James has been creating photographic art for over 19 years in a variety of photographic mediums including wet plate, film, polaroid, and digital. Portrait and nude studies have always been a constant study of James’ personal work.
James has immersed himself in the second oldest photographic process ever created, wet plate collodion, which has helped create a bond between himself and the physical work he is creating.
Wet plate is shot on old wooden large format bellows cameras that were initially made from the Civil War era all the way through the Great Depression. By creating your own emulsion and shooting on glass(ambrotypes) or metal(tintypes), it makes each plate a unique piece of art. You could never get the same image twice even if you tried due to it’s hand crafted nature.
“Wet plate collodion is a chemical process as much as it is a photographic process. It takes you back to the roots of the first recorded images. It’s part Breaking Bad, mixing up the chemistry, and part Ansel Adams trekking up mountains with a large format camera to get the shot. The process slows you down so that you take in all of the minute details of your subject before you shoot. Because of this necessary attention to detail, it’s made me better able to see.