You had me at Dektol

I grew up with Danny Lyon's photos.  My dad had a first edition of The Bikeriders amongst the art books in the bookcase.  I remember the smell of the paperback and the black and white photos of guys on motorcycles with cut off jean jackets and women with scarfs wrapped around their hair 50s style.  The images were from the early 60s and truly captured the beginnings of that decade.  I just looked it up for the link and Magnum calls it, "A seminal work of modern photojournalism".

So I'm taking the advice of a friend and starting to focus on what I truly like about photography, art and design and using this space to go there.  And when I think about photography and ultimately why I launched  Archivast, I go to my dad (who had this book), my maternal grandfather (who had a Leica M3 and a darkroom in the basement of a house on a side street in small town in Maine), and I think of Danny Lyon. 

So when I looked up Danny's blog I smiled when I read the URL -  Dektol is photographer insider language. If you know the term, you've spent time in the darkroom. My first darkroom experience was at Waynflete School in the 7th grade (1978?) where I remember mixing Dektol for the first time out of the Kodak yellow paper packet.  Mix the white chemical powder and stir until dissolved.  The smell and introduction to the darkroom changed my life.  From middle school, to high school, to my college newspaper, to my first darkroom at 241 A Street in South Boston back in 1991.  The darkroom was where I became a photographer.  I pushed myself to master printing and the skills that come from connecting the exposure of a negative to the print, AT THE TIME YOU TAKE THE PHOTO. 

This photo always blew me away - it's almost perfect composition is humbling

This photo always blew me away - it's almost perfect composition is humbling

And this connects to Archivast.  As a photographer looking at Danny Lyon's books I gave myself an education in beautiful, impact full images.  These books were my window into photography before the Internet showed up and almost every masterful photo is now available online.  What we do at Archivast is take the inspiration from photographers like Danny and dig for similar images in the archives at the NY TIMES and other papers.  And then make these photos available to you to enjoy and savor at home or in your office.

When you look at Archivast images like this one of Madison Sq Park below, I feel the weight of photographers like Lyon, Robert Frank and Irving Penn.

This image below of Brooklyn and the flag from the Museum of the City of New York feels like a Robert Frank to me.  But its a beautiful image that's available when Frank's are so far up the price ladder given his stature in the cannon of American photography.

After devouring Danny Lyon's work in college, I was next moved to Bill Burke, but more on him later.   And if you are a photography collector, please consider some of these photos for your walls - we found their beauty in these archives and want to share it as much as we can.

Check out Danny's blog:

And books: