Ready for a Picnic: Solo Camping and Photography (with Liz Potter)

We’ve got a fairly unique show for you today. We’ll be talking with Liz Potter (@lizpotterphotography on IG) – not about Polaroid lifts, but about the photos she takes while camping solo. Along with that, we’ll look into how photographers camped out in the old days, and how their experiences compare to our own. We’ll also have some zine reviews, the answering machine, and some stuff on something called tin types.

Liz Potter


IG: @lizpotterphotography

The hope of camping out that comes over one in early spring, the laying of plans and arranging of details is, I sometimes think, even more enjoyable than reality itself. As there is pleasure in this, let me advise you to give a practical turn to your anticipations.

– John M. Gould, How to Camp Out, 1877

If there’s one person we could talk to about solo camping and photography, it would be Liz Potter. Her beautiful panoramic photos and self portraits show her fearless devotion to solo desert camping.

In this episode, we all talk about our experiences camping and shooting all on our lonesome. We each have different styles and goals, but we each have a lot of common ground to nod over.

Here are some:

William Henry Jackson

While we muse and laugh about solo camping, from time to time, Eric reads from an unpublished diary by 1800s photographer William Henry Jackson, who wrote extensively about his life as a camping large format photographer.

Hull and I carried two cameras. The first was a standard 8 x 10. The other was a stereo: with a pair of brass-barreled Willard lenses, it looked like a young cannon. Then, besides the bulky plates, we had a mass of collodions, silver baths and developers. We may have looked as if we were ready for a picnic – but it wasn’t one.

The diary in question comes from the summer of 1869. It’s available here.

And if you’re a Patreon subscriber, you can listen to Eric read the whole damn thing.

While his work is fairly available, most of what he shot during this period is not. Here is what we could find:

Zine Reviews

Offseason #1 by Ralph Brandi: $8 shipped in the US

Lost Coast Land by Robert:


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Music by Last Regiment of Syncopated Drummers

Vania: IGFlickrZines
Eric: IGFlickrZinesECN-2 Kits
Tiffen: IG

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