Zine Review: Issue 4 Conspiracy of Cartographers: Vericolor

My first zine review was Issue 5, now I’m turning my attention to Conspiracy of Cartographers Issue 4: Vericolor. (Buy Here)

Consisting of over two dozen photos taken with a variety of cameras, the full color zine suggests what great promise there could be with Kodak Vericolor III Film. Although the film has long since been discontinued, it works extremely well with the chosen subject: Kansas.

Unlike Issue 5, this zine (aside from the introductory page) does not have a narrative for each photo. Instead each page has one photo with an identification of its location and the camera used.

The list of cameras sent me to Wikipedia, eBay and utube, but isn’t that half the fun? Mamiya RB67. Sparicus 35F. Argus C3. Mamiya m645j. Pentax Spotimatic F.

My favorite photos (if I have to choose) came from the Pentax.

What’s behind that door? No doorknob. Or, what had been there is gone. It looks tired.

Most of the photos were much more open. Maybe that is why the Labette County picture stood out for me.

Here is one from Rawlins County. More open. The telephone poles and road lead us along and away. Who would have stopped to build that garage? What was it used for? When?

Nice quality glossy paper. Instructions for developing (chemicals, mixing times and temperatures) included.

I’ll never need the instructions, I’ll be content to watch for more work like this and certainly look forward to his next zine.

Zine Review: Issue Five Conspiracy of Cartographers

I recently received several photo zines. One (or two?) was Conspiracy of Cartographers Issue Five. (Buy) Its two volumes (one color and one black and white) include photos and text covering three trips to the coulees of eastern Washington.

When most people visualize Washington, they see the Space Needle, Mount Rainier, the rain forests along the coast and, maybe, the flowing Tuscany-like wheat fields of the Palouse. They don’t think channeled scablands or dry falls. That’s too bad, for there is incredible power and beauty in these places.

This photo zine is an excellent way to introduce yourself to this incredible area (or remind yourself that it is time to return). I was particularly moved by the photos of the collapsing house and rusted pickup. Like movie props, but not.

The writing is simple and clear. There are no wasted words. We walk along the basalt cliffs looking for a way down to the lake. He tells us and shows us. He writes:

“As I stood above the coulees, Swift’s darted about me. Diving and pitching, wings whirring in the still afternoon air, their backs, the iridescent green of yearlings, shimmering in the sun.”

“For now, I turned back. I had taken several 4X5 sheets and a roll or so of others. Once back in the car, I swapped out the Intrepid for a tent and a sleeping bag, loaded up the pack again and made my way down into Dusty Lake Coulee. That small plain of land at the head of the canyon called to me.”

Here’s a screenshot of one page of the color volume:

While I am not an expert (not even a novice) I will attest that the production value of this zine is high. The paper is heavy and feels like it will last; fitting for its subject, the ancient coulees and basalt of eastern Washington.

I’m anxious to receive more work like this. Until I do, I’ll follow along on Instagram