is "The darkroom book" any good ?

Discussion in 'B&W: Film, Paper, Chemistry' started by bonk, Oct 6, 2007.

  1. bonk

    bonk Member

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    Is this book called "The darkroom book" a good book? Would you say that is the standard/definitive book on learning how to work in the darkroom? Any other/better suggestion of a good reference book on that topic. With "useful tips and tricks of the pros"? :smile:
     
  2. Eric Rose

    Eric Rose Subscriber

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    Don't waste your time and money. You will get all the free info you need right here on APUG. Just use the search function and/or ask questions.
     
  3. ann

    ann Subscriber

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    check out ilford's website , they have a series of pdf files that cover the basics which should keep you busy and then ask questions, or if possible take a darkroom class with someone who knows what they are doing.

    Another option is to find someone to be a mentor.

    Books can be helpful, but hands on is much better. NOthing wrong with reference books, but that is what they are, a reference.
     
  4. Roger Hicks

    Roger Hicks Member

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    Sure. Unless you want to look at it when you aren't at your computer. Or want to check something that ISN'T archived. Or want to read something by someone who has some idea of what they are talking about, without wading through 200 pages of breast-beating and I AM ALWAYS RIGHT.

    APUG is a wonderful resource, but anyone who thinks it replaces books must not have read much -- or, in your case, Eric, must have been writing in the heat of the moment, despite a good grounding from the printed word.

    Remember, the big risk with free information is that very often, you get what you pay for. And yes, I know what it says at the bottom of my post.
     
  5. Peter Black

    Peter Black Subscriber

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    There was a recent thread on darkroom books at the link below. We are indeed fortunate to have several celebrated writers on APUG, including Les McLean, Tim Rudman and Roger Hicks, all of whom have produced excellent books which would help you. I regret I'm not familiar with the specific book you are asking about.

    http://www.apug.org/forums/forum56/42716-advanced-darkroom-books.html
     
  6. dancqu

    dancqu Member

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    Where else for information on single-tray one-shot print
    processing? Where else for information on using highly dilute
    developers and fixers without resorting to stuffing some rotary
    tank to do so?

    What of flat and dry prints in one move using a corrugated
    stack dryer? Or of the hugh savings in water and time afforded
    by use of alternate two tray washing with hydrophobic separators?

    I doubt "The Darkroom Book", any darkroom book, has even
    a word to say of the above methods and techniques as labor
    saving and little room consuming as they are. Dan
     
  7. Mark Fisher

    Mark Fisher Subscriber

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    I bought it before I built my current darkroom. It really is about the best book on the subject I found. If you already know what you want and feel comfortable with basic plumbing and wiring, it probably won't help you a lot. For me, it did give me a bit more confidence that I was going the right direction. My feeling was that even if I only got one hint from it, it was worth it. Given the money and time to put together a darkroom, it is probably worth it.
     
  8. Roger Hicks

    Roger Hicks Member

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    Probably true: I don't know the book. But how much has APUG to offer in terms of a coherent, start-to-finish summary?

    I repeat: APUG is a wonderful resource. So is a good book. And they are not the same.
     
  9. sterioma

    sterioma Member

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    I tend to agree with Roger here: as a newbie and with no available courses known to me in the nearby, and without a friend/mentor to show me the things "hands on", I have found that reading good books (Adams, Rudman, McLean, etc..) has been a tremendous help when you don't know where to start from. For everything else, there's APUG.

    Just my 2 cents.
     
  10. firecracker

    firecracker Member

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    The "basic" darkroom photo books I have are:

    "Build Your Own Home Darkroom" by Lisa Duren & Will MacDonald
    "The Darkroom Cookbook" by Stephen G. Anchell
    "Black and White Photography", "Color Photography" by Henry Horenstein

    In my opinion, they are pretty basic, minimum, and very useful as a quick reference; each book has a different content for a different purpose. And for everything else, I actually try and do some experiments and take some notes. That's about it.
     
  11. Troy

    Troy Subscriber

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    "Black and White Photography" by Henry Horenstein is the book you want. You can find it used at a college bookstore, too.
     
  12. firecracker

    firecracker Member

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    I agree. To me, APUG is a casual place with various degrees of test results with different opinions and tastes, which seems to serve for that purpose however dilutes the notion of being instructive. It's like learning how to drive a car from your uncle in a parking lot as opposed to from the instructor at a driving school. Either way you learn, but with both, perhaps you can learn more.
     
  13. Bob F.

    Bob F. Member

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    There are a number of very good books on b&w darkroom work. Unfortunately, many are no longer in print.

    I'm not familiar with the book you linked to but... of the books on my shelves, I would recommend: The Photographer's Master Printing Book by Tim Rudman, Elements by Barry Thornton and Larry Bartlett's Black & White Photographic Printing Workshop. I have a number of others but these I think are the most general: some of the others are more specialized in content.

    Additionally, with a lot of printing information and suggestions, as well as exposure and developing guidance, is Les McLean's Creative Black and White Photography and for a more technical work, possibly not for the beginner, is Way Beyond Monochrome by Lambrecht and Woodhouse. These two I know are in print.

    Good reading! Bob.
     
  14. Roger Hicks

    Roger Hicks Member

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    A perfect analogy!

    Cheers,

    R.
     
  15. pentaxuser

    pentaxuser Subscriber

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    I like APUG as evidenced by my subscription but you'd be hard pressed to gather the same amount of info and launch straight into darkroom work without some decent reading material or better still if you can get it, a college nightschool course or failing that a club that still practices darkroom work or has members who do.

    Bob F has mentioned some useful books. Roger Hicks has written one or two useful ones as well.

    Best of luck

    pentaxuser

    pentaxuser
     
  16. jesa

    jesa Member

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    I am putting together my own darkroom for the first time and I got this book from amazon.com used for a very good price (five dollars and change including shipping). I am pleased with it.

    I think getting a book or two is a great idea. As far as relying on APUG - I have spent alot of time the last few weeks reading up on tons of stuff, but the books I have gave me a better frame of reference. I don't really think that apug would have been as helpful to me thus far without having read up first. I have a better idea of what I don't know or understand completely.

    Good luck!!
     
  17. trudee yama

    trudee yama Member

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    I'm currently in the process of building my dedicated darkroom, (enclosed my carport). Researched colleagues darkrooms, but found the best source for information to be - APUG. For those who have answered my questions......thanks plenty....you've been the a wonderful asset. There must be plenty of photographers out there with wet darkrooms, 574 hits on my question on "light tight entry door" and 525 hits on "plywood sink sprayed with Line-X". Ready to insulate with hopes of printing my first image end of this year. Fortunately I own a cabinet shop, soooo I've built plenty of cabinets with drawers and will be tackling my plywood sink next weekend. Been loving the whole process. Promise to take pictures when complete and post them on APUG. Sure to miss the smell of my trays.
    Trudee
     
  18. Anscojohn

    Anscojohn Subscriber

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    *******

    Meiner Meinung nach, bessere Dunkelkammerb├╝cher sind zu finden.

    John, Mount Vernon, Virginia USA