Read any good Darkroom books lately?

Discussion in 'Darkroom Equipment' started by Taurus 8, Dec 1, 2007.

  1. Taurus 8

    Taurus 8 Member

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    Hi all

    I'm not new to photography, but I'm completely inexperienced on darkroom equipment, chemicals, etc. Instead of asking a lot of silly questions, I wonder if you could steer me to some good books I could buy or take out of my local library to get up to speed on the subject.

    Around here, no one does Black & White processing anymore, and if they do, for a 26 shot roll, I was charged over $50 for double prints because they had to ship the roll out.

    I will also be looking into local photography clubs to see if I can get tips on darkrooms, but I thought this would be the first logical step...to ask all of you.

    I'm in the Lower Mainland of BC, Canada.

    Thanks!
     
  2. doughowk

    doughowk Subscriber

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    There are alot of introductory books on B&W which you can find at most libraries, and will get you started on the journey. But two books I'd suggest eventually purchasing are "Way Beyond Monochrome" by Lambrecht & Woodhouse and "Creative Elements" by Eddie Ephraums.
     
  3. snallan

    snallan Member

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  4. du a gwyn

    du a gwyn Member

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    the all above mentioned books are very good but the one for me at the moments is 'the master printer's' by Steve Macleod.make sure you get the hard back version if you intend by buy.
    hwyl am y tro!
     
  5. Christopher Walrath

    Christopher Walrath Member

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    Kodak has a basic, run-of-the-mill, buy our stuff book, 'Into Your Darkroom Step by Step' b y Dennis P. Curtin. Not a Darkroom Bible by any stretch, but a good starter information book. I would also like to personnally recommend Ansel Adams' 'The Negative' for developing and 'The Print' for printing.
     
  6. PhotoJim

    PhotoJim Member

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    I really think that Anchell & Troop's Darkroom Cookbook and Anchell's Film Development Cookbook are worth a read. While they are geared toward helping you to mix your own chemicals from scratch, they will also help you to learn a lot about how photochemistry works. I find that I read them every year or two to refresh my knowledge. Few photography books have been such good resources to me.
     
  7. Gary Holliday

    Gary Holliday Member

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    Forget the books and don't worry about silly questions, APUG is the best resource out there! Ask away.

    I have a few books which make good reading;
    Eddie Ephraums Darkroom techniques for landscape photography
    Tim Rudman's collections....
     
  8. pauliej

    pauliej Member

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    Check your library, section 770 is Photography. You should find plenty of stuff there, just avoid the Digital for Dummies book(s). Depending on your library, they may have a great selection, or a less than great selection, but start there and see what they have. You may also be able to borrow from other libraries locally. Check it out, so to speak.

    I hope this helps you.

    Paul
     
  9. PVia

    PVia Member

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    In additon to all the books listed above, I recommend Black & White Photographic Printing Workshop by Larry Bartlett...out of print but can be found used. Excellent, excellent, excellent!
     
  10. Trevor Crone

    Trevor Crone Member

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    Certainly any of the above mentioned books will get you well on the way to darkroom printing. But once you've taught yourself the basics then let the darkroom get into your very soul and get yourself a copy of "Darkroom", published by Lustrum Press and features the work of the likes of Wynn Bullock, Ralph Gibson, Eugene Smith, George Tice. This book is sadly out of print but can still be had second hand for a few $'s.

    IMO one of the best darkroom related books you'll ever buy.

    Regards,
    Trevor.
     
  11. naaldvoerder

    naaldvoerder Member

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    Get "Way beyond monochrome" by Woodhouse and Lambrecht and you don't need another....
     
  12. Mark Fisher

    Mark Fisher Subscriber

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    Tim Rudman's books (start with "The Photographer's Master Printing Course" ) are all uniformly excellent. I also concur with the Larry Bartlett book. I would definitely not start with Way Beyond Monocrome....it is a book you may want eventually, particularly if you are technically minded, but not to start with. There is also Bruce Barnbaum's book The Art of Photography (out of print) which is a great general photography book with a healthy dose of darkroom instruction.
     
  13. Black Dog

    Black Dog Member

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    I own and use most of the above-also 'Edge of Darkness' [Barry Thornton] and John Blakemore's Black and White Photography Workshop'. You need at least some knowledge to get the best out of them but they'll help you to grow as a darkroom worker and refine your seeing/printing.
     
  14. Shelly Grimson

    Shelly Grimson Member

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    I really enjoyed the following: Tim Rudman's Master Darkroom Book, Les McLean's Dynamic Black and White Photography(obtainable but out of print), Blakemore's (see above)which is presently available at Indigo in Canada, and the out of print Morgan and Morgan Darkroom Book.
    I can say I almost am addicted to books on the subject and have a real stash of dozens, but I think the most important step is to read these books very slowly and with some focus. The devil is the details. I find that its the second reading of these chapters that really pay off. The above books are written by very precise writers and one can't do them justice by just skimming over the texts. If you take that approach your print quality will make your heart sing! Any one of the above books can make you a better photographer as well as printer. It is that process that makes analog photography so 'holistic' and addictive.
    Good luck ....
     
  15. MattKing

    MattKing Subscriber

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    All of the books listed above are great suggestions.

    If you are looking for a lab that still does Black and White, you might try GKing photo (no relation):

    http://www.gkingphoto.com/index.htm

    Matt
     
  16. MattKing

    MattKing Subscriber

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  17. ooze

    ooze Member

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    Hi, I think most of the books mentioned are rather heavyweight for a quick start.

    My recommendation is our very own Roger Hicks' "Darkroom Basics...and beyond". http://www.rogerandfrances.com has all the details under the "Books" link. Well written, well illustrated, with Roger's no nonsense approach.

    After this, I would delve into the legendary Larry Bartlett book.

    And yes, the two "Darkroom" volumes from the seventies are real gems...if you can find them. In these, some of the big guns in photography (e.g. Eugene Smith) explain their darkroom methods/approach in fairly lengthy articles.
     
  18. Stephen Frizza

    Stephen Frizza Member

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    Can anyone recommend a good book on the E-6 process?
     
  19. Mike Wilde

    Mike Wilde Member

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    more book suggestions

    The Craft of Photography - David Vestal -circa 1974, updated edtion also is out there - tought me conventional B&W photography all on my own as a teenager.

    E-6- some of the later 80's , early 90's Kodak Darkroom dataguides for the basic steps; Z-119 manual from Kodak web site - meant for the pro photolab crowd, but information in there for the amateur who reads it carefully.

    Most kits have good enough instructions to make E-6 work from using the kit.
     
  20. Black Dog

    Black Dog Member

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    The Darkroom Handbook by Michael Langford [Ebury Press] is a good intro with chapters for the more advanced stuff too-I've had a copy for nearly 25 years now [also recommend the Vestal].
     
  21. PVia

    PVia Member

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    I want to thank the folks who recommended the Darkroom books by Lustrum Press. I found both in a used bookstore today in great shape, $30 for the pair. A treasure chest of information, what a find...
     
  22. Trevor Crone

    Trevor Crone Member

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    Nice catch PVia, indeed "a treasure chest of information..." Even after all the years I've had these books I still return to them every so often, especially the first book, darkroom heaven.

    Regards,
    Trevor.
     
  23. Taurus 8

    Taurus 8 Member

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    Hey - thanks a lot everybody...I'm overwhelmed by the response.

    I know what books to ask Santa for! :smile: