Please Recommend a Book for Learning B&W Photography

Discussion in 'Book, Magazine, Gallery Reviews, Shows & Contests' started by Masuro, Jun 8, 2007.

  1. Masuro

    Masuro Member

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    I am looking for a book that goes through the basics and then more detail of black and white photography. Especially, What sort of subjects are good for black and white, what kind of light is best, when to use coloured filters, and so on. A book that includes developing and darkroom advice would be nice but is not necessary.
     
  2. Peter De Smidt

    Peter De Smidt Member

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    Eddie Ephraum's Creative Elements: Landscape Photography-Darkroom Techniques or Ansel Adams' The Camera. Ephraum's book deals mainly with 35mm bw photography, and it includes camera work as well as darkroom work. A good follow-up on these is Ralph Lambrecht's and Chris Woodhouses Way Beyond Monochrome.
     
  3. Roger Hicks

    Roger Hicks Member

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    At the risk of immodesty, there's a hell of a lot of free information in The Photo School at www.rogerandfrances.com. Of course I hope you'll be so impressed that you subscribe as well, but even if you don't, the free stuff will answer a lot of your questions. Click on 'our books' and you'll see some ideas there too.

    Cheers,

    Roger
     
  4. jsfyfe

    jsfyfe Member

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    You may want to browse through the thousands of titles on:

    http://www.abebooks.com/

    This is sort of like eBay for books except you don't bid. You can pick up just about anything - many for just $1. Good place to start if you want to build a library.
     
  5. jp80874

    jp80874 Subscriber

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    These are very commonly used for Photo 1 and Photo 2 classes in college. As such you can pick them up very cheaply on eBay or Abe books now at the end of a term.

    Black and White Photography, a basic manual, Henry Horenstein, Little Brown
    BEYOND BASIC PHOTOGRAPHY- HORENSTEIN, Henry, Little Brown

    Good luck,
    John Powers
     
  6. Bob Carnie

    Bob Carnie Subscriber

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    I agree with all of the above , but I think APUG.com is becoming the most comprehensive source of photographic knowlege you can find.
    Any topic, any question no matter how simple you may think it is , will be answered here by some of the best and creative photographic people world wide.
    Just post the questions and the answers will come.
     
  7. bdial

    bdial Subscriber

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    There's always The Camera, by Ansel Adams. Not so simple in some places, but a very informative read. It covers what he considered to be the basics.
     
  8. Terrance Hounsell

    Terrance Hounsell Member

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    Recommended Basic B&W Photo Book

    After reading several hundred books during my more than 30 years as a photographer I'd like to recommend the following book as a good basic guide for learning Black and White Photography:

    Ansel Adams Guide: Basic Techniques of Photography, Vol. 1 by John P. Shaefer

    Vol. 2 is great for more advanced photographers. I used my copy several times for reference. Both are good value for money.
     
  9. alexphoto

    alexphoto Member

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    Hi, A very good book for b/w is John Blakemore’s Black and White Photography Workshop. John Blakemore is Emeritus Professor of Photography, University of Derby, a wonderful photographer and a great teacher. The book is available on Amazon UK and probably worldwide.
    Hope you enjoy your b/w photography. Alex
     
  10. TheFlyingCamera

    TheFlyingCamera Membership Council Council

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    I'll add in another vote for the Horenstein and Shaefer books. I'm particularly enthusiastic about the Shaefer book - it was what I used to teach myself the basics. The Horenstein books were used as texts in the classes I took when I later decided to get some formal training. You won't go wrong with any of these.
     
  11. Simon E

    Simon E Member

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    If Roger's website was so good you'd think someone other than the owner would give it a plug.

    I would, however, suggest Roger's "Black and White Handbook" as possibly somewhere to start. Ideally if you can get hold of any of Ansel Adams' books I would recommend you get hold of "The Negative" followed by "The Print".
     
  12. Roger Hicks

    Roger Hicks Member

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    Well, Simon, people do -- take a look at the thread on metering -- but you'll understand I have a particular interest.

    Also, the paid-for Photo School part has been around for less than two years so it has some catching up to do as compared with longer-established media such as the book you so kindly mention.

    In any case, as a great deal of it is FREE -- I'll repeat that word, FREE -- I really don't think I can be accused of trying the hard sell. Anyone can look at it; decide whether they like the free stuff or not; and then, if they like, subscribe. All save its greatest detractors (mostly hard-core Zonies) agree that there's a lot of useful information in there.

    Cheers,

    Roger
     
  13. Sirius Glass

    Sirius Glass Subscriber

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    If it has to do with photography and it doesn't cost me money ... how can it be good? :rolleyes:​
     
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  15. BWGirl

    BWGirl Member

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    Well... speaking of free... here's a link to the free downloadable latest edition of the clearest and most easiest to understand B&W Photography book I've ever seen:

    http://www.bw-photography.net/

    Henry Horenstein. Great stuff. Another I found particularly useful is Les McLean's Creative Black and White Photography.
     
  16. bjorke

    bjorke Member

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  17. zenrhino

    zenrhino Member

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    Another vote for the Horenstein books. Both of those and a copy of Light: Science and Magic and you can't go wrong.
     
  18. Masuro

    Masuro Member

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    Thank you all for the recommendations. I'm going to write them down and research them before buying.
    Roger, I came across your site last year sometime and enjoyed the free modules. I read the ones concerned with black and white again today and thought the one on darkrooms was very informative. I recommend your site.
     
  19. Richard Boutwell

    Richard Boutwell Subscriber

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    Trying to find books that will tell you what to photograph is ridiculous, and leads to creative dead ends.

    Here are my 2cents.

    You need something to show you how to load film on the reel, what chemicals to use and in what order to use them and something to show you how the enlarger works. There are countless books to show you that.

    With that information in hand, you then get as much film as your pockets will allow, and you go photograph.

    You might try looking at photo books (monographs) to see what you respond to, and photographing those subject. Just experiment; it will keep it exciting, and it will keep it fun.

    Good luck and have fun.

    Best,
    Richard
    __________________
    www.RichardBoutwell.com
     
  20. BWGirl

    BWGirl Member

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    Hello....Masuro!!!! Did you somehow miss this??? FREE book?? Download the chapters??? :tongue:
    Sheesh... I know guys can't hear women...I didn't know they can't read them either. :D
     
  21. DrPablo

    DrPablo Member

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    I'd also recommemd Roger and Frances' site and their B&W Handbook.

    My bible has mainly been The Negative and The Print by Ansel Adams, and the parts that are out of date or controversial are easily supplemented online. The John Schaefer books are basically updates to the original Ansel Adams ones, and very readable.
     
  22. copake_ham

    copake_ham Inactive

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    BWGirl,

    What you've posted is a link to .pdf files that comprise "teasers" from the actual book. They are excerpts from the book with the intention of selling the full text.

    Nice marketing technique, but these are not the entire book itself!
     
  23. ronlamarsh

    ronlamarsh Member

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    Book on B&W photography

    I recmmend Bruce Barnbaums "The Art of Photography"
     
  24. Masuro

    Masuro Member

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    I should clarify what I meant in my original post. By 'subject' I mean what sort of things will look best in colour and what sort of things will look best in black and white. Some things that look good in colour might not make a good black and white photograph and vice versa. These days I am shooting traditional Korean houses so I have a 'theme', as it were. Also, I am not a beginner and I already develop my own film and print at home (though I have just started printing so I am a beginner in that department). What I am looking for is a book that will be useful as a reference and to fill in the cracks of my knowledge of black and white photography. And, as I said in my original post, I want to learn more about filter use.
    BWgirl, sorry for passing you over in my original reply. I checked the site you mentioned and it is not a free book, as someone else mentioned. And men definitely hear women; my wife never lets herself go unanswered. :smile:
     
  25. Roger Hicks

    Roger Hicks Member

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    Dear Masuro,

    Consider buying a 'PV' (Pan Vision) filter, typically dark olive-green, which reduces all colours to tones quite convincingly and mimics the sensitivity of panchromatic B+W film (hence the name). SRB makes one: www.srbfilm.co.uk. You can carry it in your pocket and just look at different subjects. There's a picture of one in the free module on B+W in the Photo School at www.rogerandfrances.com. Alternatively, any strong filter will do but it will distort tonal relationships more -- I've even used orange-coloured cellophane sweet wrappers.

    As Geoffrey Crawley said recently, you can often make a picture in B+W where none exists in colour, so I know what you mean.

    Cheers,

    Roger
     
  26. BWGirl

    BWGirl Member

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    Interesting! I have the actual (and entire) chapters that those links used to point to. He must have changed it to just show excerpts. Oi! :surprised: hahahaha:D Thanks for the heads up!