Over the last few years photographer Lisa Elmaleh has been driving her homemade, portable darkroom through the American Southeast making landscape photographs of the Florida Everglades and taking portraits of traditional folk musicians in Appalachia.
Lisa makes her images with a process called wet-plate colloidan. It’s a mid 19th century photography process that involves making your own negative using a glass plate and a slurry of chemicals. Next the plates are exposed in-camera and immediately developed. For Lisa most of this process takes place in the back of her truck, which doubles as her darkroom.
Earlier this year Lisa was selected as one of PDN Magazine’s 30 photographers to watch in 2013, and last month Harper’s published a series of her photographs taken at a leper colony in Louisiana.
Lisa just got back from a shooting trip in Appalachia and last week I got a chance to talk with her about her work at her apartment in Brooklyn.
palm in sawgrass, 2010
Hogslop String Band. Harpeth River, TN. 2010
Ralph Roberts. Frametown, WV. 2012
01:24 Lisa Elmaleh pt. 1
04:04 Going Down the Road Feeling Bad – Etta Baker
06:13 Lisa Elmaleh pt. 2
08:33 Country Blues – Doc Boggs
11:31 Lisa Elmaleh pt. 3
13:54 Cotton Song – Leadbelly
16:04 Lisa Elmaleh pt. 4
20:04 Pardon My Whiskers – Wayne Raney
22:36 Lisa Elmaleh pt. 5
25:00 Louis Collins – Mississippi John Hurt
27:57 Lisa Elmaleh pt. 6
30:47 Black Girl (In the Pines) – Leadbelly
32:54 Lisa Elmaleh pt. 7
36:15 FFV – Townes Van Zandt