Photo by Ben Gore
Photo by Troy Holden
Photo by Cole Barash
Photo by Alex Herzog
What is a zine? I don’t know. I guess I could’ve researched it and it’s origins and history but I don’t think it matters very much. It’s like researching and defining what is a mixtape. The various definitions might be generally the same, but generational-ly and genre-ly the definitions could be very different.
When I started making zines it was spelled like this: ‘zine. So I always thought it was like a baby magazine. A do it yourself junior magazine. People also called them “fanzines” because fans were making them to honor their favorites bands. If they were all drawings, you would just call it a “comic”. Lots of writing then maybe “booklet” would work or “pamphlet”, “brochure”, etc.
The gap between commercial publishing and independent publishing used to be so huge. You would see a magazine with Nike and Coca Cola ads, or your would see a magazine with no ads, hand drawings, and scissor cut photos. Nowadays the lines are blurred.
As I said before, if I had to describe it to let’s say my Mom, I would just say it is self published decorated pieces of paper folded and stapled for the purpose of reproduction for mass consumption. That’s it. And then she’d be like, “Oh you mean a pamphlet.”
There’s that episode of Curb Your Enthusiasm where Jason Alexander has a book release party and Larry gets there and starts talking shit because it’s a stapled. He goes on and on saying it’s just a booklet. Awesome episode.
At one point, we were paying lots of money to have Hamburger Eyes offset printed which is how most photo books are printed. People were saying we need to call them “books”. That didn’t feel right since it was an ongoing series, so we upgraded “zine” to “magazine” and maybe for 10 years it was a “magazine”. We also had ads, which helped to call it that. But since we downgraded the print quality and are currently exploring newsprint styles, and have no ads, we brought it back down to “zine”. Today it is 120 pages with a perfect bind and we still call it a zine. And it feels way better.
Photo by David Root
So I am having fun writing stuff about stuff and it seems proper to add more categories to the site. If you ever noticed, there are category links at the bottom of every post. I think I will start to add related post links to each article as well.
Anyways, I don’t like to have lots of navigation in the menu bar at the top of the site so I made the archives page also the navigation page. Have a look. This is a work in progress.
Is it trippy digging through the archives.
Photo by Brandon Getty
You ever spazz out about crops? I do. Not all the time. Just sometimes. I have talked about it before. In this post I will try to describe the Rambo track my mind runs laps on.
It starts with Henri Cartier Bresson. He makes the composition with his eye in the viewfinder. He prints over the edge of the image so you get that black outline from the empty space of the negative. This is just extra emphasis that he framed it up when shooting and it is exactly how it is meant to be. He didn’t want any publishers to crop his photos ever.
And this is correct. This is the proper way to think of your shooting. I was taught this and this is also the proper way to honor your formats. For example if you are shooting square, you print it square.
But then 2 things happened to me simultaneously. The first thing was seeing an exhibition by Robert Frank. In this showing they displayed his regular exhibition prints but also his work prints and contact sheets. Some of his most famous photos were crazy cropped! In the contact sheets you can see that a photo was originally shot horizontal. In the work prints you can see different attempts at the crop. And in the book you can see the final version is a vertical image.
I was shocked but not that shocked. That’s because of the second thing that happened to me. I got into publishing. Well first I got into printing my photos a lot and then mass producing them for mass consumption. The problem is paper sizes don’t match photography format sizes, so when you want to go full bleed you’re gonna knock off a chunk of the photo. It is unavoidable.
So for me cropping is generally fine. If I can save a garbage photo by cropping or “re-framing” it a bit, then I will do it. If I have to move a photo around to avoid the gutter in a 2 page spread, so be it.
The problem is this: file preparation. Now that I am voicing this out loud, it doesn’t seem like much of a problem. LOL. Some photos will look good in all scenarios, but most won’t. Print form, zine form, in a frame, on a tshirt, blog or IG etc etc. Some photos do better in certain forms in certain crops. For instance, in a zine I might have a vertical photo at 2:3 but on the internet I have it in it’s native 4:3 and when I print it on an 8.5 x 11, it’ll probs go 5:7. I guess what I am saying is it’s weird having 3 versions of the same photo out there, so to combat that I have been hitting everything with 5:7 because I think that is my favorite ratio right now. BUT that crop doesn’t work for everything. And neither does a particular photo. See how we are just going round and round?
Anyways, I am overthinking it. Don’t be like me is the moral of the story.
Lecture #1 @ Foothill College, California, USA – 2015
Lecture # 2 @ Nordic Light Festival, Kristiansund, Norway – 2013
Hey guys, I would like to start this series of photo docs, with a photographer that many of you might never heard before, and I think at this stage it might even be more interesting than me posting another ‘Frank/Bresson’ documentary.
Raul Cañibano – The Cuban Wide Angle Bresson
I honestly do not know how I came across Cuban photographer Raul Cañibano, I think someone, years ago (2011/12 ?) might’ve mentioned it to me or something. I know that as soon as I saw his work, I inmidiately went looking for more info about him, sadly, at the time there was nothing on google. Not even a Facebook page on him. Only this little – and still – only book about his work ( https://www.amazon.com/Ra%C3%BAl-Ca%C3%B1ibano-PHotoBolsillo-Willy-Simons/dp/8415303823 ) which I STRONGLY recommend getting.
Years has passed, and still very little is known about Raul outside Cuba, except that one University professor from the US (can’t remember his name right now) came across Raul’s work and has since helped him get his work out in the world.
Now, the reason I’m recommending Raul’s work, is because, I think for us photographers, Cuba has almost it’s own label or category within photography. We all know the thousand tourists photos of the old cars, buildings, and what have you about Havana. Raul on the other hand, is Cuban, and has an ‘insider’ look to the cuban lifestyle, customs, and culture of his country like no other. Now, if you top that, to the fact that his eye arguably is right up there with Bresson or any of the high praised eyes on mount olympus (Magnum) the end result is simply something I’m sure you have not seen before. Even in 2018.
I honestly do not know how or why his work hasn’t got out there or why he hasn’t been published by steidl or the likes. Perhaps, he does not belong to the elite of photo fairs in Paris, NY or London, or simply maybe is because he doesn’t speak english, loves cuba and refuses to leave the country. In any way, please enjoy these very few lectures about his work.
For all of us gear buffs, his work was very limited in the beginning, to the point of having a camera body (Nikon F) that did not match its camera lens mount and he would just hold the lens in front the camera body and shoot that way. But throughout his career one thing has remained constant, a 28mm lens. I believe he now shoots with an Fuji Xpro1 and a 18mm f2 lens (28mm).
Also, I recently noticed that FINALLY, Raul has put together an official website this year, please check it out here https://raulfoto.visura.co/
I got invited to hang photos at the new Facebook office in SF.
Read all about it : http://raysreports.com
Photo by Alex Herzog
I started thinking about all the different sides of self publishing for future blog posts and thought general mindset should be addressed. Some of you are straight up kooks when talking about your photos and books and zines. This needs to stop. We all have musician friends. We don’t wanna hear about your “projects”. We just want to be inspired when hearing the final product. So hurry up. Same for your zine, every page is rad or every page sucks. But really every page is rad and nothing sucks because you did it. Just don’t tell me about it 10 times before you even started.
Disclaimer: Google and Youtube are littered with either numbers in the titles or “how-to”. So I am adopting this style of title-ing in hopes of more viewership. I think with numbers in the titles, the viewer will assume it is a list which means it is a quick read. This one will be.
3 Rules for Self Publishing
Rule No. 1 – Don’t be lazy.
This rule could also be called, “Don’t be a Baby”. Every one has these books they wanna make. You are either going to have some one else publish it which means go out into the world and find someone to publish it. Or, you’re going to self publish it. And that means learning about Photoshop and Indesign and all the different printing processes. “But I don’t know Indesign,” is something I hear a lot. I reply every time, “Do the Youtube tutorials, it’s free. That’s how I learned.” And when they email me 100 questions and I ask, “Did you do the tutorials?” They say no and then I delete and block all their emails, dms, and texts for life. If I see them in person, violence may occur. JK, just stop blowing up my inbox with laziness.
Rule No. 2 – Don’t be scared.
Pick out 20 photos, find copy machine, copy the photos. Fold and staple the pages together. Give what you just made to the nearest person. There, you made a zine and someone owns it. Repeat this exercise 100 times or until you’re over yourself. The number 1 fear of self publishing I think is fear of criticism. And you can say that this is the number 1 fear for doing anything. If you’re stressed about people seeing your work and hating it, then you need to re-think what your doing. If you are not enjoying yourself then you need to be doing something else.
Rule No. 3 – No one cares.
I understand the importance of making a living doing what you love to do, but that is called entrepreneurship and a whole different topic. If you are just trying to make a book, no one cares. To me this is liberating and now I can just go do it. So you can now just go do it. I am bringing this up because I see people struggling with ideas and concepts, etc. Usually over thinking it. Free yourself from that stress. No one cares. The epicness of books and zines is you can take it or leave it. You can cherish it or leave it on the street for some one else. When you can enjoy this cycle of life, it is easier to participate in it. If you do wanna spend a lot of time and try to win some kind of first place prize for your book or zine, go ahead. If you wanna spend no time on it and make it sloppy, that’s fine too. Do it. Either way, we don’t want to hear about it because we don’t care. Maybe you can make us care after we see it and decide we like it or not. But not before.
Photo by Luis Mendoza
Photos + Forums = Phorumss, get it? Royce figured out how to post images via image url and then I added a toolbar that makes it easier. Basically, you can post photos in the forums again. You can’t upload photos to the forums, but you can link to and display photos that are already on the internet.
To re-cap the situation. We had it so you can upload photos to the forums, but I had to disable that feature for fear of a photo dumping grounds. The costs, the technical aptitude, the security, etc were slowly becoming stressful. So we deleted that feature and all the photos. But there is a work around and it is the old school internet way of doing things. That is upload your photos to your own site or whatever and then use that link to display it in our forums. Sounds hectic, but I like this better and it makes me feel like it’s 2003 again.
Have at it – http://hamburgereyes.com/forums
Photo by Jason Jaworski
Ok so while I do write a bunch of stuff here on this site I am thinking it is maybe time to start writing about more helpful topics. I get a lot of questions about making zines, therefore this will be the first of many posts about zines, magazines, books, and self-publishing in general.
Anyways, there are 3 basic ways to make a zine. For some of you this may seem like very basic info, but you should know that there are people who didn’t know that self publishing is an option. I guess maybe I should start with “Why Make a Zine” because the intention will serve the final format. But let’s go out of order because first rule is no rules. Also obviously I could’ve made “How to Make a Zine” but let’s start here just to have the extended intro to the topic.
Disclaimer : When I refer to zines, magazines, and books I am mostly (99%) talking about photography zines, magazines, and books. This stuff should apply to any genre but we are coming from a photography side of things. FYI.
3 Ways to Make a Zine
As I am writing this more pre-post ideas keep popping up like, “What is a Zine?” should be the first post. I’ll write that later. For today’s purposes we shall say a zine is decorated pieces of paper, folded in half, stapled and reproduced in quantity for the purpose of distribution. And by decorated I mean decorated with photos. And by reproduced I mean xerox copies, photo copies, laser copies, digital copies.. whatever you want to call them. Also this is just 3 ways to make a zine, there might be a lot more.
Option A – Rubber Cement
This is the traditional way. My favorite way. You take your content (photos) and edit them with scissors. Then glue them to paper. Then make copies of that “master copy” and then collate, fold, and staple. I like to use rubber cement because it holds good but you can also still peel it off and re-position things if need be. Regular glue is messy and too permanent. Tape is just annoying. But again, no rules. Rubber cement is just my preference.
Option B – Rubber Cement and Photoshop.
Edit your pages on Photoshop and print it out on a printer. Turn those prints into a “master copy” with rubber cement and paper. I made zines this way for years. Instead of chopping up my 4×6 photos with scissors, I could scan them, resize in Photoshop, print them out and use them that way.
Option C – Photoshop and Indesign.
This is the modern way. It is so fast and easy. Edit photos in Photoshop, lay them out in Indesign. Export to pdf. This pdf is your “master copy”. Nowadays you can take your usb thumb drive to Kinko’s, plug it into a copier or any printer, and print out 1000s of copies of your zine. Or you can upload your pdf to a bunch of different services online and they will mail you your zines. Or, the way I do it, is go buy a laser printer that does double sided printing. I output my pdfs and then just fold and staple and boom I’m done.
I will go into more detail on this in the next one, “How to Make a Zine”. I just thought it might be cool to do shorter more frequent posts. I think I will title this series of posts “Zine Masters”, get it? Making master copies to make copies off of.
