The "trilogy" of AA

Discussion in 'Book, Magazine, Gallery Reviews, Shows & Contests' started by Fabian, Oct 27, 2007.

  1. Fabian

    Fabian Member

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    of course AA means Ansel Adams.

    I intend to buy all three books. Now my question:
    Will the books provide useful information? Since I'm doing only 135mm I'm wondering how useful "The camera" could be.

    Are there other books that could help me more?
    What I want to read about, learn about is:
    overall printing process - I want to start printing and toning baryt.
    film development - would be great if there were examples for troubleshooting ("if your neg looks like this -> you got that wrong". Something like this)

    Any other book recommendations? Preferably available on amazon.de English language should not be a problem...
     
  2. Ian Grant

    Ian Grant Subscriber

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    The negative is the most important of the 3 books, followed by the Print. But it's really nice to have all three as a set.

    The books are very well written and form a good starting point, try your local library first before buying other darkroom technique books.

    Ian
     
  3. Michel Hardy-Vallée

    Michel Hardy-Vallée Membership Council Council

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    Go to the bookstore, find a nice comfy chair and a latte, and within an hour or two you should have absorbed all that's important in "The Camera." It's a good book, but it's just that there is not much that necessitates a second, third, fourth, reading the way the other two do. I only own the Negative and the Print; information in The Camera is pretty much what you will find in any good introduction book.

    Personally, my best intro book is "Photography" by Barbara and John Upton. Get the older editions, those that say "Adapted from the LIFE library of photography." The recent editions have, obviously, more recent stuff, but they took away certain things as well. It's clearly written, clearly illustrated, and they don't bombard you with sidebars, did-you-know-that boxes, and other useless stuff made for wasting paper. They have a basic troubleshooting section, and show you what a negative looks like when it's over/under/properly exposed/developed (all combinations).

    The Zone VI workshop by Fred Picker is a fine simplified handbook for understanding exposure and printing, and gives you a good grounding in tailoring development for printing. But it assumes the availability of a densitometer for a few tests, which may be annoying.

    To compensate, "Creative Black and White Photography" by Les McLeans has a more empirical approach to process control, and I can definitely recommend it.

    And there's always APUG, too.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Oct 27, 2007
  4. Michael W

    Michael W Member

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    The three AA books are pretty densely packed with information. Might be more than you want considering your criteria. The Henry Horenstein book 'Basic B&W Photography' might be what you are looking for.
     
  5. John Koehrer

    John Koehrer Subscriber

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    The AA books are Not very exciting reading.
    David Vestal's* books are much easier to digest but have been out of print for a long while.
    *The Craft of Photography
    *The art of Black & White Enlarging
    Some info in your profile might help to provid more localized info.
     
  6. mmcclellan

    mmcclellan Subscriber

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    "The Camera" may be a bit outdated now, but it's still a good read for mechanics, optics, and how it all works. I agree with the others, though, that you will read and re-read "The Negative" and "The Print" many times; even if you know the stuff, they're still a good read!

    Fred Picker's book, however, is probably the easiest, most accessible quick read of all the Zone System books and you can get it for a few books on eBay or Amazon.

    That said, the absolute best book on photography and the Zone System I have read yet is Bruce Barnbaum's book, "The Art of Photography: An Approach to Personal Expression." You can order it directly from him on http://www.barnbaum.com/artofphotography.html . Incidentally, I saw copies of this book for $125 on Amazon, so it's steal directly from the author!

    If you get Barnbaum and Picker, you're good to go, but the AA books are nice to have and to hold and to read repeatedly, as well as to soak up the many good images that are in them. They can often be picked up used online as well.

    Happy reading! :smile: