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Pssst, wanna make a weird photograph? How about a moody blue cyanotype or a Kallitype? Or maybe a ziatype, anthotype, or Ambrotype? Or perhaps you'd just like to know more about image transfer processes or how to make a pinhole camera. Imagine knowing a really cool guy who casually tells you lots of valuable stuff about the history and science of photography while you're working in his experimental darkroom, and you've got the essence of the unusual and delightful Book of Alternative Photographic Processes. Christopher James, a photographer and former Harvard University professor, leads you carefully through the chemistry and use of materials for each process. He offers numerous ways to make negatives and prepare the printing paper, and he coaches you in understanding and accepting the enormously variable effects of each method. Seven useful appendices deal with such topics as safety considerations and resources on the Web. Unlike the narrowly task-oriented approach of average how-to guide, this one points you to a much bigger world. Even the illustrations include a generous assortment of contemporary prints--among them James's own inventive images--as well as work by 19th- and early-20th-century photographers. They were the ones who pioneered most of the techniques that are now considered "alternative."
The fun of this book--even for someone unlikely ever to set foot in a darkroom--lies in the author's fascinating excursions into the wide world of knowledge, from the workings of 3-D to Charles Babbage's steam-driven punch-card systems. Equally compelling are the author's sense of humor and his utter lack of dogmatism. "In gum printing," he writes, "there are very few absolutely correct ways to do anything." --Cathy Curtis
From Book News, Inc.
Including his own work among that of featured photographic artists, James (Art Institute of Boston) explores contemporary and traditional innovative alternative and non-silver processes in a conversational, opinionated manner. He overviews historical development and options for the pinhole camera, the negative, digital art forms, plastic cameras, and specific processes (e.g., cyanotype, kallitypes, image transfer). Appends information on safety, unit conversions, setup for a UV exposure unit... read more
---- James brings the art of hand-coated and alternative photography to a new levelàThe Book of Alternative Photographic Processes will become the new standard text for alternative hand-coated photography. -- quoted from Dick Sullivan, Founder and Co-Owner, Bostick & Sullivan.***Photographic artists and students will welcome this full-color, comprehensive technical resource that explores every aspect of alternative photography. Written in a highly accessible style, each of the bookÆs chapters introduces the history of a technique, presents an overview of the relevant alternative or non-silver photographic process, reviews its chemistry, and provides practical guidance in how to make it work. Traditional and digital contact negative production are featured- plus an array of processes including cyanotype, Van Dyke, Kallitype, gum bichromate, platinum/palladium, Ziatype, Ambrotype, and hand-applied emulsions.***---- The Book of Alternative Photographic Processes is both landmark and guide. ItÆs where weÆve been, where we are now, and where weÆre going. PhotographyÆs classic methods and materials are explained, explored, extended, and reinvented, while marching well into the age of inkjet and digital. -- quoted from Judy Seigel, Founder and Editor, The World Journal of Post Factory Photography.