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Jill Enfield's Guide to Photographic Alternative Processes: Popular Historical and Contemporary Techniques (Alternative Process Photography) 1st Edition

4.4 out of 5 stars 35 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-0415810241
ISBN-10: 0415810248
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Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review


Images and stories from Jill Enfield’s Guide to Photographic Alternative Processes


Lady with Basket
A digital image does not have to stay digital! I photographed this in Croatia. When I came home, I decided it would make a good kallitype.

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Leaves
Dry plate tintypes are great for making photograms. Once the plates are dry, they can be kept in a light tight box for approximately one month. The plates can be exposed in a camera or with an enlarger using positives or by placing objects for photograms.

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Wedding
I photographed special pictures for a wedding in Tuscany, Italy. The ceremony started around sunset, when the light is typically too reddish for wet plate collodion to work with fast enough exposure to capture a scene like this. Since I was there, however, I gave it a try. Even with the motion, this image captures the moment.

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Church
This image was taken inside a church in Italy with a Hasselblad camera and black and white film. It was underexposed a bit and I thought I would never be able to use it. Then came digital! I made a digital negative and a cyanotype that actually has detail in the shadows.

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A Letter to Amazon.com Readers from Jill Enfields


Dear Amazon.com Readers:

I have been teaching historical photographic techniques, or alternative processes, for more than twenty-five years. The moment I started using these techniques, I realized that by adapting them, my work knew no bounds. Every project that I start leads me to the type of process that I feel is a perfect way to display my vision.

No matter your style of photography — whether you are interested in landscapes, portraits, flowers, architecture, or something else entirely — these processes are useful in continuing to interpret your image after the camera capture. Digital or film, it makes no difference. The process you choose is driven by the image, which leaves you open to ideas and discovery.

A darkroom is helpful, but not necessary, for most of the processes discussed in my book, Jill Enfield's Guide to Photographic Alternative Processes: Popular Historical and Contemporary Techniques. You will learn about the materials needed to set up a workspace, which chemicals to use and how to mix them properly and safely, and where to get all of the above, no matter where you live. The tactile process of using hand-applied emulsions and then watching the image appear is always a magical experience! My hope is that this book brings the magic to others.

Need inspiration? The work of 106 artists from all over the world is beautifully reproduced in the book. This is more than a mere how-to book; it is also a showcase of some of the best artists in the historical techniques genre.

I hope that you enjoy Jill Enfield's Guide to Photographic Alternative Processes as much as I have had enjoyed creating it.

Best wishes in creating your own magic,

Jill Enfield

About the Author

Jill Enfield, one of the most experienced and respected hand-coloring artists in the United States, is a fine art, editorial, and commercial photographer. She has taught hand-coloring and non-silver techniques at Parsons The New School for Design, Fashion Institute of Technology, New York University, Long Island University, and the International Center of Photography in New York, as well as at workshops throughout the United States and Europe.

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Product Details

  • Series: Alternative Process Photography
  • Paperback: 288 pages
  • Publisher: Focal Press; 1 edition (June 5, 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0415810248
  • ISBN-13: 978-0415810241
  • Product Dimensions: 6.9 x 0.7 x 9.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (35 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #444,004 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
Jill Enfields' new book Guide To Photographic Alternative Processes has an impressive depth of information, editorial voice, variety of processes, and excellent examples of contemporary artists using the processes.

The only complaint I would have is the type is small and the paper should be brighter. This might be a reflection of my age and the need for reading glasses. On the plus side, I like how the book is sized to fit easily in a camera bag. I predict several chemistry stains throughout the pages from repeated use.

The topics she covers are: digital negs, fugitive printing (not mug shots), cyanotypes, Salt and albumen prints, Van dyke and other "brown" prints, platinum, wet plate collodion, liquid emulsion, gum printing, transfers and ceramic printing. Lots of stuff and worth the money. As I read each chapter, I noticed she anticipates each question that would come up and provides a concise answer. A guidebook should not be complicated to read.

