Episode 42 – The Most Photographed 19th Century American (w/ Octavia Sharp)

On today’s show we’ll be talking about Frederick Douglass, the most photographed American of the 19th century, and how he used photography against slavery and racism. We’ll give a call to photographer Octavia Sharp, who has been photographing Mausoleums for decades. Tiffen Sinclair will drop by for some knowledge dropping, we’ll have a zine review, the answering machine, and so much more!

Frederick Douglass

Frederick Douglass is celebrated as one of the most important abolitionists in American history. But he was also the most photographed American of the 19th century – having 160 known photographs taken of himself. During the Civil War, he delivered four speeches linking photography to democracy and freedom. He saw photography as a democratic art form, widely available to the masses.  

From his first portrait taken in 1841 to his last, a memento mori captured in 1895, Douglass was photographed using nearly every process available at the time .

These 160 images show how Douglass grew as a person, as an abolitionist, and as a public figure. But why was history’s greatest abolitionist so in love with photography? To understand that, we have to understand a bit of Douglass’ own history.

Here are a selection of his portraits:

 

Octavia Sharp

@octaviasharpphotography on IG

When we first saw Octavia Sharp’s work, it was like something out of a mid century magazine. The colors, the furniture, even the lighting and angles were all of another time. But upon closer inspection, there was something else going on there. These weren’t photographs of living rooms – these were all shot in mausoleums and funeral homes.

Here are some of her photos:

Zine Review

GrainyBlur by Alex Purcell

Alex introduces the zine simply by explaining that photography cannot just be described as a hobby; it holds many variations to him and I am pretty sure we can all agree with that. Alex made this zine with some of his favorite images taken with his pinhole cameras or as he puts it his lo-fi camera gear. As most of us can overlook these types of cameras Alex not only shoots with them but basically puts us all to shame. We really get to see how his creative eye and the limitations of slow shutters blend together in black and white.

Alex @grainyblur on Instagram and/or Twitter.

Patreon

Thank you to everyone who supports us!

Check out our Patreon for bonus episodes, extended interviews, early drops. Tons of stuff!

patreon.com/allthroughalens

Our featured Patron for this episode is

Colin Cameron@cbc.analogue on IG

The Credits of Ending

Music by Last Regiment of Syncopated Drummers

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

All Through a Lens: IGWebsitePatreonSpotify Playlists

Dev Party #37 – Reversing Reversal

Oh have we got a chaotic treat for you! We’re making black & white slides using regular black & white negative film! How? Why? We’ll tell you!

Vania used Foma’s reversal kit, which you can pick up here for a pretty penny: https://www.freestylephoto.biz/70150-Foma-Black-and-White-Reversal-Processing-Kit-for-Fomapan-R100

And she got such images as these:

Meanwhile, Eric attempted a method touted on blogs and YouTube, which uses HC-110, hydrogen peroxide and white vinegar. His results were not as lovely as Vania’s:

END CREDITS

www.allthroughalens.com

Vania: IGFlickrZines
Eric: IGFlickrZinesECN-2 Kits

Episode 41 – Mug Shots and Memorials – Charlie from Themselves Press

On today’s show we’re talking to Charlie from Themselves Press, we’ll be telling you all about the weird history of police mug shots, there’s a couple of book reviews and a bit of a listener memorial to Aloy Anderson.

charlie chux camuglia: THEMSELVES Press

Last episode we interviewed Denise Grays (@deniseg316), who had just published a zine through Themselves Press. That zine distro and press is run by charlie chux camuglia (@casualscience) of Themselves Press (@themselvespress).  Since they’re into film photography, zines, art and cats, it just seems natural that we’d give them a call. 

Here are some of their photos:

This is Charlie’s site: https://www.casual-science.com/hello

And don’t forget to visit themselvespress.com

The History of Mug Shots

It would be tempting to say that before the invention of photography, there was some sort of rudimentary form of mugshots. We might even want to claim that Wanted Posters from the Wild West and runaway slave notices were proto-mugshots.

But they weren’t. Both existed before photography. Wanted posters eventually used photography, while runaway slave notices never used it at all (enslaved people were generally not photographed).

In truth, mugshots grew out of the portrait industry. Both were, essentially, identical: front-facing, no expression, and photographed from the shoulders up. The stereotypical side-facing mugshot came later, and we’ll get to that.

We delve into Rogues’ Galleries, Alexander Gardner, Thomas Byrnes, Cesara Lombroso, Francis Galton, Alphonse Bertillon – the usual suspects.

Vania and Eric also talked about their favorite celebrity mug shots:

Here are some we mentioned:

We also mentioned Underworld: Mug Shots from the Roaring Twenties.

Aloy Anderson

We asked our followers on Instagram to leave us voices message memorials to Aloy Anderson, who passed away last month.

His YouTube channel is here: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCKbs6hVUJsDxCVpZeZPurOg

His Instagram is here: https://www.instagram.com/aloyandersonphotography/

His memorial service is here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JKa_AeQ_MMQ

REview: Black & White & Weird All Over

Review of Black & White & Weird All Over by Jon “Bermuda” Schawartz. 

