Inaugural Monalog Collective® Monalogfest™ A Black and White Analog Photographers Outing, Print Sharing and Learning Experience, August 18 – 21, 2022, Bethlehem Pennsylvania

The Monalog Collective® Monalogfest™ Photographer’s Outing and Print Sharing, Learning Experience is a chance for black and white analog photographers to meet, make photographs, show their images and communicate what their work is about, gain insights from other like-minded photographers, and participate in demonstrations of silver gelatin, platinum/palladium and carbon transfer printing techniques by Monalog™ members and noted fine art photographer and printing practitioners Jim Fitzgerald, David Haas and Gary Samson.  But most of all, the goal is to have a great time with other like-minded photographers!  It is also an opportunity for black and white analog photographers that are not members of Monalog™ to interact with and learn more about the Monalog Collective®.

Monalogfest™ is limited to 25 participants and will be based in historic Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, in Pennsylvania’s Lehigh Valley, nearby, the cities of Allentown, Nazerath and Easton, the Pocono Mountains, the beautiful countryside of Bucks County and its picturesque towns, as well as the Delaware River and its many small towns. This means that there is an abundance of diverse subject matter to satisfy every photographer. It is easily accessible from Philadelphia, New York City, Allentown, Lehigh Valley and Newark airports. There are a number of local hotels and bed and breakfasts, along with plenty of restaurants in the area.

NOTE: We have reserved a block of rooms at a special rate with a complementary deluxe continental breakfast at the Holiday Inn Express and Suites, Bethlehem, PA.

We will begin our event with a welcome and group “get to know you” diner at a local restaurant (TBD) on Thursday evening in Bethlehem.

Friday will be devoted to making photographs in the field and having the opportunity to meet with and learn from Monalog™ member David Haas at his historic Allentown row house dedicated to the production of fine art black and white silver photographs. We will all meet at 8:30am at a central location and then take it from there. No pressure and no expectations. The idea is to be with other photographers, learn from an expert, have fun and be mutually supportive.  For those that want to make images, we will have a number of locations scouted out where participants can meet up, or you can go your own way freestyle, as there is no shortage of subject matter to be photographed.

Additionally, the following printing demonstrations and talks will be available on Friday:

Carbon Transfer Printing with Jim Fitzgerald, at David Haas darkroom and studio in nearby Allentown

10:00 – 1pm (up to 8 participants – pre-registration required)

Platinum/Palladium Printing with Gary Samson, at David Haas darkroom and studio in nearby Allentown

 2:00pm – 5:00pm (up to 8 participants – pre-registration required)

On Friday evening at 7pm we will meet at the hotel conference room to begin to share work and learn from one and other.

The first group of photographers will be given 30 minutes to present his/her work. Here is how it will work:

  • Presenting participants can display 10 prints representative of their work,
  • The presenter would give a statement about his/her work, vision, focus, etc., discuss their displayed images and what they hope to gain from this experience
  • The presenter and other participants would then enter into an interactive discussion about the work.

Total Time 30 minutes

On Saturday we will meet again at 8:30am and then head out for more photographing or have the option to meet with David Haas.

Silver Printing with David Haas, at David’s darkroom and studio in nearby Allentown

9:00am – 12:00am (up to 8 participants – pre-registration required)

At 1pm we will reconvene at the hotel conference room to continue sharing work and learning from one and other.

We will break for dinner and reconvene at 7pm for more participant presentations and discussion.

On Sunday we will meet at the hotel conference room for our final presentation session at 8:30am.  Included will be time for participant feedback, thoughts on possible next steps, upcoming events and how to get involved with Monalog™.

We will adjourn at 1pm.

Come join us and be part of this exciting Monalog™ event!

There is a low cost of $50 to attend, so you will want to sign up early to ensure participation in this exciting event.

We look forward to seeing you in August!

For more information contact Michael Marks at:

info@monalogcollective.com or 215-348-9171

Monalog Collective® Show at the Hicks Arts Center Gallery, Bucks County Community College, Newtown, PA, January 19th – March 11th

We are pleased to announce that the third stop of the Monalog Collective’s® traveling roadshow is now at the Hicks Arts Center Gallery, Bucks County Community College, Newtown, Pennsylvania. The show is called Handmade Photographs: The Monalog Collective®.  The BCCC has a well-known and storied photographic department, so we feel very honored to have this exhibit of our work. The Hicks Art Center Gallery is an absolutely wonderful space, and the college has done a beautiful job of putting the show together!

