Lisa Elmaleh’s work is an exploration of rural America. Using a portable darkroom in the back of her truck, Elmaleh photographs using the nineteenth century wet plate collodion process. Elmaleh is a West Virginia based photographer...
Focus:Photographer, Travel, Fine Art, Environment, Documentary, Photography, Portraiture, Art
Skills:Historical Processing, Book Layout/Design, Black & White Printing, Video Editing
Since 2010, I have been creating tintypes of musicians who play traditional American folk music in and around the Appalachian Mountains - West Virginia, Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia, Kentucky, Ohio, and Tennessee. I travel out to the homestead of each musician, and spend a full day or more with each musician, documenting their likeness, their instruments, and the landscape that they reside in. Each 8x10 tintype plate is hand coated, exposed in a large format camera, and developed on-site in a small darkroom in the back of my pickup truck.
This music guides me visually – the portraits are traditional, with historical references, as the music is traditional. I am largely influenced by those who came before me - the Appalachian portraits of Doris Ullman, or the agricultural portraits and landscapes of Dorothea Lange. The tradition of American folk music echoes in the historic nature of the process I am using.