“Bermuda” Swartz has been Weird Al Yankovic’s drummer since they met on the Dr. Demento Show in September 1980. And while he’s known mostly for that, he was also a photographer. He picked up a Minolta SRT-101 in the early 70s, and was rolling his own rolls and printing in a home darkroom not long after. He quickly discovered that he simply documented everything.

When it became more economical to shoot color, he switched over. But in 1983, as Weird Al was shooting the video for “Ricky” (a Desi & Lucy-based parody of Toni Basil’s “Hey Mickey”), he thought that black & white might just be the better choice to capture the shoot. He was not wrong.

The book, a 200 page hardback, is made up of a couple hundred photos from 1983 to 1986, covering Al’s first album through his fourth, Polka Party.

Zine REviews

Vania reviewed Wet Plate Collodion Photographs by Paul Bardon, available here: https://www.blurb.com/b/9819915-wet-plate-collodion-photographs

Eric reviewed Bulldozed Future #2 by Ryan Berkebile (@l0ngdistancerunner on IG)

Patreon: Thanks!

Thank you to everyone who supports us!

Check out our Patreon for bonus episodes, extended interviews, early drops. Tons of stuff!

patreon.com/allthroughalens

Our featured Patron for this episode is

Jaya Bhat @jayabhat on Instagram.

The Credits of Ending

Music by Last Regiment of Syncopated Drummers

Vania: IGFlickrZines
Eric: IGFlickrZinesECN-2 Kits

All Through a Lens: IGWebsitePatreonSpotify Playlists

Dev Party #36 – Cyanotype Field Trip!

On a very special edition of Dev Party, we are on location! We walk you through our steps of sensitizing watercolor paper with cyanotype emulsion. We then expose them in some very inconvenient ways.

Eric does his on a hike, while Vania relaxes at home.

And then comes the washing.

Here are Eric’s hike photos:

And here are some of his results:

Vania did some as well! Here are some of her making them:

And here are her results:

END CREDITS

www.allthroughalens.com

Vania: IGFlickrZines
Eric: IGFlickrZinesECN-2 Kits

Episode 40 – Deep Dark Blue: Cyanotypes and Denise Grays

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: A Love Letter to Kansas

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/

Cyanotypes: Their History and How to Love Them

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:

Zine Reviews: All Travis, All the Time

Eric reviewed Better Off #1 by Travis Cannady (@betteroffzine and @travis_cannady on IG)

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.

https://betteroffzine.com/

$10

Vania reviewed Travis’ two other zines: Shadow and Light and Hannah & The Cambo Passportrait.

Patreon: Thanks!

Thank you to everyone who supports us!

Check out our Patreon for bonus episodes, extended interviews, early drops. Tons of stuff!

patreon.com/allthroughalens

Our featured Patron for this episode is

Alex Percell @grainyblur on Instagram.

The Credits of Ending

Music by Last Regiment of Syncopated Drummers

Vania: IGFlickrZines
Eric: IGFlickrZinesECN-2 Kits

All Through a Lens: IGWebsitePatreonSpotify Playlists

Dev Party #35 – Why Is Ortho?

Let’s take a deep dive into Orthochromatic film! What is it? Why is it? Do you want to shoot it? Are you sure? And most importantly, how do you dev it?

We really dig into the history of it and which bits of Roy G Biv it picks up. Also, how it compares to emulsions that came before it. Isn’t this exciting?

Eric shot Ilford Ortho Plus, devving it in Rodinal 1+50 for 15mins. Here are some pics:

Vania shot some Fuji HR-U X-ray film, which is orthochromatic, picking up both blues and greens (many x-ray emulsions pick up only blue). She devved it in Rodinal 1+100 for 4mins. Here are some of hers:

If you were curious how blue sensitive-only emulsion compares to blue-green sensitive, here’s a color chart:

Here are some other comparisons:

Vania also mentioned shooting ortho with a red filter in Yellowstone. Here’s that…


END CREDITS

www.allthroughalens.com

Vania: IGFlickrZines
Eric: IGFlickrZinesECN-2 Kits

Episode 39 – Of Mindfulness and Impostor Syndrome — Roxannalog!

Tonight, on a very special All Through a Lens…

we’re going to be talking about quite a bit more than just film photography. We’ll welcome Roxanna Angles and discuss Mindfulness through Photography. Both Vania and I will be digging into Impostor Syndrome and how to get out of that weird little spiral. There’s a bit on journaling, there’s the answering machine question, some zine reviews, and all the banter you’ve grown to love….

Roxannalog!

You might know Roxanna Angles La Belle as @Roxannalog from the Negative Positives podcast. But she’s also an author who wrote the book  An Introduction to Mindfulness Through Photography. We gave her a call to talk to her all about it. 

An Introduction to Mindfulness Through Photography.

Here are some of Roxanna’s photos:

Impostor Syndrome

For our main feature, we enter into a discussion about Impostor Syndrome.

Impostor Syndrome is the feeling of doubt in your own talent, in your own abilities, despite evidence to the contrary. For some, it can be a nagging feeling of insecurity, but for others it can turn into an almost paranoid certainty that someone will expose them as a fraud.

