought along the most perfect white gown for our look. I had gotten some fresh flowers in the morning to finish it off.

Our initial plan was to find an outside location, shoot and then return to the house to shoot a few more plates. I had really wanted to try shooting in the field and the weather had prevented it the day before. Driving around, we found a beautiful little pond, across the street from a farm and, after asking the owner’s permission, we set up shop. We covered her head with flowers, attracting all sort of local wildlife, including bees, flies, dragonflies and tourists.

We shot a few plates, but I was having some issues. It was quite warm,  the collodion dried very very quickly and the plates dried before we could get them shot and developed. I also managed to lose some plates: dropping the plate holder, removing the plate holder from the back of the camera to re-focus to discover I already opened the back, bad pouring……. *sigh* I think I overexposed on some plates. Some are fogged due to my darkbox being a little busted and blowing open in the wind. The collodion made some strange markings on the plate……AND worse thing is – you can’t see much of the surroundings on the plates we have! We could’ve stayed at the house! *grumble*

In the end we had to finish a little earlier than planned, but we still had about 7-8 plates. I took them home in separate water trays and washed them before setting them to dry. And they started flaking!!! Worse than I had ever seen before. Now I’m thinking it’s the warmth, the sunlight or God knows what else. I’ll have to figure it out and start updating my troubleshooting section. I believe I can easily make a list of 10-15 common problems I’ve encountered already.

I ended up having to throw one of the images out completely as it was so bad, it could not be saved. At least, not by me. A couple of others, I transferred to paper, removing the parts that were crumpled and dried crookedly and therefore beyond repair. Hopefully they’ll dry a bit better and I’ll be able to scan them at least. Let’s just say that I really enjoyed the shoot, but technically it wasn’t my finest hour…….Hopefully we’ll get another chance in September!


(Scans of the shoot will appear in an update on the blog – the plates are a little….unwilling to be photographed)


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