Advanced Photo Books

Discussion in 'Large Format' started by lbi115l, Sep 5, 2003.

  1. Looking for suggestions for advanced books on photography, with focus
    on traditional black and white silver and alternative processes,
    landscape, architecture, and medium/large format.

  2. Are you thinking of "picture books" that display work that inspire you to do better, or "how to" books?
  3. Read "The Camera", "The Negative" and "the Print", all by Ansel Adams, first of all. The ask again next year ;)
  4. For an alternative to the Ansel Adams series...consider Beyond the Zone System by Phil Davis. It is a much more comprehensive procedure in that it includes the paper characteristics into the equation of obtaining a fine print.

    Beyond the purely technical, consider perusing the various books available by photographers whose work you admire. Much can be gained by studying photographs. A visit to a "Borders" book store photo section will enable you to do that on a limited budget. Your public library is probably another excellent source for books of that genre.
  5. Bruce Barnbaum's "The Art of Photography: an approach to personal expression", for technique, philosophy, excellent printing examples...

    I prefer Bruce to St. Ansel because he has far more to say about composition, visualization and expression.
  6. 1. Total Picture Control by Andreas Feininger, Amphoto 1972, or any other books by him.

    2. Photography for the Professionals by Robin Perry, Livingston Press, 1976.
  7. AA's Camera/Negative/Print should be on every photographer's shelf. Every time I get back to them I find something new.

    I have not read/seen Bruce Barnabum's book but given the quality of his photographs and magazine articles I'm confident it's worth a look (not at $179 as some seller priced it on Amazon).

    I DO NOT see much value in Davis's Beyond the Zone System. In my opinion, comparing to Ansel's, it's subpar at least.

    Above all however, I find most value in studying photographs, not necessarily of the Greats. I've always found great stuff in every issue of the B&W magazine.
  8. "The photographer's Master Printing Course" by Tim Rudman

    "Platinum & Palladium printing" by Dick Arentz

    As Donald said, the "Beyond the Zone System" by Phil Davis.

    "black and white printing" by Carson Graves.

    "comming into focus" edited by John Barnier.
  9. I add my voice to those recommending Ansel Adams Basic Photo series, particularly The Negative.
  10. In terms of learning the craft of black and white photography, Ansel Adams three books (Camera, Negative, Print) are masterful. They are a must for someone serious about black and white. I still refer to these books on technical points, archival processing, etc.

    However, I wouldn't rely on them for learning the zone system. Minor White's second book is good, The New Zone System Manual (White, Zakia, Lorenz). There's some good stuff in the Zone System Craft Book, but I was a bit dismayed at how they came up with times above and below N. I guess I learned the zone system by pouring through multiple books and developing my own system for testing and use.

    Another book that qualifies as "advanced" is Controls in Black and White Photography, 2nd Ed. by Richard Henry. Not to everyone's taste, Henry was a research chemist who applied his research talents to B&W photography. Lots of data, lots of graphs, and lots of interesting tidbits on black and white photography.

    I think that, once one goes beyond Ansel Adams three books, one becomes more specialized in different topics, versus advanced.
  11. "Elements of Black and White Printing" by Carson Graves; "Darkroom Cookbook" by Steve Anchell(SP?)
  12. CTEIN .... "Post Exposure" a great advanced book.
  13. I'm talking about "how-to" books.

    I've read the Adams series, and liked them very much. I'll start my second round soon. I've also read Stroebel's View Camera Technique - great book.

    I have something which I believe is Horenstein's Beyond Basic Photography or Advanced Photography, something like that, don't remember exactly, but I think it had some interesting stuff. It's on my to-read pile.

