The Pencil of Nature back in print

Discussion in 'Book, Magazine, Gallery Reviews, Shows & Contests' started by Michel Hardy-Vallée, Dec 2, 2008.

  1. Michel Hardy-Vallée

    Michel Hardy-Vallée Membership Council Council

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    Out of curiosity I was looking at the prices facsimile editions of the Pencil of Nature are fetching, and found this very interesting item:

    http://www.amazon.ca/PENCIL-NATURE-...=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1228083887&sr=8-1

    Note that for some reason, the Amazon.ca pre-order price is even cheaper than the Amazon.com one:

    http://www.amazon.com/PENCIL-NATURE...=sr_1_3?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1228083932&sr=8-3

    At the current exchange rate, the Canadian price is 95 USD, compared to 150 USD.

    I had the chance to read the PoN from a facsimile edition at a university library, and it really is one of the most gripping texts of photography. I don't think there's a single issue in Talbot's work that is not still relevant to modern audiences. His writing is fluid and direct, and his art equally as good.

    The official poop sheet is on page 12 of KWS Publishers' PDF catalog:
    http://clients.dabsphere.com/kwspublishers/pdf/KWSCatalog6-08.pdf

    If the new edition has better reproduction than the decent but visibly screened halftones of the previous facsimiles, this is truly something remarkable to look forward to for 2009.
     
  2. AgX

    AgX Member

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    Not yet out at "my" photo-bookshop. Though the Budapest 1989 edition is reduced there from 178 down 99€...
     
  3. Michael W

    Michael W Member

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    I've had a 1970s edition out from a library & it's an amazing book. Like MHV says so much of the stuff Talbot wrote about is still relevant today. I wonder if he was the first person to use a reflector in photography? There's a photo in the book of a sidelit statue where he said the light was too contrasty so he used a white sheet to add some fill to the shadow side. He also predicts the use of photographs as evidence in court cases.
     
  4. Michel Hardy-Vallée

    Michel Hardy-Vallée Membership Council Council

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    Also amazing are his notes on "darkness photography" i.e. photography by UV light only.