Lenny Lawes – a problem solving refresher.

Lenny was first shown wet plate by her Degree course tutor, who had attended a variety of workshops in the UK in the past. They had visited earlier in the year for a small refresher with me, this time Lenny came on her own as she was having several problems with fogged plates.

Its always a challenge working out other peoples problems when they use different suppliers of pre mixed chemistry.

I got her to set up and shoot some plates as she would normally to see if there was anything obvious in her practice thats causing her problems.

We went over all the chemistry from the silver nitrate bath to the dilution of her dev.

I’ve never had someone cry on seeing a plate come out as they wanted it to, after a number of failed attempts at home. I was a little taken aback. Lenny has a great passion for her work.




Theres nothing wrong with how Lenny makes her plates, granted some of her pouring techniques were unorthodox but nothing that would make her past plates come out as they had been at home.

The collodion she was using was the same as the one Jack Lowe had had problems with in the past. I’ve never used chems from that supplier so couldn’t comment personally on its performance but it did seem to be pretty unforgiving.


The main issues seem to be over exposure, Silver Bath Sg, cleanliness of plates and the strength of the developer (labelled as 1-1 dilution but it needed more like 1-2 or even 1-3) it was very lively. Ive given Lenny a different collodion to try at home, just to see a comparison.

I’m looking forward to seeing her next plates shot at home to see her progression, its a shame she lives so far away.

And yes those Beetroot are now in my kitchen ready for roasting tomorrow!