Ironically, this often strikes after something good. Rather than believing that these accomplishments came from our own skills and expertise, we end up thinking it was luck or random chance that led to our success. 

In many of the papers and articles we’ve read, the focus is on CEOs, celebrities, and  the incredibly wealthy. It’s almost as if to say “see, they’re just like us – even the incredibly powerful can have doubts!” 

But let’s set that aside. We’re not CEOs, we’re not famous, and we’re just scraping by. We’re not professional photographers. We’re taking photos, doing zines, and talking about photography. In fact, for many of us, film photography is our art.

However, even an artist isn’t immune to this. Articles about “Artists at the top of their game” abound. In those cases, they’re speaking to professional artists. Their stories, at least to me, aren’t relatable or inspiring. We are not professional photographers, but for some reason, we still sometimes feel that we’re faking it. 

Zine Reviews

Rust Buckets by Regaldo (@pretty_nifty on IG)

https://www.instagram.com/pretty_nifty/

Monochrome Mania #4 by Mark O’Brien (@mobphotos on IG)

https://checkout.square.site/buy/QHBXTII6Y6SBOIO4B2MSLTGH

Patreon

Thank you to everyone who supports us!

Check out our Patreon for bonus episodes, extended interviews, early drops. Tons of stuff!

patreon.com/allthroughalens

Our featured Patron for this episode is

Alex Morrison @alexmorrison35 on Instagram.

END CREDITS

Music by Last Regiment of Syncopated Drummers

Vania: IGFlickrZines
Eric: IGFlickrZinesECN-2 Kits

All Through a Lens: IGWebsitePatreonSpotify Playlists

Dev Party #34 – Dev Fiesta!

This is a very Vania episode! She’s just returned from a surfing and shooting trip to Mexico and she tells us all about shooting with the Pentax 645N and its unwieldy waterhousing.

Vania developed some old ass 220 FujiChrome (RAP), expired in the early 90s. Here are her photos:

And Eric devved some Fuji NP-2 800, expired in 2003. He devved in his DIY ECN-2 kit.

End Credits

Vania: IGFlickrZines
Eric: IGFlickrZinesECN-2 Kits

Episode 38 – Marion Post Wolcott: Photographers Need Pockets

On this episode we get to meet Tiffen Sinclare (@tiffen.sinclair on IG), host of the Fit with Film podcast, and our new on the spot correspondent! We’ll also be talking a whole hell of a lot about FSA photographer Marion Post Wolcott. There’s the answering machine, zine reviews, loads more fun…

Tiffen Sinclair

We interviewed Tiffen and learned a whole hell of a lot about how she got into film and her night shots.

Here are a few of her photos:

Marion Post Wolcott

Our main feature was about Marion Post Wolcott (and Tiffen read the part of Marion!).

You can access her FSA photos here: https://www.loc.gov/search/?fa=contributor:wolcott,+marion+post

Here is a lovely sampling of Marion’s work:

During the show, we mentioned Marion’s car getting stuck in Kentucky. Here are her shots from it:

Zine Reviews

We reviewed two zines:

NSW West by Bill Thoo: https://pixelsandgrain.photo.blog/

Grid by Garon Kiesel: @grain_or_die on IG

PATREON

Thank you to everyone who supports us!

Check out our Patreon for bonus episodes, extended interviews, early drops. Tons of stuff!

patreon.com/allthroughalens

Our featured Patron for this episode is Tim Anderson! @dv_over_dt on Insta

END CREDITS

Music by Last Regiment of Syncopated Drummers

Vania: IGFlickrZines
Eric: IGFlickrZinesECN-2 Kits

All Through a Lens: IGWebsitePatreon, Spotify Playlists

http://hdl.loc.gov/loc.pnp/fsa.8b19319

Dev Party #33 – Back to Basics

On this episode, we’re taking it all back to the beginning and walking you through the very basics of black & white film developing. We also talk a bit about the science behind it. Dig it, won’t you?

Here’s a list of the stuff we used with links to Freestyle Photo

Rodinal: https://www.freestylephoto.biz/12054-Adox-Rodinal-Film-Developer-500-ml

HC-110 (generic): https://www.freestylephoto.biz/10190-LegacyPro-L110-Liquid-Film-Developer-1-Pint-(Makes-2-Gallons)

Graduated Pitcher: https://www.freestylephoto.biz/204256-Kaiser-Graduated-Beaker-1000-ml

Developing Tank: https://www.freestylephoto.biz/5031-Arista-Classic-Double-Reel-Developing-Tank-with-Two-Reels (there are many others to choose from, as well).

Fixer: https://www.freestylephoto.biz/6200-Arista-Premium-Odorless-Liquid-Fixer-32-oz.

Vania developed Ilford Delta 400 in HC-110B for 10 mins. Here are some of her results:

Eric shot Shanghai GP3, developing it in Rodinal 1+25 for 7.5mins:

END CREDITS

Vania: IGFlickrZines
Eric: IGFlickrZinesECN-2 Kits

All Through a Lens: IGWebsitePatreon, Spotify Playlists