We hope you will join us on February 9th at 5pm for the show’s Opening!  The gallery is located on the BCCC campus at 275 Swamp Road, Newtown, NJ and is open Monday through Friday, 9am – 4pm and Saturday and Sunday, 1pm – 5pm.  For more immediate information visit www.bucks.edu/gallery or call (215) 968-8432.

 

 

Call for Members

I am extremely proud of how Monalog™ has grown and what we have accomplished since it was founded less than two years ago. Now we would like to expand our Collective to include members, 35 and under, to strengthen the diversity and creative thinking of the group. Including younger photographers who are committed to analog black and white photography will broaden the Collective’s perspective as we begin our new project “Visions of America” next year. If you are a young photographer that embraces light sensitive film, paper and chemistry to create your work, please consider contacting us for a portfolio review. Our membership of thirteen is spread throughout the United States from Washington to Maine and we welcome potential new members from across America!

Michael Marks

Take a Look … Monalog Collective’s® Virtual Opening at the Gallery 270

If you missed our virtual opening at the Gallery 270 it’s not to late to view it here!! Meet our members and see examples of our work with discussion, expertly guided with questions and commentary by gallery director Tom Gramegna. guided with questions and commentary by gallery director Tom Gramegna.  Check it out here:

https://media.publit.io/file/Monolog-Virtual-Show.mp4

The in person opening will take place on November 11th at 7pm.  If you are going to be in the New York City area, we would love to meet you!

Monalog Collective® Show at the Gallery 270, Westwood, NJ, October 1st – Late December

The second stop of the Monalog Collective’s® traveling member exhibit is at the Gallery 270 in Westwood, New Jersey. The show is called The 21st Century Handmade Print: The Monalog Collective®.  The 270 is a unique gallery, and Director Tom Gramegna has a real passion for photography that’s infectious! Here’s a description of the 270’s mission.

“Gallery 270, founded in 1998 in Westwood, NJ, flourishes just 20 miles from the nexus of the fine art photographic marketplace. While over a hundred galleries actively sell photography in NYC, Gallery 270 succeeds by catering to experienced and novice collectors seeking an increasingly rare quality in the field – value.  The gallery exists to serve its’ varied community while fostering an appreciation for, and the desire to own, the work of the distinguished photographers of the 20th Century and the emergent photographers of the 21st Century from around the world.  We place particular emphasis on modern emerging photographers employing traditional processes such as platinum/palladium, cyanotype and gum bichromate, where the hand of the artist is so much more intimately engaged.

We hope you will join us on October 15th at 7pm for the show’s virtual Opening … more information to follow! There will also be an in person Opening on November 11th and virtual events to be announced … again more information to follow.  The gallery is located within Bergan County Camera on 270 Westwood Avenue, Westwood, NJ and is open Monday through Saturday, 10am – 5pm.  For more immediate information the gallery can be reached at info@gallery270.com or by phone at (201) 358-5076.

A Photographic Process Glossary

Many black and white analog photographers don’t realize the range of processes available to make their creative dreams become a reality. Some of these wonderful processes date back to mid nineteenth century, but are still in use today to make beautiful photographic images. The following descriptions of some of these of these processes was prepared by Monalog™ members Chris Karfakis and Gary Samson as part of the catalog that accompanies the current Monalog Collective®exhibit.  Enjoy!

Members of the Monalog Collective® use a wide variety of historic photographic processes to create their fine art images. Below is a brief description of some of the processes employed.

Albumen Print: The most important print material of the 19th century, the albumen print, was the discovery of a French photographer, Louis Desire Blanquart Evrard, and was first announced on May 27, 1850. Hen’s egg white is applied as a sort of sizing to the paper before it is floated on silver nitrate to sensitize it. The image prints out on exposure to UV light, so no developer is required. Most albumen prints were gold toned for added permanence and to shift the print color to a more pleasing tone. A negative the same size as the required print was used to make a contact print. The negative was loaded into a contact printing frame with the sensitized paper and exposed to sunlight for several minutest o sometimes many hours. The back of the frame was hinged so that the density of the print could be checked without losing registration with the negative. Once the print was at the proper density, it was removed and processed.

