Unboxing Jon Wilkening’s ‘Tiny Plastic Box vol #2’

Tiny Plastic Box, vol #2 is, as you might guess, the 2nd volume of Jon’s zine, documenting his film, pinhole, 365 project. I knew more or less what to expect, so it’s less surprising than vol #1, but it’s no less exciting or inspiring.

Jon went with a different printer for this volume. I think the first was Blurb’s 6×9 Trade Book, but this one is a bit smaller (5×8 or so), with a stiffer cover, thicker, glossier pages, no ISBN on the back (or inside cover), and graphics front and back, with a handwritten title page and publishing notes at the end.

I sorta prefer the paper in the first one, but I prefer the size and heavyweight cover on this one. The paper in this is thicker, with a slick, eggshell like finish. It’s a bit glossy, but not so much as to cause glare. The paper in Vol #1 was matte and closer to normal book paper, and it’s easier to flip through the first one without wondering if pages had stuck together.

The pictures continue with Jon’s pinhole street photography project, and it’s still impressive and laudable, though I have trouble seeing much development or growth in the project. I should look a bit more closely at #1 and #2 and see if there’s stylistic or formal progression or something. It may be that Jon’s 365 is much like mine, that is, maybe there is no real progress, maybe the project is just the repetition. I do see some possibilities with color and form, but I’m looking at it from the perspective of abstraction, and not through the lens of street photography, and the pinhole street thing is probably enough on its own.

Concept
Content
Design

Speaking of pinhole, the shutter on Jon’s Holga broke on February 3 or 4. Scary, for sure, and I wasn’t sure how he was going to continue, but then a friendly fellow on Twitter sent him a replacement, so everything is on track for continued pinhole fun (and Volume 3 in a few weeks: today is day 143, so another week, plus whatever production and printing time is needed, and God willing, another volume will arrive).

In addition to the daily pinhole work (and I’m still not sure if he’s shooting, developing, sharing all in a day, or if he shoots a roll, finds a few pictures worth sharing, then shoots another roll a few days later), Jon also works to develop a more traditional street photography style and aesthetic, and plays around some with slow shutter work with a Bronica of some sort.

So there’s plenty to look forward to with Jon. Follow him on Twitter for regular updates, and go pick up copies of his zine: Volume #1 is still available and Volume #2 is going fast, and you can still sign up for all 7 and support this great, innovative project. I give it a full 4 stars.

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