    Thanks for all of the suggestions, I'll write them down and keep them in mind.
  14. Beyond Adams series & Stroebel, I'd recommend John Schaefer 2 vol "Basic Techniques of Photography" and Barry Thornton "Edge of Darkness". Heavy slogging thru Phil Davis "BTZS" - its beyond me.
  15. Jason, the book you're looking for is Image Clarity High Resolution Photography by John B. Williams. Makes my brain hurt but will be an afternoon read for you. Getting hard to find. Try You might get lucky and if not put it on your wish list. Good luck and let me know if you enjoy.
  16. “Stroebel's View Camera Technique (1967) - great book.“ - DISEGREE. For one, very poorly edited text, many spelling mistakes, etc., many drawings and figures are also incorrect. Information poorly presented, in a haphazard and confusing way, more than half of the text is devoted to general subjects, not specifically related to large format photography.

    I have learned nothing from this book. Maybe if you are a beginner you might learn something from it, but I doubt if you learn how to use effectively geometrical arrangements afforded by a view camera.
  17. I would suggest you try to get hold of Darkroom, I and II by the Lustrum press,
    which gives the working procedures of a lot of wonderful photographers -- not
    just LF. Then if you want an advanced education, buy all four volumes of the
    MOMA Atget books, and read the notes. If you can afford only one, get The
    Ancien Regime. The notes are about how a great photographer worked,
    Adams is fine, but the illustrations are, IMHO, a guide on what not to do. The
    main thing is the educate your eye. You can always acquire as much
    "technique" as you need, That is the easy part, because the industry provides
    you with all these great tools and materials. Remember that without them you
    can do nothing. You would have to go back to a piece of paper and a pencil,
    which is not easy.
  18. Thanks again for all the advice.


    First of all, I don't know what edition the 1967 is, but as of 1999 the book is in its 7th edition, which is what I have.

    I found the discussion of optics to be very good and useful - it's the only book I have that explains lens design so in-depth. I have also learned a lot about the geometry associated with view cameras. This book provides related formulas in a clear and concise manner (in the end of the associated paragraph) and also goes over the considerations of the various movements in detail, which was good the first time I read it.
  19. I'll add a "yes, yes" to Jim Galli's recommendation of "Image Clarity." There is not hign
    else like it that I know of and it will both help technically and make you think
    carefullky about every step of the process. It is one of the books in my photo library
    that I often think about and pull off the shelf.
  20. Best book I can think of is "Perfect Exposure" by Roger Hicks and Frances Schultz. Roger Hicks is brilliant at explaing in layman's terms the fine details of photographic controls. I have quite a few advanced books and most of the ones mentioned above are really good but not as good as this one IMHO. Roger and Frances also write Quality Photography which is also a helpful addition for someone seeking to improve their ability in a more general realm of overall photographic skills.

    I have also just acquired "Way Beyond Monochrome" by Ralph W. Lambrecht and Chris Woodhouse which is a very recent release. (Fountain Press 2003). This is also turning out to be a fabulous reference and learning manual for B&W techniques. This is the first book I have read that is running serious competition for Roger and France's "Perfect Exposure".

    I also have read Tim Rudman's " The Photographer's Master Printing Course" and found it to be quite a valuable book. As mentiouned earlier Ctein's "Post Exposure" is a good book for improving your printing skills and understanding some of the variables in the process. I also have Henry Horenstein's "Beyond Basic Photography" and am using that as a measuring stick for you. This book is quite good as a basic starter book for learning advanced concepts but the ones I have mentioned will take you well beyond this book.

    IMHO if you are going to buy just one then go with Perfect Exposure otherwise if another can be added then obtain Way Beyond Monochome and you will be prepared for a winter of learning.

    Kind Regards,
  21. In addition to those mentioned (and they are all good), David Vestal's books are great. They both are oriented toward darkroom work, but that's part of the process. Hard to find since they are both out of print.

    By the way, a great place to shop for books is Tim Whelan's Bookstore in Rockport, ME.
  22. for architecture-
    "Photographing Buildings Inside & Out", 2nd edition, by Norman McGrath.
    Whitney Library of Design, Watson-Guptill Publications, 1993.
  23. OK Jason, I will be interested to see the new addition. But I have to admit that with the exception of Citeins book I have not seen nor heard of any books mentioned here. And I go to Barnes and Noble about once a month to look at different books on photography.

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