Recommend a second book on printing

Discussion in 'Enlarging' started by Gennari, Sep 19, 2008.

  1. Gennari

    Gennari Member

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    Hi, I started analog photography about 1,5 years ago and just recently moved from printing PE/RC only to also printing FB-Paper (which are also my first medium format prints, incidentally).

    I do have tim rudman´s book "the photographer´s master printing course", however I am looking for a second book to delve deeper into areas that I feel matter to me, as quite a large part of tim´s book is concerned with manipulating or combining negatives (even mediocre ones) to turn it into a visually interesting print (e.g. dodging/burning to an extent that the printed scene looks much more dramatic than it originally was). When perfected this certainly can be a valid tool in the creation of art, but I have to regard my photography more as a craft than the recreation of something that I originally "imagined" in the scene.

    Therefore my aim is to improve my printing (and exposure/film processing) technique within the natural pictorial limits of the original scene, and learning how to ulitilize the full tonal potency (so to speak) of the silver gelatine process is on the top of my list. The same applies for toning (I plan to do my first Selenium/Sepia this weekend).

    I would greatly appreciate any hints and directions on good books to help me improve. Apologies for the long text. cheers, jan
     
  2. Paul Howell

    Paul Howell Member

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    Not just concerning printing, but I like Thortons Edge of Darkness.
     
  3. TheFlyingCamera

    TheFlyingCamera Membership Council Council

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    A good place to start is the John Schaefer "An Ansel Adams Guide: Basic Techniques of Photography". Another good set of books are Ansel's "The Camera", "The Negative" and "The Print". Henry Horenstein has written several good basic and intermediate photography instruction books you might want to check out.
     
  4. Ian Grant

    Ian Grant Subscriber

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    I most definitely don't recommend "Edge of Darkness", it's a very uninformative rambling book, one of the least helpful I've ever bought. I've not seen Tim's book but I'm sure it won't have the one sided bias that Thornton's book contains.

    John Blakemore's B&W Printing workshop is very good, personally I'd suggest Developing,& also Printing (two different books) by Jacobson, Focal Press, first published in 1940, but updated regularly with new editions. Jacobsons books are plentiful and cheap second hand on Amazon.

    The set of 3 Adams books mentioned above are a essential as well

    Ian
     
  5. Gennari

    Gennari Member

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    thanks all for your replies, I just ordered the set of Anselm´s books, and a copy of thornton´s (for good measure and 5$: - btw, picking up the amazon descriptions I´d be curious to know why you think thornton is bad while the blakemore is said to be rather untechnical as well - I guess I will find out) and will start from there.
     
  6. Mark Fisher

    Mark Fisher Subscriber

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    The Blakemore book is great. I'd also recommend a couple of other books that rarely get mentioned. They are "Black and White: Photographic Printing Workshop" by Larry Bartlett and "Elements of Black and White Photography" by George Todd. I like these because they don't focus on the technical areas of making a print (Tim Rudman and Blakemore do a great job of that), but rather talks about how they approached individual images.

    The mechanics are relatively easy to master, but the how to use those mechanics to produce the images you want is a whole bunch harder! One particularly nice thing about the Larry Bartlett book is that it is all 35mm......and that is where most of us start.
     
  7. eddie

    eddie Subscriber

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    I'd also recommend Steve Anchell's "Variable Contrast Printing Manual".
     
  8. Ian Grant

    Ian Grant Subscriber

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    The Blakemore book is good because it strips away all the gimmickry and is a book purely about making fine prints, which it does with great depth. It has enough in fact all the technical information you need to be able to make a fine art B&W pint. However it is not packed with formulae, more exotic toning techniques, lith printing etc.

    Thornton's book may be a good read if you want to wade through all his anecdotes, tales of his Dad, borrowing a car from the office manager etc, etc etc. You have to wade through pages and pages of waffle to find the small bits of the book that have any relevance to photography. He's quite pedantic when he discusses equipment, and spends much time explaining why he shot with a Rollie SL66, a chapter is spent comparing enlarger lenses. It's possible that his first book"Elements" is better, I've yet to read it.

    Ian
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 20, 2008
  9. brian steinberger

    brian steinberger Member

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    My two favorite books on black and white photography are "Way Beyond Monochrome" by Lambrecht and Woodhouse and Tim Rudman's "The Photographer's Toning Book." They pretty much cover every topic I've encountered in my learning, although a do have a bunch of other books and I must say that Barry Thorton's "Edge of Darkness" is excellent too.
     
