Trey @ TourDogs

AllFormat’s Ioana was curious about Trey Derbes’ TourDogs work, so she decided to ask him some questions. 

IM: Your social media followers (and ours, over at Allformat) will know you as a prolific zine maker. When did you start? And more importantly why?

TD: Thank you so much for that title! I started early in 2018 making zines featuring my personal photos because I wanted to do something else with my photos. Sharing them on social media didn’t seem fulfilling and is counter to how I enjoy looking at photos (which is through photobooks, prints and zines). At first, I followed the style of Cometbus zines - which were mainly short stories about living in punk houses and touring - and printed small A5 zines. I published my own photos like this, but I’ve always felt insecure about my personal photos. There are so many good photographers in the community and I felt better about publishing and promoting other photographers. So that’s what I’ve been doing for the past year. I think photos are meant to be looked at in print form to truly enjoy them. So much is missed when scrolling through photos on a phone screen.   

IM: At first you were making and giving zines away for free. That must’ve set you back a few $ but you must have gotten something out of it - what was that?

TD: I still giveaway zines for free every month. It does cost me money, but I feel that there is more value in giving zines away for free. Maybe I could make some money by selling them, but giving them away would get them into the hands of many people. That felt way more valuable and fulfilling than making a few bucks here and there.  After I did my first few zine giveaways I noticed that people from all around the world were getting my zines (which I could never have imagined happening).  My next thought was there are so many excellent photographers that could also benefit from this. So I started reaching out to photographers I had met through workshops or online photo communities to see if they would be interested in working with me.   What I get out of it is the joy of doing something that I am passionate about and seeing the excitement of the photographers when they see that their zines are all gone in about 3-5 minutes. I started the zine subscriptions mainly as a way to help me continue doing the free zine giveaways at less of a loss. I don’t mind the loss though. I will always give away zines for free.

IM: What’s your typical process, how do you find photographers to publish? 

TD: I love to publish photographers that I think are good and also photographers that don’t get much attention in the community. There are people that participate regularly in the giveaways and we communicate a lot. There is the collective (Diffuse Collective) that I am lucky to be a part of.  I’ve made zines for them. James Moreton @go_jmo and I did a Charlie Kirk @twocutedogs workshop together and started up an online friendship through that.  His photos are amazing so of course I asked him.  Everyone in All Format Collective is so talented so I reached out to you guys individually. I don’t really have a set process. It’s sort of like deciding to take a photo. Sometimes there’s a feeling that something will be cool so you go for it. I have been receiving some submissions lately, but I don’t like the idea of people submitting photos for the zine. It feels sort of dirty to me. I would rather naturally develop a relationship with them and it’s like I’m doing a zine for my friend. I think everyone has the talent to take great photos.  Sometimes it’s the presentation and not the photo. So I’ll look through an instagram feed and if the photos feel like they would be cool as a zine I get stoked and ask if they would be interested.

IM: You seem to travel a lot, is that for work or pictures (or both?)

TD: I love to immerse myself in other cultures and traveling gives me that opportunity. Taking photos is how I document my personal excitement while traveling. Though, by the time I’ve shared the photos the novelty of the excitement has worn off and I’m mainly trying to express an emotional state that may not be happiness or excitement. I used to only travel for work or music (which is also work in a way), but I’m starting to travel more just for the sake of traveling and getting away from my day job. Traveling with bands always provides very interesting experiences because we’re typically trying to save as much money as possible which involves sleeping on a lot of random floors, eating whatever food is provided to you for free, and also playing in some very interesting venues.   

IM: Who or what inspires your own work? 

TD: There have been so many photographers that have inspired me in the past. Currently, my biggest inspiration is Daido Moriyama.  His photos have always left me puzzled, because my first impression is I truly enjoy them but the reason is not so easy to determine. I’ve studied countless books and zines of his to try to figure out why his work is so mesmerizing. I came to a conclusion of why it is so good, but I won’t bore you with the details. Everyone finds their own reasons to enjoy something and my reasoning may not resonate with others. On top of his amazing photos, he has such a huge library of books and zines. You could spend a lifetime going through all of his work. He has always felt like a D.I.Y. punk photographer to me. I can’t imagine me ever growing out of enjoying his photos. In the past I was heavily influenced by Jason Eskanazi, Boogie, Josef Koudelka, etc. Another big influencer for me is Mario Testino. His photos have such a wild energy to them and they are truly unique. The first time I came across one of his books I could not believe my eyes. His work is so daring and fun. You can’t help but get goosebumps of excitement when looking through any of his personal work. 

