Post Process

Post Process

 John Cyr”of printmaking

WHEN JOHN CYR began his series Trays”in 2010, it was far from a nostalgia project. The 31-year-old photographer has been working in printing since 2003, and while many film clients

have since switched to digital, his own tray was still in operation.

While pursuing an MFA from the School of Visual Arts in New York, his search for a thesis project led him back home to his own darkroom. Capturing the objects within led him to a new idea. like the idea of the image as a singular object, which is what attracts me to printing,”he explains. tray is an object that has helped make other memorable objects, and deserves to be captured on its own.”

He began seeking out photographers with a memorable history in film, as well as relatives of well-known iconsAnsel Adams’son. When Emmet Gowin invited him to visit his studio, he became one of his first subjects, and the project was bom.

wesit and chat a bit about the project, and often about the experience of going from analog to digital,”Cyr explains. Many were no longer regularly using their darkroom traysstill used them, if only once in awhile. Ansel Adams’still sits in a well-

preserved darkroom, and Aaron Siskindlast assistant uses his as a carrier for yam.

Cyr positions the trays as close as possible to available light, and shoots with a 4x5 Osaka view camera. Sometimes he uses a single strobe. Later, he scans the Kodak 160NC images on an Imacon scanner, printing them on inkjet. process reminded me that welucky to have all this at our disposal.”

His thesis complete, he

continues to shoot; with 72 trays captured, he considers the project ongoing. But itthe history, rather than the silver-gelatin, that fascinates him: equipment today can be rendered obsolete within a few years, but these trays have lasted photographers throughout their careers in print,”he explains.

Itwhat makes them such compelling objects: a history of prints, in layers of silver lining.

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