One, One Thousand | Southern Photography


by Lisa Elmaleh

Go back to the photographs

Project statement:

As a native of South Florida, the Everglades is an ecosystem that has shaped my own history. I have documented the flora and fauna of the Everglades using my large format 8"x10" camera and the wet collodion process, a nineteenth century process requiring the image be exposed and developed on site. The collodion process renders light slowly and reveals the passing of time, a quality which is essential to my work.

The Everglades are the only ecological system of its kind. In the dedication of Everglades National Park, president Harry S. Truman stated, "Here are no lofty peaks seeking the sky, no mighty glaciers or rushing streams wearing away the uplifted land. Here is land... serving not as the source of water but as the last receiver of it. To its natural abundance we owe the spectacular plant and animal life that distinguishes the place from all others in our country."

To date, more than half of the Everglades has been repurposed for urban and agricultural use. "Freshwater flowing into the park is engineered," reads the brochure given to all visitors of Everglades National Park. "With the help of pumps, floodgates, and retention ponds along the park's boundary, the Everglades is presently on life support, alive but diminished." By creating these images, I hope to preserve an essence of the Everglades, a land we are rapidly losing without knowing the magnitude of our loss.


Bio and contact:

Lisa Elmaleh is a Brooklyn based large format photographer whose current work is an exploration of the landscape of the Everglades. As a native of South Florida, the Everglades were an essential part of her personal history. Using a portable darkroom in the back of her truck, Elmaleh photographs using the nineteenth century wet plate collodion process. Elmaleh is a recipient of the Aaron Siskind Foundation IPF Grant (2011), the Everglades National Park Artist Residency (2010), the Goldwell Artist Residency (2010), the Camera Club of New York Darkroom Residency (2008), and the Tierney Fellowship (2007). Elmaleh's work has been published in Harper's Magazine, Dear Dave, Rattle Journal, NPR's The Picture Show, and Visura Magazine. She teaches at the School of Visual Arts in New York City. Her work has been exhibited in various solo and group shows throughout the United States and internationally.


Lisa Elmaleh is a Brooklyn, NY, based photographer.
To view more of her work, please visit her website:
You can also contact Lisa by e-mail: