We’ve got a case of the mean blues! – it’s Cyanotypes this episode! What are they, where’d they come from and how can You, the listener at home, do them? We also talk to Denise Grays (@deniseg316) about Kansas and her new zine, A Love Letter to Kansas. Tiffen Sinclair (@tiffen.sinclair) drops by with some news about disposable cameras. There’s also the answering machine and zine reviews.
Denise Grays has been photographing Kansas for more than a decade. Her recent zine, a Love Letter to Kansas, released by Themselves Press, sold out quickly. Since we both adore Kansas more than life itself, we thought it was a great time to have Denise on and talk to her all about it.
Here are a few of Denise’s photos:
And here are her blog: https://deniseonfilm.blogspot.com/
Cyanotype is a printing process that produces a deep blue negative print. Generally, a piece of paper is coated with an emulsion made up of potassium ferricyanide and ferric ammonium citrate. Once dry, an opaque object is placed on top of the paper and exposed to light. After exposure and washing, the unexposed emulsion is washed away, leaving an impression of whatever object was placed on the paper. The exposed emulsion turns a deep Prussian Blue.
We talk about John Herschel, who invented/discovered cyanotypes. So here are a few of his kinda crappy prints:
We also talk a lot about Anna Atkins, who printed Photographs of British Algae: Cyanotype Impressions in 1843. Here are a few of her cyanotypes:
And some by her friend and “almost sister,” Anne Dixon:
Vania has also done some before. Here’s a handkerchief she gave Eric:
It’s 60 pages of black and white city street graininess. Apart from some contact information, there are no words. The photos are printed full-bleed, extending to the very edges of the page. This gives it a really enveloping feel. He crops and moves his photos around to get the perfect composition. I’m always a little too afraid to do that. I’m an in-camera composer, and I desperately don’t want to be. And yet…
It’s inspiring. I’m seriously mulling over ripping off his style. You should too. Or at least pick up his zine.
Vania reviewed Travis’ two other zines: Shadow and Light and Hannah & The Cambo Passportrait.
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Music by Last Regiment of Syncopated Drummers