Delamere Forest with Mikey Boardman

Mikey Boardman had taken a workshop with me last year and had been shooting mostly portraits, he wanted to shoot outdoors and had gathered together the tools and equipment he needed, he’d asked for a small “how to” tutorial on shooting on location with his huge camera to see how he’d manage.

This Sunday we met at Delamere Forest to see how his workflow measured up. I had asked him prior to the weekend to prepare everything he thought he might need….


Here he is with his lovely camera and tripod with a new plate holder, made by Mark Voce, all worked a treat and the tripod was as solid as a rock.


First plate had a few teething problems… not using enough water to stop development and fixer that doesn’t actually fix…. Luckily, I had taken all my kit just in case Mikey had forgotten anything.


These are all 10″x8″ ambrotypes. First plate out was a little over exposed but could be used as a negative in some printing processes. I think it’ll print nicely.


The lens doesnt quite cover 10×8 but adds a nice little vignette. There are also some dev islands around the edges but we’ll let him off this time.


Delamere Forest has lots of places to park with access to the forest. Granted the lighting was changing constantly and woodland isn’t the easiest subject matter to expose correctly to start with but Mikey just got on with it and shot some great plates.






All of a sudden it went very dark overhead!


And then an hour earlier than forecast the Heavens opened….


So what did we learn from this trip out? You can never have enough trays/dishes, extra bottles come in handy if you need to filter your soup-like developer, a bigger funnel or syphon for economically emptying your silver tank, always make sure you put your plate on the silver tank dipper correctly, an alternative lens might be useful and it always helps to have fixer that actually fixes.

A message from Mikey….

I had a great day and most importantly it’s given me confidence to get out there and shoot by myself….seemed like a big job before today thought it would be more impractical than what it actually is!”