Wet plates walking checklist and a few tintypes from a mountain ridge

September 25, 2015  •  Leave a Comment

This is a minimalistic wet plate checklist. Backpack weight is around 15 kg, included some clothes and a bit of food and water for drinking.

  • camera Holga Panoramic
  • cheap light tripod 
  • remote shutter release
  • 10 plates 6x12 cm
  • dark box
  • 3 plastic trays, one with a cover for silver, two open fixing and developing
  • small plastic stick, it helps to draw plate from silver bath
  • small plastic cup for developer
  • collodion 400 ml
  • silver nitrate 400 ml
  • fixer 400 ml
  • glycol-water 1:1 solution 400 ml
  • paper towels
  • paper tape
  • bicycle red light used as a safe light in the dark box
  • transport box for finished plates
  • water 1.5 liter
  • plastic bin bag

Some notes. You can skip fixing. Just wash plates in water after developing, stabilize them with glycol and fix them after return home. You don't need 400 ml silver or fixer for one plate. But you have to refresh silver after every three or four plates. 



These plates are from the ridge of West Tatras sierra, in 2100 meters (around 6900 feet) above the sea. It was a good day with just some clouds. I wanted to capture far horizon, so exposure with F11 was bellow one second. The first plate was technically OK, but its composition was pure. 

After that, I ruined four plates. There was nasty haze on the part of three plates, maybe I framed the camera in a too steep angle to the sun. The fourth ruined plate was a really pathetic case. It was without haze, with some technical flops but the interesting one. When I rinsed it with water after fixing, I literally flush all the silver from the plate. Never ever seen something like this.



After this extempore, I got the second breath and maybe succeed in capturing the beauty of these mountains. I was on the ridge four hours. The ruined plates depleted my resources, so I had to use for the washing of the last two plates my drinking water. Sum it all up, another great day with wet plates in mountains.



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