IM: From what I’ve seen, music is a huge part of your life. Did music inspire your photographs or did photography come first? 

TD: The music came first for sure. I’ve been playing in bands for about 25 years. I started taking photos about 12 years into playing music. I always brought a camera and tried to make cool tour photos. Sort of a tour diary. But I could never really execute that well. There was a really long time of some really terrible photos but all the bandmates enjoyed them so it wasn’t a total loss. Once I started getting into the street photography community I started trying to adapt the principles to my tour photography. Still, not very good photos. But to answer your question, the music inspired the photography. 

IM: Let’s say you could ask any photographer in the world to do a zine with you. Dead or alive. Who would you ask?

TD: I’m extremely happy and lucky for the people that have worked with me up until now. That said, if I had the chance to do a zine with Daido Moriyama that would be an amazing experience. Even though I know I would be too anxious to ask him all of the questions I would love to ask. I’m sure I would get over the anxiety and ask all of the questions I could think about. He probably wouldn’t want to do a zine with me after that!

IM: Thank you very much for your time! 

You can see Trey’s work on his IG @tourdogs and website

Mistakes are Magic

By Jacqueline Badeaux.

I mostly don’t like to reveal myself or anything about my “technique”, but I’d like to share some of my ideas. I hope this might encourage other people to make art with a piece of film, to not be intimidated by the medium, get to the fun part and experiment. I think people can push photography into new realms. Destroying film is a fun part of the experimental film world, and is one of the many reasons I can’t give up celluloid. 

I took this photograph with a Lomo LCA just before a storm. After I developed the roll at home, I put some of the negatives in the dirt for a week in my backyard. Normally we try to avoid scratching the surface of film, but I think that the textures add another layer to the photograph, and it tells another story. 

The second photograph is taken with a Holga Pinhole Camera. I developed at home, (haphazardly) and the bubble forms in the foreground are the result. To me, this negative is very special because it feels like another world, and maybe turns a portrait into dreamscape. 

The third was also taken with a Holga Pinhole Camera. I took a loooong exposure thru the window of a moving car. I always wondered what that would look like, and it turned out the horizon and and the clouds show just a little bit. 

Follow Jacqueline on Instagram for more other worldly, dream-like photographs…

Kit Young Interview

Kit Young did an interview with Melvin Mapa:

While I began taking photographs several years ago, I only started taking the medium of photography seriously when I discovered the hands-on nature of black-and-white film and what are now referred to as ‘traditional’ printing methods. For me, nothing else will do. Film photography allows me to consider my work over time as part of a creative process. I thoroughly enjoy printing my own negatives. Every moment spent in the darkroom gives me a chance to reflect on what I have done and learn from my mistakes. I’m not one for planning individual photographs or indeed photography projects. Instead, I take photographs on the spur of the moment. The four sides of the negative are my point of reference – they enable the viewer to see what I have seen.

Find it here.

Kit Young Print Sale!

Kit has been super busy in his darkroom recently and has many prints available for purchase.

Contact Kit directly via his website or through Instagram in order to purchase.

Kit Young’s Printing and Finishing Process

Kit shares some of his printing and finishing process - and some handy tools…

“Contact sheets. I’d be lost without them! I like to take my time to look at them, often in the morning with a coffee. I use a red watercolour pencil to mark potential keepers with a line. I then decide whether or not to print the potential keepers in the darkroom, once I feel I’ve hit my stride in terms of striking the right tonal balances and so on. If I end up printing a potential keeper, the line turns into a cross: X marks the spot!”

“So, once the FB prints have been made I tend to let them air dry for a couple of days. I’m not one for rushing this part because this ‘slow’ process does give me time to look at the print over several hours as it dries and reflect on what I’ve made…”

“As some of you might already be aware: I really enjoy spotting my prints. I like to put myself at a table near a window and put on some vinyl. Spotting can be quite a time-consuming process but it’s something I find very rewarding.”

