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Discussion in 'Book, Magazine, Gallery Reviews, Shows & Contests' started by mporter012, Aug 14, 2013.
What is/are the quintessential books on darkroom processes?
I don't which ones are the best, but you could check out the local library. What help me is experience. I have made many mistakes, but i learn from them.
The Print and The Negative books by Ansel Adams. The most current editions would be best.
These are are still available new and used:
Way Beyond Monochrome, Ralph W. Lambrecht and Chris Woodhouse, 2nd edition 2011
The Amateur Photographers Handbook, Aaron Sussman, 8th edition 1979
Black & White Photography - Basic Manual, Henry Horenstein, 2nd edition 1983, 3rd edition, 2004
Creative Black and White Photography, Les McLean, 2002
The Camera; The Negative; The Print, Ansel Adams, 1995
The Darkroom Cookbook, Stephen Anchell, 3rd edition 2008
Tim Rudman's Toning book is a must, as are his lith books (if you lith).
Besides the books listed above, I regularly use or periodically review:
The Photographer's Master Printing Course - Tim Rudman
The Variable Contrast Printing Manual - Stephen Anchell
Thanks for the list, and the editions!
Not exactly darkroom, but it is related in the fact that it address exposure and development, so that you control the process, all trough the darkroom and onto the final print.
It's called "The practical zone system" and is a very user-friendly approach to explaining the zone system for your photography, good illustrations as well.
Explains exposure, EV's, zone system etc in a very neat and understandable way, it also has charts and photos to get the points across, highly recommended over the Ansel Adams books.
- You can read those later, if you want to prefect the zone system use, but IMO the practical approach is a better way to get started.
I have read "Way beyond monocrome" (most parts of it anyway) and it really is a great book, it has "everything" and is written in a way that you can actually understand and go ahead and use.
I'd add to a very good list "The Art of Photography" by Bruce Barnbaum, 2nd ed..
Also recommend Barry Thornton's "Edge of Darkness" as well as his "Elements" book.
I found Larry Bartlett's Black and White Photographic Printing Workshop to be very helpful.
If by darkroom you mean conventional film and paper processes, then I'd say there is very little not covered in David's list. I think Ansel's "The print" and "The negative" are a good place to start. I like Tim Rudman's explanation of flashing techniques etc. I like Way Beyond Monochrome for the practical explanation of variable contrast printing etc. Ansel's series cover mid to late 20th century materials and techniques, but there are newer materials and techniques that do not fit exactly to his way of doing things. But I must state that knowing his theory and points of departure can absolutely do no harm. It is just that there are a few newer things also to learn.
The "Cookbooks" by Anchell et al. are very, very useful. I have heard good things said about David Vestal's books. I personally have and like John Blakemore's "Black and White Photography Workshop". It gives a very easy to follow and very practical explanation of optimising exposure and development, with many beautiful images to support the theory.
If you are into alternative stuff, then Christopher James is the ultimate single resource. There are of course others, but none so complete in a single volume.
This thread has a lot of useful info: http://www.apug.org/forums/forum41/108952-recommended-books-enlarging-printing.html
For a book to appeal to me, it has to contain some inspiring photographs, too. Otherwise the chemistry, technique etc can all become a bit technical and detached.
Jonathan Eastland's Essential Darkroom Techniques. Covers colour and B&W from a press photographer point of view. He shares many secrets on how to be productive in your darkroom. An excellent book.
Do you mean factual information, or blabla by noted photographers?
I constantly refer to the following books
Tim Rudman - toning
Eddie Ephrams - creative elements, and gradient light.
Fred Picker Notes - I have all of them
The Focal Encyclopedia of Photography
The Darkroom Cookbook- Steve Anchell
The Compact Photo Lab Index
The Print - Adams
The Film Developing Cookbook - Anchell Troop
Darkroom2 - Lustrum Press
The Permanance and Care of Photographs -Wilhelm and Brower
Outline for Pt Palladium - Dick Arentz
History and Practice of Platinum Printing - Luis Nadeau
a heavy dose of the Kodak Manuals
I forgot to add: You might learn as much from keeping proper notes yourself. To not keep notes will be the undoing of many learning opportunities and a waste of many hours in the darkness.
I'd second a lot of the books above. I'd also like to add David Vestal's books. 'The Craft of Photography' and 'The Art of Black and White Enlarging'. They are a bit more basic and less inspiring than McClean's or Rudman's books, but they are very well written and cover the basics in a thorough fashion, more so than Horenstein in my opinion. Some of the info is a little out of date. However, this is all offset by the fact that you can pick them up for about $1 a piece used. Check Amazon.
CTein has made his "Post Exposure" book free for download as pdf. Check his website.
All good choices which will serve you well ...my first darkroom book was the Darkroom Handbook by Michael Langford way back in 1984 . Once upon a time there was light in my life, now there's only love in the dark! Silver Footprint by Robin Bell ( Argentum Press) is another more recent book.
Thanks again for all the recommendations.