Wet Plate Photoshoot: Alice

Recently, I had a wet plate shoot with Alice, a model based near Peterborough. I had found her portfolio online, on Purpleport (see my last blog, Creative Collaborations: finding a model) and luckily for me, she agreed to a shoot. On the Saturday the 17th of May, a bright and sunny day, I packed up the car with all my gear and set of to hers. There, I was met with a warm welcome by my model and her husband, Jeremy. She gave me full choice of any and every outfit and prop available to her, including locations in and around the house. We settled on 3 outfits, a fish hat that Alice came up with on her own initiative and a location only 5 minutes away.

The day started off well – we unpacked the car and set up the darkbox in a lovely patch of shade. I dragged the camera and lenses a little further away where I would photograph Alice in a burned out building and near a blocked up well. As it later turned out, the heat would wreck havoc onto my chemicals and nearly all plates seem fogged; some worse than others, and it meant having to shoot some plates a few times. It dawned on me that I had set up the darkbox in the wrong place completely; I could have set up closer to where I would be shooting and save myself a lot of energy, drying plates, plates heating up….. Ah well – we live, we learn!

At the end of the day (Kudos to Alice for her creativity and endless patience and to Jeremy for his hard work as ‘roadie’, ‘location sourcer’, photographers assistant’ and ‘site security’) we came away with a couple of nice plates. I was glad to find my latest wet-plate travel contraption of acrylic holders within a plastic container worked well and I got all plates home – wet and in one piece – to be rinsed and dried properly.


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