Film Photography

Conspiracy of Cartographers Issue Three: July

I happen to know the name of this photographer and author. I forget why. I think he and I have corresponded, or maybe I gifted him a camera. 

He never uses his name on his blog. It creates a minor conundrum for me when I want to include one of his posts in my Saturday “Recommended reading” roundup, because I always name the author. There, I go ahead and out him. Here, I will not; you will have to be content with this link to his terrific blog.

On that blog he uses vintage cameras and expired film to photograph the West, mostly. He captures subjects to give no sense of time. His scenes give no sense of time, yet somehow you know if you were ever to successfully find them you would struggle to recognize them as somehow time would have moved on.

His blog is always at its best when he writes commentary on his photographs. He writes of the scenes themselves, of the gear and films he uses to make the photographs, and of his experience on the road. It’s compelling stuff.

He has self-published a zine of his photographs, a slim, stapled-spine volume.

For this zine he shares about 50 photographs he made during a three-week trip this past July using a 4×5 field camera and several film stocks, all of which I assume were expired. He accompanies each photograph with a paragraph, sometimes of his experience with the scene, sometimes of his philosophies about this kind of photography, and sometimes quotes from stories of 1860s battles of the Cheyenne Indians. These narratives intertwine beautifully to give a sense of his connection to these scenes and to himself in these moments, and suggest his ethos around the nature of storytelling.

His photographs and text are presented against black backgrounds, all the better to draw out the photographs’ tones and highlight the good words.

Conspiracy of Cartographers Issue Three: July is just $8 plus shipping from the author/photographer’s Etsy store. Buy a copy here, if any are left.

Last updated on 19 March 2020 by Jim Grey

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