Every so often, a book comes along that beautifully marries complex topics with profound imagery. Just such a book is Organic: Farmers & Chefs of the Hudson Valley by Francesco Mastalia (Powerhouse Books; to be released in November 2014).
Mastalia had the wisdom to let organic farmers speak for themselves. Their stories weave a picture of backbreaking work buoyed by “do what’s right” dedication.
Evocative, raw, and sometimes haunting portraits accompany each interview, created with an 1850s technique called well-plate collodion. Using a large-format wooden camera and brass lens, the photographer created black glass-plate ambrotypes, which were then hand coated to produce one-of-a-kind images. "The amber-toned images remind us of a time when the cultivation of land was a manual process that linked the farmer directly to the soil,” says publicist Declan Taintor.
In celebration of September's Organics month, enjoy this preview of the book’s photos and words from the farmers themselves.