BOOK REVIEW: Way Beyond Monochrome Ed 2 by Ralph Lambrecht and Chris Woodhouse
Disclaimer: This book is intended for use by photographers who have a basic working knowledge of exposure and who have processed film and made optical prints. It is beyond basic and seems to be intended for the advanced hobbyist on up to the professional who wants a fresh look at Black and White analog capture. That being said. . .
Way Beyond Monochrome Edition 2 fills what I feel to be an important gap in technical information pertaining to many aspects of Black and White film photography. Before 2003, your most current sources have been the books by Ansel Adams (The Camera, The Negative and The Print), Henry Horenstein's books (Black and White Photography: A Basic Manual and Beyond Basic Photography), Minor White's The New Zone System Manual and Phil Davis' Beyond The Zone System, to name but a few. All of these are still very relevant to film photography and should be a part of your library as they are mine. However, all are out of print with the exception of Adams' trilogy. And that is only a reprinting of 25 year old information for the most part.
Ralph Lambrecht and Chris Woodhouse have now kicked photographic reference materials up a notch. The sheer size of this books bespeaks the amount of information one might hope to find within and upon opening to the table of contents one will not be disappointed. This, the 2nd edition (the first published in early 2003) has been filled with extensive coverage of most aspects of Black and White analog photography.
TABLE OF CONTENTS
Part 1 The Basics
From Visualization to Print
Fundamental Print Control
Presentation Is Everything
Part 2 The Science
Advanced Print Control
Part 3 Odds and Ends
Equipment and Facilities
Tools, Tips and Tricks
Appendix/Glossary/Biblio and Index
This short list is but a taste of the topics covered within the 542 pages. More than enough detail is included to busy the photographer who wishes to improve their craft for a long, long time. Split-grade printing, print toning, zone system, process control, how the human eye sees and the brain perceives visual input, pinhole photography, tables and tools, graphs and curves, examples of techniques, mounting and matting prints, make your own test strip printer. The list goes on and on and this list does not do the material covered justice. It is all laid out in a concise manner that is simple to use for quick reference or for self-education.
I cannot express how invaluable I find this resource. As mentioned above, and as I am sure many of you have done, I have accumulated a lot of theory and how-to photography books over the years from many different time periods covering all manner of topics. And perhaps this is initial excitement over the acquisition of a most excellent book. But that does not deny its excellence. WBM2 should be a part of any aspiring photographer's library. It is the same price new as are the three books of Adams' trilogy and with every bit as much information, excepting only beginner info on exposure, etc. This review may seem to be nothing but praise. Well, it is. I find everything right with the book. There are some nudes as examples so this should be considered when purchasing for a younger photographer.
Ralph and Chris have given us such a great gift in Way Beyond Monochrome Ed2. I hope that you will take advantage of it. You will not regret it.
Last edited by Christopher Walrath; 12-27-2010 at 07:17 PM. Click to view previous post history.
Hey, this would be a GOOD application of G.A.S.
Chris and others have posted qualified and honest reviews on Amazon. I like to thank them for that and remind others to do so as well if they find a moment. I'm not after raving reviews, just your honest opinion about the book, because this can help others to make the right purchasing decision.
A recent post on Amazon shows how important that is, because for the second time, a digital photographer posted a rather critical review. His main complaint is that the book is 'analog', and as far as he is concerned, slightly 'antiquarian' because it ignores the 'reality' of digital photography. Very puzzling, it's like us writing critical reviews about Photoshop books because they ignores real photography. Who would do that?
First they invaded our photography clubs, then they tried to discredit our hobby, they made sure our supplies have become limited and expensive, they call us antiquated and now they are asking for more digital in our analog books. Enough is enough!
(reaching for blood pressure medicine)
In any case, if you feel like sharing your opinion about an anlog book, you can do so here:
Thanks in advance.
Last edited by RalphLambrecht; 01-02-2011 at 12:49 PM. Click to view previous post history.
Yup, put those reviews on. They can be as in depth or as brief as you like. And remember, you're steering a potential buyer to or away so write down what you honestly think about it.
Thanks, again, Ralph.
Bought, read and reread this book a year ago, now using it as a reference frquently. One of the best I know of. I understand that there now is a revised version. Anyone knows if the
revisions would justify buying a new copy?
Have you seen the light..?
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In a word?
Originally Posted by hadeer
Warning!! Handling a Hasselblad can be harmful to your financial well being!
Nothing beats a great piece of glass!
I leave the digital work for the urologists and proctologists.
Note the title "...Ed2". I am writing about the second edition. I have never seen the first edition so I cannot compare between the two as to exactly what information has ben updated and in what fashion.
By itself, it is well worth the investment. And your book will come with an awesome author who makes e-house calls.
Very helpful review in context (of the key older works). Thank you, Chris Walrath!
Looking for good info on Split Grade Printing and working B&W with color enlargers, I found Chris Woodhouse's PDF chapter on splitgrade and ordered the book straight away. Just skimmed it fresh in from Amazon yesterday. This is a book written in the spirit of imparting information (rather then establishing authority). Very clear and complete.
It's definitive. Everything you say, Chris.
I'm proud to be the phone so!
Originally Posted by RalphLambrecht