Wet-Plate Collodion Process: Invented by Fredrick Scott Archer in 1851, a glass plate is coated with collodion that includes soluble iodides. Once the collodion has set up, the plate is placed in a tank of silver nitrate for several minutes there it becomes light sensitive. The plate while still wet is placed into a light tight holder so that it can be exposed in a camera within about eight minutes. After exposure, the plate is immediately developed using iron sulphate revealing the image in 15 to 20 seconds. The image is then fixed, washed, and varnished before use.

Ambrotype: is a wet-plate collodion process invented by Archer and Cutting in 1854. These images are made on black or ruby glass or clear glass (backed by black material) and appear as positives. Using a thin piece of plate iron that has been japanned instead of glass also results in a positive image called a Tintype or Ferrotype. Modern wet-plate photographers often use black enameled aluminum plates to create their images.

Carbon Transfer Print: A layer of bichromate gelatin containing a pigment (carbon black, for example) is exposed under a negative. The gelatin is selectively hardened by light passing through the negative. When the gelatin is gently washed in warm water, the unhardened areas are dissolved away, leaving a positive image of pigmented gelatin. In the late 1860’s, the process became practical when pigmented gelatin layers called “tissues” became commercially available. The resulting prints have exceptional stability and are quite permanent.

Platinum/Palladium Prints: The platinotype was first introduced by William Willis in 1873 and he continued to improve the process through 1887 via a series of patents. The process is based on the light sensitivity of certain iron salts which, when exposed to UV light, reduce platinum compounds to metallic platinum. The resulting prints have exceptional stability. The process was admired for its delicate tonality, enhanced using matte paper. The image color can range from steely gray to warm brown hues depending on the temperature of the developer and the kind of developer used.  This is a contact print process requiring each sheet of paper to be hand coated and then printed with a negative the same size as the desired print size.

Gelatin Silver Print: The gelatin silver process was introduced by Richard Leach Maddox in 1871 with subsequent considerable improvements in sensitivity obtained by Charles Harper Bennett in 1878. The gelatin silver print or gelatin developing out paper (DOP) is a monochrome imaging process based on the light sensitivity of silver halides. They have been made for both contact printing and enlarging purposes by modifying the paper’s light sensitivity. A brief exposure to a negative produces a latent image, which is then made visible by a developing agent. The image is then made permanent by treatment in a photographic fixer, which removes the remaining light sensitive silver halides. And finally, a water bath clears the fixer from the print. The final image consists of small particles of silver bound in a layer of gelatin. This gelatin image layer is only one of the four layers found in a typical gelatin silver print, which typically include the overcoat, image layer, baryta, and paper support. Gelatin silver paper is the paper of choice for most fine art photographers working in traditional analog photography today.

Bibliography:

Care and Identification of 19th-Century Photographic Prints by James M. Reilly

Kodak Publication no. G2-S, 1986

The Book of Alternative Photographic Processes, Third Edition, by Christopher James

Cengage Learning, 2016

Wikipedia

Chris Karfakis and Gary Samson

Monalog Collective® Show at the Stirner Modern Gallery, Easton PA, September 3rd – September 26th

Monalog Collective® will be having its first group show called Expression Through Tradition: The Monalog Collective® at The Stirner Modern Gallery in Easton, PA from September 3rd – September 26th.

Please join us on September 3rd at from 6:00 – 8:00pm for the show’s Opening.  Also, on September 17th at 7:00pm there will be a talk by Monalog™ member and photo historian Chris Karfakis, and there will be a gallery walk through on Sunday from 12:00 – 5:00pm.  The gallery will also be open Wednesdays and Thursdays from 12:00 -6:00pm; Fridays from 12:00 – 8:00pm; Saturdays from 10:00am – 2:00pm and 5:00pm –  8:00pm and Sundays from 12:00 – 5:00pm.

The show is also co-sponsored by The Halide Project as part of the month long September Philadelphia 20/20 Photo Festival.

To learn more about our show and the Stirner Modern Gallery go to www.stirnermodern.com. To find out about Philadelphia 20/20 Photo Festival go to www.2020photofestival.org, and to see information on our show go to https://www.2020photofestival.org/satellite-shows.  Finally, to learn more about The Halide Project go to www.thehalideproject.org.  And if you have any questions please feel free to contact us at info@monalogcollective.com.