Kit’s essential darkroom items:

​”This is the neg carrier from my Focomat V35 enlarger. While I do also print on a Focomat 1C enlarger now again again, the V35 always seems to lure me back…”

​”I used to use these exact same ​tongs on a weekly basis, almost religiously, when a dear friend in Paris passed on his knowledge of printing to me. I’ll not use any other. When I use these, a part of me is still in Paris, printing in my friend’s darkroom.”

“It’s probably not the prettiest or fanciest loupe you’ve ever seen but I really love it because it was one which was given to me by my father. He used to use it while he was teaching darkroom photography at college and I think it was given to him by a Nikon Sales Rep. who used to call by every once in a while with lots of treats…”

​”Because the print isn’t finished until it’s been spotted… And all my unfinished prints get torn into a thousand pieces and thrown in the bin.”​

“Hand-made by me! Can you tell? These, and my hands, are the only two tools I’ll use for dodging a print. The one on the left is made out of a small paper-clip and the one on the right is made out of a large paper-clip… Ingenious or what?”

Baldessari and the Zoo

Some years ago I made a family trip to beautiful Copenhagen. We decided to visit the highly rated Copenhagen Zoo. I knew our 3 year old daughter would love it and so would I.

However, photographically, I knew exactly what would happen. I would either line up with other tourists to get that pointlessly faux National Geographic cover shot of a depressed mammal. Or more probably my cynical and self-critical mind would kill even the slightest motivation to pull out my camera. So I tried to come up with a point of departure.

In 1967 John Baldessari exhibited a series of works under the title Wrong. The series included an intentionally bad portrait with the label “Wrong” beneath it. It was shot too far, exposed and composed badly with a background pilar growing out comically out of the subject’s head.

Resonating with Baldessari, I devised a plan for the day at the Zoo. I would make a series of bad zoo photographs. I would frame carelessly, fail in timing, compose badly and most importantly fail to present animals in any meaningful or aesthetic way. I would become the antithesis of that heroic wildlife photographer risking his life for a masterful cover shot. I would make it my mission to fail catastrophically at every single wildlife shot — in a zoo.

Several weeks later while editing the contact sheets I made an unexpected observation. My little experiment at the zoo had introduced a curious level of meaning and interpretation to my photographs. And an aesthetic that looked less of a failure than I had intended.

The animals in my photos appear completely ignorant of the photographers gaze — as if to totally and explicitly refuse their role as unwilling exhibits in fake environments. Refusing to even pretend. Like accidentally walking into an occupied dressing room they want us to feel ashamed for our gaze. Ashamed for expecting to animals to put on a show, to pose for us and our cameras. Ashamed for feeling disappointed of that tiger resting lifelessly in the shade.

The zoo had changed completely. By completely ignoring the expected subject of my photographs I had stumbled into a more meaningful subject matter altogether.

For recent work, follow me on Instagram.

Traveling Out West – The Guide To A Successful Road Trip

Now there are many ways you can have a successful road trip. An example could be going on a 150 mile drive to a national park and camping out or it could be be going on a 4700 mile voyage and viewing a ton of beautiful scenery that your eyes have yet to see. Whatever it may be there are a few things that I personally would recommend you take in mind.

This past summer I went from my hometown of Manitowoc, WI with two friends and traveled out west to Seattle and a few other cities along the way. Never really traveling before I was excited to be able to take the leap and see what amazing sights and adventures I was in store for. I got what I absolutely needed for my trip and stuffed it in a single backpack and went along. That being my two film cameras along with a Rolleicord from Raph the creator of allFT, 3 handfuls of black and white film and a couple rolls of color, a small amount of clothes and an open mind with no expectations.

Tip #1: No Expectations

I cannot stress enough that this is one of the most important tips I can give. Imagining what the trip could be like will only disappoint you if you have too high of an expectation. There were countless times on my trip where things didn’t go as planned so just go with the flow and be in the present.

Our first stop was Minneapolis, MN and it was a beautiful city to see. Going to Chicago, IL a couple months prior to this trip I thought MPLS was a lot more pleasant and cleaner with what seemed to be an amazing art and music scene

We cooked some food and had a bonfire and talked about the days ahead and what we were excited about. Which brings me to my next tip.

