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  1. #1

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    Recommend a second book on printing

    Hi, I started analog photography about 1,5 years ago and just recently moved from printing PE/RC only to also printing FB-Paper (which are also my first medium format prints, incidentally).

    I do have tim rudmanīs book "the photographerīs master printing course", however I am looking for a second book to delve deeper into areas that I feel matter to me, as quite a large part of timīs book is concerned with manipulating or combining negatives (even mediocre ones) to turn it into a visually interesting print (e.g. dodging/burning to an extent that the printed scene looks much more dramatic than it originally was). When perfected this certainly can be a valid tool in the creation of art, but I have to regard my photography more as a craft than the recreation of something that I originally "imagined" in the scene.

    Therefore my aim is to improve my printing (and exposure/film processing) technique within the natural pictorial limits of the original scene, and learning how to ulitilize the full tonal potency (so to speak) of the silver gelatine process is on the top of my list. The same applies for toning (I plan to do my first Selenium/Sepia this weekend).

    I would greatly appreciate any hints and directions on good books to help me improve. Apologies for the long text. cheers, jan

  2. #2

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    Not just concerning printing, but I like Thortons Edge of Darkness.

  3. #3
    TheFlyingCamera's Avatar
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    A good place to start is the John Schaefer "An Ansel Adams Guide: Basic Techniques of Photography". Another good set of books are Ansel's "The Camera", "The Negative" and "The Print". Henry Horenstein has written several good basic and intermediate photography instruction books you might want to check out.

  4. #4
    Ian Grant's Avatar
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    I most definitely don't recommend "Edge of Darkness", it's a very uninformative rambling book, one of the least helpful I've ever bought. I've not seen Tim's book but I'm sure it won't have the one sided bias that Thornton's book contains.

    John Blakemore's B&W Printing workshop is very good, personally I'd suggest Developing,& also Printing (two different books) by Jacobson, Focal Press, first published in 1940, but updated regularly with new editions. Jacobsons books are plentiful and cheap second hand on Amazon.

    The set of 3 Adams books mentioned above are a essential as well

    Ian

  5. #5

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    thanks all for your replies, I just ordered the set of Anselmīs books, and a copy of thorntonīs (for good measure and 5$: - btw, picking up the amazon descriptions Iīd be curious to know why you think thornton is bad while the blakemore is said to be rather untechnical as well - I guess I will find out) and will start from there.

  6. #6
    Mark Fisher's Avatar
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    The Blakemore book is great. I'd also recommend a couple of other books that rarely get mentioned. They are "Black and White: Photographic Printing Workshop" by Larry Bartlett and "Elements of Black and White Photography" by George Todd. I like these because they don't focus on the technical areas of making a print (Tim Rudman and Blakemore do a great job of that), but rather talks about how they approached individual images.

    The mechanics are relatively easy to master, but the how to use those mechanics to produce the images you want is a whole bunch harder! One particularly nice thing about the Larry Bartlett book is that it is all 35mm......and that is where most of us start.

  7. #7
    eddie's Avatar
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    I'd also recommend Steve Anchell's "Variable Contrast Printing Manual".

  8. #8
    Ian Grant's Avatar
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    The Blakemore book is good because it strips away all the gimmickry and is a book purely about making fine prints, which it does with great depth. It has enough in fact all the technical information you need to be able to make a fine art B&W pint. However it is not packed with formulae, more exotic toning techniques, lith printing etc.

    Thornton's book may be a good read if you want to wade through all his anecdotes, tales of his Dad, borrowing a car from the office manager etc, etc etc. You have to wade through pages and pages of waffle to find the small bits of the book that have any relevance to photography. He's quite pedantic when he discusses equipment, and spends much time explaining why he shot with a Rollie SL66, a chapter is spent comparing enlarger lenses. It's possible that his first book"Elements" is better, I've yet to read it.

    Ian
    Last edited by Ian Grant; 09-20-2008 at 12:03 AM. Click to view previous post history.

  9. #9
    brian steinberger's Avatar
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    My two favorite books on black and white photography are "Way Beyond Monochrome" by Lambrecht and Woodhouse and Tim Rudman's "The Photographer's Toning Book." They pretty much cover every topic I've encountered in my learning, although a do have a bunch of other books and I must say that Barry Thorton's "Edge of Darkness" is excellent too.

  10. #10
    mealers's Avatar
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    I'd like to second Way Beyond Monochrome.

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