In the meantime take a look at the exhibit announcement below; we look forward to seeing you at the show!

Stirner Modern Gallery

Presents

EXPRESSION THROUGH TRADITION

An Exhibition of Photographs

By

THE MONALOG COLLECTIVE®

The Monalog Collective® is a group of like-minded photographers that formed to promote Black and White photography and the industry that supports it. This exhibition of photographs, made by twelve Monalog Collective® Members, includes modern and historic applications of traditional emulsion-based processes. All images are original and hand-made by the artist. Each photographer has selected a specific process that best captures and expresses their vision of and feelings for a desired subject that is then revealed and shared via a tintype, ambrotype or print.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Theater of the Everyday In New York

Manhattan often seems like a stage where performers and exhibitionists of all varieties put on a non-stop show.  I started documenting these “performers” in 2008, as the country slid into a recession.  I needed something to distract myself from the increasingly grim economic news, so I began to seek out small-venue circus acts, magicians and clowns to photograph.  After a few months of photographing organized performances, I started to see theater everywhere: in the streets, in public spaces, in the subway, at festivals where people showed off costumes, in Times Square, at political demonstrations…the spectacle was endless.  I worked with my quiet, discreet Leica camera, photographing in a fluid, fast-moving style that suited the mercurial nature of my subjects.

As an observer who tries to be as inconspicuous as possible, I’m drawn to those brave individuals who display themselves and are able to escape from the constraints of the mundane world, at least for a little while. There was something very old-fashioned about street performers, acts on seedy stages, or wildly costumed individuals in the Greenwich Village Halloween Parade that called out for a photographic medium from the pre-electronic age.

All of the photographs were made on black and white film that I processed and printed myself, both for the timeless, classic appearance of that medium and its permanence as a historical record.  Each image is a unique, hand-made object that can never be duplicated exactly, which is a large part of the beauty of traditional black and white photography.

Paul Margolis

A Conversation with Monalog™ Member David Haas

On Friday I had the opportunity to have a wide ranging conversation with David Haas. We discuss his living a true photographic life as a college professor, professional fine art silver printer and photographer, who’s images reside in individual, corporate and museum collections. Check it out!

A War Without Blood and Gore: World War II Reenactor Photographs

The title of this project, A War Without Blood and Gore, comes from a line in a Vietnam War-era protest song by the American singer-songwriter Phil Ochs entitled “Draft Dodger Rag.” It goes: “If they ever give a war without blood and gore, I’ll be the first to go.”

I photographed World War II re-enactors at events organized for the public in 2014 and 2015, as well as aboard a restored1944 Liberty Ship wartime freighter – a time frame that roughly paralleled the 70th anniversary of the last year of the war. They used as many authentic period artifacts as possible – weapons, vehicles, uniforms, etc. – to recreate the lives of the soldiers, sailors and aviators who fought in the Second World War.

Most of the re-enactors were men in their 20s and 30s, although there were some women and children dressed in “home front” period clothes or in the uniforms of various women’s military branches; many of them told me of hearing the stories of grandparents who’d been in the war. I got a sense of their longing for those “good” years, for a simpler time, when there was a sharp delineation between good and evil. World War II was perceived as the last war that the U.S. decisively won, when the entire country pulled together in a common existential struggle.

The re-enactors were very knowledgeable about the World War II period and happy to answer questions. They gave various reasons for re-enacting: some wanted to pay homage to the war’s veterans and their sacrifices; others were living history buffs who wanted to bring a past era to life for modern audiences. I also suspected that a number of them liked the camaraderie, the chance to camp out and to fire off guns with blank ammunition in a harmless and more or less socially-acceptable way. It was unsettling to see German uniforms, some of them with SS collar tabs. However, these German-uniformed re-enactors assured me that they didn’t share the philosophy or have any admiration for the Nazis; they felt that somebody had to be the enemy.

I photographed the re-enactors with cameras that would have been used during World War II – 35mm and medium-format rangefinders — and black and white film that I processed and printed myself. I believe that, in many ways, this project documenting re-enactors reflects the present United States, with all of its ambivalences and uncertainties, as much as it recreates the vanished world of the 1940s.

Paul Margolis