Photo by Vaclav Tvaruzka
We got a nice surge of traffic to the site yesterday. People seemed to like the article so def going to write more. An interesting thing happened though. While there was no comments on the actual article, we got maybe 10 dms on insta, 2 texts, and 2 emails! If you are reading these things and feeling them, leave a comment here on the site so we know who’s who and what’s what. Thanks!
Photo by Ryan Florig
If you made it this far, know that we are about to release some new issues and that we have to make room for them. So here is a discount code for 20% off it will expire in 3 days. Before checking out enter code : TRAFFIC1018
Photo by Ray Potes
I am in camera buying mode. I have been watching youtubes and reading reviews for new cameras coming out and I thought it might be cool for me to try to write an article. Also people keep asking me what I’m gonna buy and I’m like, “Quit pressing me, breh.” So here is a guide/list maybe you or someone you know will benefit from it.
10 Rules For Buying Cameras
Rule No. 1 – Don’t let nobody tell you how to spend your money.
There are a butt ton of reviewers out there that say dumb shit like, “I have to ask my wife before I can purchase this particular camera.” Nah, breh. Unless it is her money or if you 2 are going 50/50 on it. Pay your rent and bills first of course. Then if you got extra and you want a camera, then go get it. Get it today.
Rule No. 2 – Buy whatever you want.
If you are into photography and some how you found this website, then we already know you got at least 5 to 10 or more cameras in your closet, on the shelf, in a bag, in a box, etc. Either you are a seasoned veteran or a young buck rookie, you have or eventually will have a gigantic collection of cameras. It is part of it. You need different tools for different projects. So just go get it.
Rule No. 3 – This camera will not make you take better pictures.
If you make crappy photos, a new camera will not make them better. A sharper, higher resolution, more contrasty, more colorful version of a crappy photo is still a crappy photo. Sorry not sorry. You should be studying and taking classes to learn photography. Like all things it takes time. I think that can be for another article.
Rule No. 4 – The camera is for YOU.
A lot of people want to justify their purchases with too many statements like, “It’s for work” or “for travel” or “for sports” etc. No one cares. Or if someone is asking, tell them it’s none of their business. It is all personal work. Only you know what you need and want and what you want and need it for. And if you don’t, then you don’t need another camera.
Rule No. 5 – Output is non factor nowadays.
Phone companies are making billboards with phone photos. How? There is software that can vectorize images and Photoshop is 100% better than it was just 5 years ago. You can argue full frame sensor for image quality, depth of field, low light etc. But making giant prints is non factor. I have made 30in x 40in prints from a phone photo and no one cared. I was going to say no one could tell but really no one cares. Gotta know Photoshop though.
Rule No. 6 – Expand your horizons. Consider another format.
If you shoot film, consider shooting digital. If you shoot digital, consider shooting film. If you shoot 35, consider shooting 120. If you shoot point and shoot, consider shooting rangefinder or slr. If you shoot slr, consider shooting mirrorless. Expand your horizons. I see a lot of people sticking to one format and these people are killing me with the hashtags on Instagram. It is getting too serious. If you love photography, then explore it and experiment more. Having fun vs hashtags. Formats over filters.
Rule No. 7 – Complete the set up.
Prepare to buy accessories too. I probs seen 20 people with a Leica body and no lenses. Would you set up a new skateboard with no wheels? I get it, glass is expensive, but why not consider the lense situation before going in. Maybe you don’t need a Leica, maybe you can get the Bessa and put Leica glass on it. Also, I think every new setup needs a new strap and new bag. That completes it for me.
Rule No. 8 – Make more money.
You don’t have money problems, you have income problems. Imagine if you had twice the income you have now. Then you could buy whatever cameras you want. What can you do to increase your income? What can you do in your off hours for some easy extra money? How can you level up your skill set?
Rule No. 9 – Buy whatever you want.
Yep, this a repeat of Rule No. 2 but going over these I think it is the best one so deserves 2 spots.
Rule No. 10 – No Rules.
Yep, this last one might sound lazy but if you need a guide to tell you how to buy something then maybe you’re lazy too. I say keep learning and keep experimenting and finding out what you like and don’t like and that should guide your next purchase decisions. What cameras and features I like, you probs won’t like and vice versa. But whatever happens stay shooting.