Recommended books

Discussion in 'Alternative Processes' started by jordanstarr, Dec 7, 2007.

  1. jordanstarr

    jordanstarr Member

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    i know there's probably a lot of websites on the topics, but christmas is coming and my family wants me to make a shopping list. considering the only photographic equipment in budget for them would be to get me books, that's what i'm focusing on. i'm just wondering what books you guys have used over the years that you would recommend (that can be semi-easily obtained, but if not, i could find myself with some work in the future) for alternative processes. i'm specifically looking for screen-printing, photo etching, polaroid transfers, gum bichromate, kallitype and platinum printing, BUT i would consider many other types and experiment lots. i've only been doing photography for 8 years and work in 35mm and medium format (and if luck and money get together anytime soon, 4x5 large format). the budget is flexible.

    thanks in advance -jordan...
     
  2. Jerevan

    Jerevan Subscriber

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    Just to mention one of many books, Coming into Focus, edited by John Barnier is really great. It deals with a lot of different processes including some of the ones mentioned by you, and then some.
     
  3. winger

    winger Subscriber

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    Beyond Monochrome and Way Beyond Monochrome both have some good stuff in them. I also like Coming Into Focus.
     
  4. Dana Sullivan

    Dana Sullivan Advertiser Advertiser

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    Christopher James' "Book of Alternative Photographic Processes" is probably the most complete, and up to date book out there. At least that's my opinion.
     
  5. Neanderman

    Neanderman Member

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    I would second this, at least as far as up to date. You might also seek out a used copy of William Crawford's 'The Keepers of Light.' It was one of the first 'modern' alt processes book. It also features a truly excellent treatise on print syntax that draws on the classic in that field -- William M. Ivins's 'Prints and Visual Communication.'
     
  6. Peter Schrager

    Peter Schrager Subscriber

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    keepers

    regardles everyone should own a copy of the keepers of light as it is a wonderful book and still relevant.....
    Best, Peter
     
  7. Katharine Thayer

    Katharine Thayer Member

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    You beat me to it, Peter; I've been thinking of saying that since yesterday. If I could only take two books with me to a desert island, The Keepers of Light would surely be one of them. (The other would probably be Emerson's Essays.) KOL is full of great information about many different processes, and since gum is my process, I'll add that it still seems to me the most useful source for information about gum printing. I learned how to print gum from Crawford, and he taught me well. I think the key to providing useful and timeless information is to convey general principles that readers can then apply in a variety of circumstances, rather than specific recipes that perform well only under a narrow set of conditions.
    Katharine
     
  8. sanking

    sanking Member

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    KOL is by far the best book ever published on alternative printing processes. And not just for the process information, but also for the aesthetic foundation and history of pictorial printing processes.

    The book by Christopher James is excellent, as in Coming into Focus. Richard Farber's book is also very good, though it does not get mentioned much any more.

    Sandy King
     
  9. BobbyR

    BobbyR Member

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    IS Mckeown's book on old cameras worth the price?

    I have McBroom's and at the time I bought probably worth the money but I see it has not been reprinted in a more current form that I know of.

    How do any of you rank the cluster of books out there, that you know of, on old cameras?
    Including all categories from: history, current value, technical details, etc.

    From best to just average or not worth it.

    The book stores here in Minnesota used to have quite an array of tech. style photo-books, but now it is either the general--how to take pictures-or-digital, with few exceptions.

    Bobby
     
  10. blokeman

    blokeman Member

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    I have several books on 'alternative processes' and my favourite is one from U.K. SPIRITS of SALTS (a working guide to old photographic processes).
    by Randall Webb & Martin Reed.
    Reason: very easy to follow, well laid out, very simple explanations of dangerous chemicals, a 'shopping list' for each process, also a long list via a chart of best combinations of papers/processes.
    AURUM PRESS 1999

    Also... "The Book of Alternative Photographic Processes" Christopher James
    This is an exhaustive survey with 19 chapters covering anything from plastic camera use to transfers to gum bichromate to ziatype.

    Both these books also give good 'insider' tips to limit wasting time, good money saving options and both have many relevant examples of the processes.
    I've used Keepers of Light too, I find these others much easier to understand, they are more up-to-date with materials which are currently available.
     
  11. JBrunner

    JBrunner Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    "Platinum & Palladium Printing"- Dick Arentz

    "The Book of Pyro"- Gordon Hutchings
     
  12. boyooso

    boyooso Member

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    i too love Dick's book, but i hate it too.

    I have the 1st version, and it has a lot of Great info but it also has lots of poorly designed charts...simple things made complicated :-(

    Great info though, maybe it's me?

    Corey
     
  13. keithwms

    keithwms Member

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    How about a view camera magazine subscription, that might be a nice little present...
     
  14. roteague

    roteague Member

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  15. JBrunner

    JBrunner Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    I have the 2nd edition, reported to be better, but I can't say so personally, never having the first.
     
  16. TheFlyingCamera

    TheFlyingCamera Membership Council Council

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    If you want to do Pt/Pd, you should have both the Arentz book AND the Sullivan/Weese volume on your shelf. Dick Arentz' book is very helpful for diving in to the deep detail and the profoundly technical, if you want to go down that route. Not necessary, but it is always a good refresher to go back and see where you can improve on your process. Having seen Dick's prints in person, I put his work as a gold standard against which to measure. The Sullivan/Weese book is also a classic, as it makes the process simpler and less intimidating. I had the good fortune to learn from Carl Weese, and he made it very straightforward in person - it really is not any more complicated than silver printing - about the same number of overall variables, just different.

    I'll put in another mention for Coming In To Focus, the Christopher James book, the Farber book, and also, "Primitive Photography" by Alan Greene. Another book more folks should have is The Care of Photographs (I think thats the title) by Sigfried Rempel. It is always a good idea to have a reference for how to handle different kinds of photographic materials, especially if we collect antiques. And who among us doesn't have at least one tintype or dag floating around the house? And those old cabinet cards with the albumen prints of our essentially anonymous great-great aunt whatserface?
     
  17. BobbyR

    BobbyR Member

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    MOD. PLEASE REMOVE THIS POST AND THE ONE IT QUOTES AS i WAS NOT PAYING ATTENTION WHEN i POSTED IT AND IT DOES NOT BELONG HERE.
    THANKS.