  10. mealers

    mealers Member

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    I'd like to second Way Beyond Monochrome.
     
  11. Laurent

    Laurent Subscriber

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    I'd third ( ;-) ) Way Beyond Monochrome. I bought it to second AA's trilogy, and to get me back to printing (last prints I did were 20 years ago) and it's a real wealth of information, well presented and very clear.
     
  12. jhitesma

    jhitesma Member

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    The schafer book is like a readers digest version of the Ansel Trilogy. Many of the same examples and even big sections of text drawn right from the originals. Which makes sense since it was an attempt to finish the book Ansel started but was unable to finish giving a bit of everything in one book for the beginner who wasn't ready to tackle the full trilogy.

    Another outstanding book on printing is "The elements of Black-and-white printing" by Carson Graves ISBN 0-240-51795-4 Very good information on both basic good techniques and advantage salvage techniques and contrast control. Also a good reference for those who like to mix their own chemistry with a number of formulas given in the back.
     
  13. Ondrej1

    Ondrej1 Member

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    Another vote for Way Beyond Monochrome.
     
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  15. 2F/2F

    2F/2F Member

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    Photo Lab Index
     
  16. Tom Kershaw

    Tom Kershaw Subscriber

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    Way Beyond Monochrome is a good book, but I'd recommend Bruce Barnbaum's 'The art of photography' as a book that places darkroom work within a greater photographic context.

    It should be available from www.barnbaum.com

    Tom
     
  17. Gennari

    Gennari Member

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    thanks everyone, I´m waiting for the ansel adams pack and will see where I go from there :smile:
     
  18. 36cm2

    36cm2 Member

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    Thornton's book is great, but more as a fourth or fifth book to read mainly because you like reading photo books. The best photography book I've ever read (and I've read many many) is "The Art of Photography: An Approach to Personal Expression" by Bruce Barnbaum. He rocks. Coincidentally, he also takes many photos of rocks. The book addresses photography in general and has only a few sections on developing and printing, but it's just great. If you read it, keep in mind that his process (yes, I know he's not the only person to use compensating development) is best suited to formats where you can develop a single negative at a time (e.g. 4x5 or larger, as opposed to medium format or 35mm roll film). That being said, with two roll-film cameras or backs (one for high-contrast situations and one for low) you can apply his methods effectively to roll film. Also note, before you come back cursing me, that the book has almost no photos in it, it's more a textbook. It's a great one though. Happy reading.

    Leo
     
  19. 36cm2

    36cm2 Member

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    Tom, I didn't see your post. I'd like to shorten mine to, "I agree with Tom."
     
  20. Gary Holliday

    Gary Holliday Member

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    Creative Elements by Eddie Ephraums is a superb book. I've been disappointed with certain recommendations finding that the photographs were very uninteresting and did nothing to inspire me.

    Ephraums' book features superb printing and toning skills with in depth information how he came to arrive at that picture. Displaying the original negative and talking through his vision of the final print. A very inspirational book for someone learning the visualisation process of landscape photography.

    http://www.amazon.co.uk/Creative-El...=sr_1_4?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1222423961&sr=8-4

    http://www.amazon.co.uk/Creative-El...=sr_1_3?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1222423961&sr=8-3
     
  21. thefizz

    thefizz Subscriber

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    I'd also recommend John Blakemore's book.
     
  22. Ian Grant

    Ian Grant Subscriber

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    The Photo Lab Index is so riddled with errors it's fairly useless. Unfortunately most of these errors filtered down through many other US publications and and can still be found on websites like Silvergrain etc. Digitaltruth is far more accurate.

    The latest Edition (3rd) of the Darkroom Cookbook would be a far more appropriate and accurate alternative to the old Lab Index.

    Ian
     
  23. DaveOttawa

    DaveOttawa Member

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    You may be at the point where working on your own and from books is not enough, I'd suggest considering a workshop with a good printer as well, I'm sure there must be such things available in your part of the world.
     
  24. David Lingham

    David Lingham Member

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    A second vote for Creative Elements by Eddie Ephraums. Great insight into creative print making.
     
  25. haris

    haris Guest

    What about Les McLean's "Creative black & white photography"...
     
  26. John Koehrer

    John Koehrer Subscriber

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    +1 or is it two?