Tip #2: Camp To Save Money

One of the big things when going on a road trip is to be as cost effective as possible. In total I spent $270 dollars on gas and other necessities. This will allow you to spend more on what you want to and other activities in the places you plan to go and if you’re up for camping its a great way to connect with the people around you. If you’re lucky you wont have any cell phone reception and wont be frozen to a screen!

After spending the night in probably the most beautiful part of North Dakota we packed up and jumped in the car and started to head towards one of our stops in Montana. Makoshika State Park is a really cool park that has a mostly rock landscape and it reminded me of the grand canyon. Obviously not in side or beauty but it was a great stop and great for some photo ops.

We spent about an hour there and it was such a calm and peaceful reminder that there is so much to see and being able to view this for such a small amount of money made me want to spend all of my savings on traveling.. which I will most likely do from now on.

Tip #3: Bring A Camera!

A camera! Not your iPhone. A legitimate camera. Preferably film since this is a film collective after all and well its the best way to capture your experience. And it looks like nothing else! This is another tip I cannot stress enough. Although its an extra thing you have to bring and a little less convenient than a phone the photos you take on this trip you’re going to have for ever ( If you use a real camera and get them printed ) and want to make huge prints! Its also a great conversation piece.

Back to the story! After Makoshika the rest of the day was dedicated to getting as far west as possible and quick stop at this “Ghost Town” outside of Missoula, MT. Turned out to truly be a ghost town because we couldn’t find it and we were deep in the Montana mountains surrounded by windy dirt roads, trump signs and road signs filled with bullet holes. After that we drove to the nearest hotel in Missoula because it was storming and we wanted to get a fresh start the next morning.

Tip #4: Explore Every Stop

Traveling through the pan handle of Idaho we stopped in the little mountain town of Wallace. This place took me back to the 60’s with its old style cafes and classic cars. On a side note they should make all cars like they did back then. It seemed to be untouched. We walked around the whole town and went window shopping and got some coffee and food at the local coffee shop. Stop everywhere you can and look around. You will find things you wouldn’t have seen if you didn’t!

Tip #5: Have Fun

Having fun is the final and most important tip that I can give you. Enjoy everything. Look around you’re seeing amazing and gorgeous places. I can’t tell you how much of a life changing experience this was for me and it would not have been close to what I experienced if I didn’t have fun.

The next 4 days were spent in Seattle, WA and it has made me want to move out there. Which I hope to do in the near future. The rest of the blog will be just photos so please enjoy and leave a comment if you liked the read!

Photographing in Winter

Now if you live in a place where during the winter months you get snow you can already relate. One of my biggest struggles is being able to go out and photograph during this time. Although its beautiful outside after a fresh snow fall the conditions aren’t the best. Its usually super cold, windy and very wet and easy to get your gear a little messed up if not cared for properly. I absolutely hate that its fully dark at 4:15 p.m. and like me most of the people Im around hate it too. Which leads to no motivation for anyone.

There are a couple of benefits to this time of year though. You have to get creative. Not all your subjects are going to want to freeze their ass off standing outside while you try to focus and get your settings right. So here is a little advice on how to work with your surroundings while photographing in winter.

Normally Ill start off around the house. See what might be an interesting scene. Maybe turn off a couple lights and make the scene a little moody.

The sun is very low during winter so almost anytime during the day you can get some great light coming into the house. This shot below was shot at 11 in the morning.

Depending on if I feel like freezing I will go out after a fresh snow and see what I can find and last winter was my most successful for some good photos.

Even though I hate winter so much It almost always helps me grow as a photographer to think a little outside of the box and work around my surroundings. So when you are stuck inside get a friend and look around for the light and an interesting scene and shoot!

Interview with Jason Lee

Back in late 2016 (Allft Issue 1), James Moreton caught up with the large-format Polaroid master, Professional Skateboarder and Stillwater lead guitarist - Jason Lee

JM: Why do you shoot film? 

JL: Because I’m a photographer, and, to me, to be a photographer means to shoot film. I’ve never owned a digital imaging device and never will. To me, photography and digital image making are two completely different things. It’s a heated debate, I know, and I never want to be disrespectful or too indulgent in said debate, but those are my feelings about it.

