In mountains with wet plate photography.

September 11, 2015  •  Leave a Comment

Walking mountains and making wet plate photography (without a donkey) is a proven concept now. There were some ups and downs. But it can be done and results are, I hope not just for me, fascinating.

For a landscape photographer, it is a big liberation to by able to walk country with a wet plate camera. This week I visited three places with a relatively easy access in High and West Tatras sierra. (You can read more details about my plans to walk country with wet plates in a previous blog post.)

Waterfall Jump is located less than two hours of walk from Strbske Pleso town. Maybe 30 meters high waterfall is a very popular spot for wide public so there you are never alone. I found a big flat boulder for the dark box just two meters from walking path, so t all the day people were walking just behind my back. 

First two plates were a total disaster. Huge haze on the first one distract me and with the second one I forgot uncover a lens cup. But the plate was not a pure black, on the contrary, there was a nasty light haze again. I was thinking about, how it will be to return back home without a plate and if I would find a new power to try it again later. That was the moment when everything was on the edge.

Waterfall Jump The third plate was just fine. It was a sunny day, but some clouds came and partly covered strong sunlight. Maybe that helped. Since then, I don't have a problem with haze anymore. I spent a few hours here, repeating the same shoot in different light conditions, trying to balance a peak in background. 

The second day I wanted to walk on one spot with a great view on the West Tatras sierra ridge. The weather was promising in the morning, but deteriorated pretty fast, how you can see on the attached video bellow, the one with a slightly pathetic title. After three hours of the walk had the rain came. I managed to make just two plates that day in a short rainless period, by a small mountain pond in 2000 meters above the sea. It was a rare windowless day with the first snow on peaks, so I was really disappointed when I can't to work there more. 

The third day I was traveling home and just stop for a few hours by a narrow stone gate in the entrance to Prosiecka valley. The weather was a much better the a day before. And after that lonely wet day, there were some people walking around again. They were guessing what I'm doing there, with a black box on the ground and tripod in the river. Are you examining the water purity? Or are you counting trouts in the creek?

It was a relief to work here after problems I had the day before. The only thing I had to deal with were fast-changing light conditions when direct sunlight carved details from deep shadow of the narrow valley in a fast pace of ragtime pianist.

You can find and buy some fo these plates in Holgalities gallery


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