Giles Clement, 35, is bringing his old-fashioned photography to Raleigh on June 30.
Clement has been practicing wet plate collodion photography since 2012. During his time in Raleigh, Clement will be taking 16 x 20 ambrotype photos.
The ambrotype process was invented in the mid-1800s. The process begins with a sheet of glass coated with ionized collodion gel, which consists of nitrocellulose, alcohol and ether, that is then put in a tank of silver nitrate. The collodion gel reacts with the silver, and the glass sheet becomes sensitive to light. This glass plate is then placed in the back of a camera, and an exposure is made. A darkroom is necessary for the process because the collodion gel dries so quickly.
“When someone comes in for a portrait, I basically make a piece of film, take a photo on it, and then they can watch it develop, right in front of them,” Clement said. “The final result is basically silver particles suspended on a piece of glass and – it’s actually a negative image – when you put some black behind it, it looks like a positive.”
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Clement has taken photos for the likes of Channing Tatum, Fiona Apple and Elvis Costello.
He said the appeal of this kind of photograph is in its physical nature, which is missing from most photos now.
Sessions are $900 for one photo. Additional images are $700. There are still open slots for the Raleigh leg of the tour. Registration to be photographed while Clement is in Raleigh ends Friday, June 16. Clement said he will most likely be taking the photos at Raleigh Denim, but he is still unsure.
His tour will take Clement north along the East Coast with destinations including Boston, Washington, D.C. and New York.
“I’m trying to push what I do and keep pushing out a little as far as what I’m capable of,” he said. “So that’s what this evolution of it is, these much bigger images.”
For more information about the tour and registration, visit gilesclement.com/16x20tour.