© 2011 Fourtoes GwynantCrop

Llyn Gwynant

Why is that whenever I take my wetplate gear with me camping it always rains?

This Bank Holiday weekend Steph and I went camping to a site on the shores of Nant Gwynant. On arrival the sun was out so we made camp with the thousand or so other campers that weekend. Boy did they pack them in. I should have made most of the brief visit the sun made for the weekend as from then on it was rain, rain and more rain.

A brief interlude on the Sunday saw me drag Steph out for a drive to see if we could grab a parking spot for a shot back along the valley. If you know the area you know that parking is limited, and as it was a BH weekend it was very very busy. We did find one spot I had been looking at and I shot four plates.

Each plate varied so greatly in exposure I was getting a little frustrated. Along with the usual families coming up and asking what I was up to…..I dont mind that at all, its just I couldn’t get a plate right because of the light changing every 30 seconds and I was getting more and more frustrated. Sun was out, sun was in, big black cloud, slight break in cloud all getting blown along by high winds, it was a right mess. And along with that I was getting real bad dev pours and marks.

So I have a choice of sky, far distance, mid distance and foreground to get the exposure for. Now I know in the early days they would shoot a plate for the sky and a plate for the main subject and mask the two together when printing……so heres PS effort out of four really bad plates.

I guess theres just some days when nothing goes right and the best thing is to pack up and go have a beer.

Full plate Clear Glass Ambrotypes.



  1. matt
    Posted September 1, 2011 at 4:55 PM | #

    Lovely, so nice to see wetplate landscapes

  2. Peter
    Posted February 5, 2012 at 2:23 AM | #

    Nice shot, but you have it mirrored or is this a feature of a wet plate setup?

  3. Posted February 5, 2012 at 7:19 AM | #

    Peter – Yes ambrotypes and tintypes are the reverse of the actual scene taken. You get used to it, an ambrotype if taken on clear glass can of course be just flipped in the hand and viewed the correct? way around, depends on if your a purist to the process or the scene I suppose.

    Matt – Thanks, landscapes are something I’ll be working on this year.

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