I need easy to read manuals, full of information and able to pique my curiosity to learn more. My go-to books are Dick Arentz's platinum printing book, the Osterman's wet plate collodion book, and now Jill's book on everything else.

As a teacher, I need an alt process manual that gives more than a thumbnail of the topics I like to cover. My students at NESOP are voracious for alt process information and their contemporary applications. Jill's book does this clearly.

If you are interested in alt processes as an artist, look no further for an easy to read and inspiring road map. If you are a teacher, this book provides a comprehensive and solid amount of information enhances any classroom demonstration while giving the student an excellent source of information outside of class.
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Format: Paperback
This book is a beautiful, well researched guide to non-silver printing. It
includes historical background information about the various processes. The
author's approach is very personal in that she describes her own experiences
using these techniques.
>
> She includes photographs from a large variety of both historical and
contemporary photographs. One unique aspect is she also talks about using some
of these processes on ceramics.
>
> The explanations are clear and easy to understand. She includes recipes and
instructions for each technique she describes. This is a valuable resource book
for anyone interested in non-silver process.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Don't be put off by the choice of the cover photo (which MAY not immediately draw you to this title). This is a WONDERFUL book. In fact, this is a completely rewritten update to Ms. Enfield's earlier book entitled "Photo-Imaging: A Complete Visual Guide to Alternative Techniques and Processes". When asked to compare the two books specifically regarding which one would be best for learning about printing on tiles, Jill's words were "The new book goes further in what you can do with tiles - not just liquid emulsion but cyanotype and gum as well. So - i will leave it to you - either book will do for liquid emulsion." The new book contains much more up to date information and is highly recommended.

You or may not be familiar with Jill Enfield, but she is eminently qualified to write a volume such as this, with 35 years of experience. With all of that experience, I appreciate the balance that she strikes between giving you valuable tips and the fact that she does not generally make very *specific* recommendations - preferring instead that you discover your *own* preferences through experience and experimentation. As an example, I turned in the index directly to the subject of "paper". The subheading "Paper" (found in Chapter 2 on "A Guide to Materials and Techniques" is rather short, but complete. She gives you the basics to identifying paper characteristics and what they will mean for your prints, but does not recommend even a single paper or mill by NAME. She does name a couple of paper suppliers from which one can get catalogs, however. I am fine with this (in fact, I think it wise. An endorsement by a famous practitioner could lead to shortages or a sharp rise in prices for any paper thus specified.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This is an amazing guide for how to successfully learn exactly how to go about a variety of external processes. Besides a historical perspective, what this really does best is letting one know the specific steps to take. It is organized well and provides a vast amount of information and technical knowledge expressed in an understandable way. It's a wonderful means to learn from a true and proven expert in her field!
The ability to obtain years of knowledge along with specific "recipes" makes this a must-have.
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Format: Paperback
This is a strange one. There is information within that's useful, there are links to other sources to expand on the subjects, but .. and this is a big BUT for me ... the whole thing is an utter mess. Once you get to reading on a specific technique, you're gonna hunt around several pages to make any sense out of it. Nothing is organized to help you return to the few words you're going to need to refresh memory. In this respect this is one of the worst books of the kind I have seen. Ultimately it is a show down of techniques intertwined with messy and extremely un-technical layout that has a good chance of driving people away from the content. It reads like o novel, somewhat documentary and (naturally) historical in nature, but it is not a GUIDE in any sense. Again, there IS information to help you with the techniques, but published in a horrid format for the task.

Also, but this is purely personal, I don't buy the "oldy" look to the pages, it also distracts me from the content.
...
Having spent more time with the book I'll first reiterate the 2 star rating, I don't believe I'll ever consider going up from this.

Secondly, book is hard to read due to small type and colored page background. This along with "novel" style concept it is difficult to follow.

Thirdly, there are only handful of images of relatively large size, one on the cover, second in the "ceramic" section, and one in front of each chapter. The rest is tiny (many match box size) and most are ho-hum level. This reminds me of many alternative technique followers for whom getting an image (ANY image) is already art in the making. If you want to see anything to inspire you, you'll need to find it elsewhere.
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