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Thread: A questionnaire pertaining to analog zine dreams

  1. #1
    Tsarkon's Avatar
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    A questionnaire pertaining to analog zine dreams

    Hi all! So zines are trending for photo and other creative types right now it seems. I was looking into print services and as I was contemplating getting a zine concept to put together using my current film archive I thought to myself how sad it would be to have my film photos printed digitally especially since I recently came into a full darkroom setup. Then I wondered if anyone has ever just made a zine from darkroom prints. I know the process may be slower and more tedious but it seems like it may be possible to just make a zine by enlarging on a page one or several negatives and then repeating the process to construct all the pages. My first question is has anyone done this before? And my second question is, is there a way to take the prints and bind them into a book form of some sorts? Probably the easier way to do a page layout of multiple images is to do contact prints. Would I be able to mix contacts and enlarged images on a single sheet? I'm curious to hear anyone's input or experience on this matter. I'm a bit green as far as the darkroom goes so I'm guessing there may be a reason this isn't done ie: print paper might not be ideal for turning into pages that face each other and come into contact with one another. Also is there photo paper that is double sided? My guess is no. Is digital yet again the necessary evil in this case?

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    Re: A questionnaire pertaining to analog zine dreams

    I asked myself the same question in 2005 when digital was all the rage and PDF zines were the new portfolio. I still have my prints from then (and the early 1980s), the digital files are on a hard drive + CDs in a box somewhere. I have kept a website active since 2002 but its design and the images have changed and been replaced based on whim.

    There are plenty of print services that will take your digital files and create a book. Hand made books from actual photographs are doable and like anything else takes planning and thought.
    I have often thought about making an Annual or 5 year book just to have an easier method to see all my images. But I still like holding the individual images.

    And back in the dark ages we used to put images in albums with photo corners and plastic covers. I liked the black pages best.
    Adventure is worthwhile in itself. ... Never interrupt someone doing what you said couldn't be done. -- Amelia Earhart
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    Re: A questionnaire pertaining to analog zine dreams

    I'm not sure what a 'zine' is but if making prints, you could just put the prints in a box and not bind together.
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    Re: A questionnaire pertaining to analog zine dreams

    I am a former long time inside Chicago resident

    My girlfriend ran Underdog Zine

    Later editions were distributed in Hardcore bars, bookstores coffee shops, colleges. All Zines I ever saw were printed on newsprint and free

    I see there is an upcoming Zine event https://chicagozinefest.org/

    This outfit, will make any button, they made me free political buttons https://www.busybeaver.net/

    https://www.community-bar.com/ has produced this free rag for years https://www.lumpenmagazine.org/


    However zines are often thrown away, used for wrapping fish, etc

    I was making rants as young as 9 on some hand cranked mini press

    I suspect most Zines are now online

    What is your actual goal?
    Last edited by Tin Can; 17-Feb-2021 at 07:31.
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    Re: A questionnaire pertaining to analog zine dreams

    Long ago on one occasion when I met with Dick Phillips, he showed me a book of 8x10 contact prints on pearl-surface RC paper. Can't remember whether it was spiral-bound or comb-bound, but it was one or the other - nothing fancy. One-sided only, so one could say sort of a cross between an album and a book. For greater durability one could use the heavier-weight Ilford Portfolio RC paper.

    Putting multiple pictures on one page is going to require either a printing mask that will allow uncovering one part of the sheet at a time or else very careful density matching of negatives if you're going to plunk multiple negatives on the sheet for contact printing and expose them all at once. The more complex the process, the higher the risk that some error will ruin a given sheet after you've put a lot of work into it, and the more careful and disciplined the workflow needs to be.

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    Re: A questionnaire pertaining to analog zine dreams

    Announcing the all-virtual 2021 Virginia Festival of the Book schedule

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    Re: A questionnaire pertaining to analog zine dreams

    Quote Originally Posted by Oren Grad View Post
    Long ago on one occasion when I met with Dick Phillips, he showed me a book of 8x10 contact prints on pearl-surface RC paper. Can't remember whether it was spiral-bound or comb-bound, but it was one or the other - nothing fancy. One-sided only, so one could say sort of a cross between an album and a book. For greater durability one could use the heavier-weight Ilford Portfolio RC paper.

    Putting multiple pictures on one page is going to require either a printing mask that will allow uncovering one part of the sheet at a time or else very careful density matching of negatives if you're going to plunk multiple negatives on the sheet for contact printing and expose them all at once. The more complex the process, the higher the risk that some error will ruin a given sheet after you've put a lot of work into it, and the more careful and disciplined the workflow needs to be.
    I like the idea of a book of contact prints. What I'm gleaning from all this is that it's definitely not a mass production process. Sort of a one and done deal unless I want to use all that paper to make a bunch of copies. Maybe a digital process is more economical for making anything over a handful of copies. Thanks for the ideas though!

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    Tsarkon's Avatar
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    Re: A questionnaire pertaining to analog zine dreams

    Quote Originally Posted by Tin Can View Post
    I am a former long time inside Chicago resident

    My girlfriend ran Underdog Zine

    Later editions were distributed in Hardcore bars, bookstores coffee shops, colleges. All Zines I ever saw were printed on newsprint and free

    I see there is an upcoming Zine event https://chicagozinefest.org/

    This outfit, will make any button, they made me free political buttons https://www.busybeaver.net/

    https://www.community-bar.com/ has produced this free rag for years https://www.lumpenmagazine.org/


    However zines are often thrown away, used for wrapping fish, etc

    I was making rants as young as 9 on some hand cranked mini press

    I suspect most Zines are now online

    What is your actual goal?
    Thanks for the links! If you're ever through the Chicago area and Covid restrictions are loosened, feel free to reach out! I live on the Northside. After a lot more thought I think using an online zine-service just seems to make the most sense for semi-massproducing any photo books/zines. I'm still figuring out what project I'd want to produce a zine for but I have some ideas. I just got a sample pack from Mixam and the quality of their paper and ink is pretty impressive. Plus they can do lower batches of 50 or so copies. That sounds like a good starting point so I can see if it's worthwhile before going too deep.

    Sent from my Pixel 4a (5G) using Tapatalk

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