Elizabeth Nahum-Albright, or Lizzy, as her peers would call her, is a fine art photographer based out of Brooklyn. Born to design-oriented and artistic parents, she got into photography at a young age and continues to explore the possibilities within her chosen craft. Lizzy loves 19th century photographic processes, but she isn't a stranger to modern methods either – much like our New Petzval Lens. Read on to learn more about Lizzy and catch a glimpse of some of her Petzval photos.
Tell us a little bit about yourself?
Hi! I’m Lizzy, fan of all photo things analogue. I have a deep adoration of medium format and 19th century photographic processes and am currently rocking out in Brooklyn doing the whole post-grad purgatory thing.
How did you get into photography and how long have you been a photographer?
Long story short…My parents are both art and design people themselves. I desperately wanted to be an artist from the age of 5, while my parents kept trying to get me into computers or engineering. After taking every art class my school offered and playing with little point-and-shoots for a while, they knew they weren’t going to change my mind. It was then that my mom gave me my first SLR, a Canon FTb, and my whole world changed.
What inspires you?
As weird as it sounds, I get most excited by shooting when I get a new piece of equipment, or when I haven’t touched a camera in a couple months. Or, of course, when I learn a new process. It keeps things fresh for me. I recently learned the wet plate collodion process at the Penumbra Foundation and am obsessed!
What are your favorite subjects to photograph?
Lately I’ve been very into photographing my dad. We have a very close bond, and when I photograph him, I feel like I can share that with other people. He’s a character to say the least. However, I’m also incredibly fascinated by the things people keep in their homes and how the placement of objects can speak wonders about who lives there, especially since growing up my house was full of mannequins, masks, bizarre art and assorted other oddities and knick-knacks.
How would you describe your work?
Oh goodness. Do I have to describe it? I guess I’d say in a lot of cases my photos come off as sad/dark/serious, with underlying tones of humor once you look closer. Not always, but in my most recent series “Papabear” I really found this to be true. I try to keep my photos intimate, almost as if each one is a small diary entry.
What is your favorite camera?
My Hasselblad 500c. She’s my world, my baby, my little princess. We make beautiful pictures together. I tell her what I’m thinking and she shares my vision. I recently acquired a Rolleiflex and am excited to try something new. I think Rollei and I will soon be seeing eye to eye as well, but nothing will ever replace my hassy.
What do you like about the Petzval Lens?
What a cool lens! I mean, in terms of shooting it was a new way of thinking for me, for a lot of reasons. First of all, I’m normally a square format kind of lady, so getting used to shooting in a rectangle again was odd. Also, I’m so used to the idea of a Petzval Lens on a large format camera for shooting tintypes. It was cool to see this modern digital spin on the concept after witnessing the crazy collection at Penumbra. But also, you make so many friends walking down the street with a giant brass lens on your digital camera. At one point a whole bar went silent to listen to me talk about it.
If you could take your Petzval Lens anywhere in the world where would it be?
Anywhere! Everywhere! It’s addictive!
What has been your favorite photo project?
Of mine? I’m most proud of “Papabear”. It’s fifteen 8×8 images printed in Platinum/Palladium. A lot of sweat, tears and love went into that project, and when it comes down to it, those are the kind of projects that always speak to me the most.
What are you excited to work on next?
I have a couple things in the mix. I’m excited to build my darkroom so I can dive back into alternative processes, but am also currently working on something very exciting! Alas I can’t let any spoilers out, but stay tuned!