JM: Do you have a favourite camera and film stock? 

JL: I love my old large format cameras that I’ve had for years. my leica m6, too, and even point-and-shoot cameras, like the olympus xa or the nikon 28ti; anything that uses film, really. Favorite film is probably Polaroid 804 (8x10); it’s just perfect to me; smooth and charcoal-like. Most of my conventional B&W film photos are reverse-processed (slides) by dr5. I have been using that process for 10 years now because I like that what you do in-camera as the final result. And being that I shoot mainly for publication, versus darkroom printing, the dr5 photos are great for scanning. In this process, I love rollei retro 80s, rollei IR400, hp5 at EI 3200, and delta 100 at 50; depends on what I’m in the mood for I guess. I also really love agfa scala, which Dave at dr5 can process. I don’t shoot much color but I do love shooting expired color neg films and pulling them, like portra 800.

JM: There seems to be a lot of synergies between the skateboarding world and the world of photography. Some of my favourite photographers were skateboarders and good photography seems to be a big part of skating - would you agree and how much of an impact has skating had on your photography? 

JL: Artistic inclination is very common among skaters I think because skateboarding is itself a very creative world, from design to filmmaking, and the way one skates; it’s all creative. Music and imagery and filmmaking are all used alongside skateboarding, it’s amazing to see how different people express themselves. Because of skateboarding, its culture and the various personalities and influences that I’ve been exposed to, especially people like Mark Gonzales and Chris Pastras, I’ve been turned on to things that I probably otherwise wouldn’t have. Skateboarding and art go hand in hand.

JM: If you could only rescue one photobook from a house fire, which one would you rescue? 

 JL: ‘On Reading’ by Kertesz.

JM: With Fuji discontinuing film nearly every month but with the likes of new cameras from the Impossible project and film from Japan Camera Hunter - what are your thoughts on the current state of the film industry? 

JL: It’s a bummer to see films being discontinued, but it’s alive enough to stay hopeful and productive. All of my large format polaroid films are now of course expired, but most of it is still useable and I plan on getting through it all for more publications over the next few years. The discontinuation of 3000b is a bummer but there’s still plenty of it out there and it’ll last quite a while. It’s very cool to see people and groups making new films or bringing back dead ones.

JM: How important is social media to the film photography community? 

JL: I was a longtime Instagram holdout because I just thought the whole thing was silly and a lot of it still very much is, but seeing how strong the film community is on IG, I find it inspiring enough to keep at it. It’s been fun having the @filmphotographic page too, which I started a little over a year ago I think. It’s encouraging to see how many film consumers there are out there.

JM: Can you speak a bit about how you went about selecting and editing together images for you upcoming book? 

JL: There’s a flow to it - day to night, night back to day, outskirts to within a city and then back out to the outskirts. A run of B&W and then some color and then back to some B&W. Grouping people together here and there. Themes within a theme I guess. But the whole thing tells (or should tell) a kind of story, without hitting anyone over the head with it. I’ve never felt that photography should be explained. There’s a flow to it and it’s based on how it feels more than how it looks. You create that feeling by how the photos are placed within the book. My upcoming book is all peel-apart film photos taken in America and hopefully there’s a good overall presentation there that will give a certain feel to the viewer based on the contexts and the films used.

JM: Any advice for little known photographers who want to get their work into the public view?

JL: Make books, use Instagram, start groups, websites, podcasts, blogs…

JM: Are there any interesting photography-related stories you would like share?

JL: I photographed Dennis Hopper with 8x10 804 Polaroid film and the one image I kept (I rip up the ones I don’t like until I get the ‘keeper;’ this was back when I was shooting more publication portraits) got stolen from a gallery in Los Angeles and 2-1/2 years later it was recovered. Had it been a print, I would have let it go, but because it was a one-off, and the only 8x10 polaroid of Hopper, it was definitely a bummer. it was nice to get it back. Other than that, I’m usually out there somewhere shooting alone and it’s often pretty uneventful, just me and my cameras.

JM: On a scale of 1 to 10, how cool is Kevin Smith? (And does he chat much?)

JL: 10. super laid back, super cool.

Thanks Jason!



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