The Book of Alternative Photographic Processes by Christopher James?

Discussion in 'Book, Magazine, Gallery Reviews, Shows & Contests' started by momus, Jun 18, 2014.

  1. momus

    momus Member

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    I'm taking a hiatus from traditional photography, but alternative processes appeal to me, especially things like making your own paper, coating it, and maybe camera-less/enlarger-less processes. Would the above book be a good one? It sells for a LOT of money, so I have to think about it before buying something like this. Is anyone familiar w/ the book? There's a lot of free material on the web, but I much prefer sitting (sleeping) in the recliner w/ a book. Thanks.
     
  2. darkosaric

    darkosaric Subscriber

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    60$ on ebay and amazon. But definitely it would be good to hear recommendation from somebody on APUG.
     
  3. SuzanneR

    SuzanneR Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    I haven't read this book, but Christopher James is a well respected practitioner and teacher here in the Boston area, so I suspect his book is very good. That said, I learned several non-silver printing processes back in the 80's, and our textbook was The Keeper's of Light, which can be found for considerably less money, so you might check it out.

    http://www.amazon.com/The-Keepers-L...cesses/dp/0871001586/ref=cm_cr_pr_product_top
     
  4. pdeeh

    pdeeh Member

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    Keepers of Light is a marvellous read, and not just because it contains details of the processes - it has an excellent angle on photography and photographic history ... plus I picked mine up for £1.99 in an Oxfam shop :smile:
     
  5. bdial

    bdial Subscriber

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    I have the book, and it is an excellent reference. If you're serious about alt processes, it's a book that deserves a place in your collection. But don't buy it from Amazon, go help keep your local bookseller in business (think of it as buying more film :smile:).
     
  6. MDR

    MDR Member

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    I consider it one of the must haves. The books is very well written and also has some formulas that are not that well known. If you don't have the money to buy it you can download some chapters of the books without illustrations from christopher james's website or google them. The new version (3rd Edition available fall of 2014) seems to include some of the more obscure processes.
     
  7. Vaughn

    Vaughn Subscriber

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    Excellent book. Get at least the second edition -- I have not yet seen the third edition (if it is in print yet). But I am a little biased...I have a couple images in the second edition...don't know if any survived and made it into the third.

    Lots of history, practical how-to info, and well printed examples. It is Keepers of the Light taken a few levels upwards.
     
  8. Jim Noel

    Jim Noel Member

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    It is a good book, especially for those new to alternative processes. The basics are there and well detailed for the beginner.
     
  9. nsurit

    nsurit Subscriber

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    I have this book and consider it the bible for alt process. Third edition is not out yet, however will be this year. It will become part of my library when it does become available. James does workshops in various locations including Santa Fe Workshops. Worth the time and effort to get there. Many processes covered in a short period of time. Bill Barber
     
  10. Bill Harrison

    Bill Harrison Subscriber

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    C. James/Alt

    Christopher told the class I attended, "3rd Ed would be out end of (Last) summer…." here it is almost a year later, so don't hold your breath….I consider his books the most complete, informationally, but a little too geared to the hobbyist/fun and games approach. If your shooting for a more serious/professional approach then +1 on The Keepers of Light and my second choice, Historic Photographic Processes by Farber, if your going back to the beginning (IE: Calotype paper negs….) you'll need Alan Green's "Primitive Photography" considered the bible on that subject. So many others; Arentz for Platinum & palladium, Scopick for Gum Bichromate and The Darkroom Cookbook 3rd ed PLUS The Film Developing Cookbook by Anchell will be invaluable reference tomes…. Sounds like you are already hip to how important Denise Ross and her site "The Light Farm" is…. Good Luck, it's a real historic path to travel. Bill
     
  11. Don12x20

    Don12x20 Member

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  12. Don12x20

    Don12x20 Member

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  13. gzinsel

    gzinsel Member

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    have you tried an inter library loan from your local library? before buying? My local branch has an inter library loan program with all of branches, state wide and state college libraries, so for me, when contemplating buying a book, , , , first I check it out. To see if it worthy of buying. now my suggestion is Always buy new, unless out of print. Keep the book nicey-nice- xerox/ scan any pages- make your notes as you refine your process on the xerox pages!!!!. Then in Word - rewrite the process on how you do it for YOUR best results. Now you have YOUR BOOK!!!!!!! YA, YA YAHHHHHH . its sweet when you go to your shelf and find your manual.. Everything in its right place. . . . ...