Gareth Jarvis- Photographer and Fine Art Print Maker, based in Cardiff UK

Wet Plate Portraiture Cardiff

I am a photographer and printmaker from Cardiff, Wales. I’m deeply interested in the handmade image and work largely with Ninteeth Century processes. Including wet plate collodion and platinum printing. I’m enamoured by the tactile feeling of working with chemistry, glass, watercolour paper and light. Also, I find great pleasure using old cameras made of polished wood and gleaming brass.

To create portraiture, the 1850’s wet plate collodion process captivated me because of its unique aesthetic that renders skin tonality unlike any other photographic medium. Its sensitivity to ultraviolet light sees beneath the skin. The images produced can be ethereally beautiful and reveal deep, poignant features of the person photographed. The extended exposures required allow the sitter to thoughtfully project themselves and what results is often a serene, contemplative image. There is a simplicity to the process despite its seemingly arduous nature. It takes only twenty minutes from pouring a plate to the finished piece. Wet plate is ritualistic, great fun and seriously addictive. I believe that making art should be a joy not a chore. Beside portraiture I also love to photograph landscapes. More recently using pinhole cameras, which is quite a slow and contemplative process. Quite oppositely, I am also drawn to candid street photography and capturing expression and the energy of the ephemeral moment. Always with the final aim in mind of creating fine prints.