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Photographic Possibilities: The Expressive Use of Equipment, Ideas, Materials, and Processes Paperback – December 3, 2008

ISBN-13: 978-0240810133 ISBN-10: 0240810139 Edition: 3rd

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 304 pages
  • Publisher: Focal Press; 3 edition (December 3, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0240810139
  • ISBN-13: 978-0240810133
  • Product Dimensions: 11 x 8.3 x 0.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.4 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #477,737 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Book Description

A cohesive and broad collection of diverse photographic processes; explore any technique in depth.

About the Author

Robert Hirsch is a photographer, writer, and the Director of Light Research (lightresearch.net). His books include Seizing the Light: A History of Photography, Photographic Possibilities: The Expressive Use of Ideas, Materials, and Processes, and Exploring Color Photography. Hirsch is a former Associate Editor for Digital Camera (UK) and Photovision Magazine, and a contributor to Afterimage, exposure, Buffalo Spree, Fotophile, FYI, History of Photography, Ilford Photo Instructor Newsletter, and The Photo Review, as well as former Director of CEPA Gallery.

More About the Author

Robert Hirsch is an artist and author of Transformational Imagemaking: Handmade Photography Since 1960, Seizing the Light: A Social History of Photography; Light and Lens: Photography in the Digital Age; Photographic Possibilities: The Expressive Use of Equipment, Ideas, Materials, and Processes; and Exploring Color Photography: From Film to Pixels. He is the former Associate Editor for Photovision and Digital Camera magazines and a contributing writer for Afterimage, exposure, Fotophile, The History of Photography, Photo Technique, and The Photo Review among others. His visual projects, such as World in a Jar: War & Trauma, The 1960s Cubed, and Ghosts: French Holocaust Children, have been exhibited around the world. A former Executive Director and Chief Curator of CEPA Gallery, Hirsch now operates Light Research. His projects can be viewed at: www.lightresearch.net.

Customer Reviews

4.8 out of 5 stars
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See all 6 customer reviews
This book is full of great alternative photographic ideas from film and darkroom to digital.
A. Vaughn
I teach alternative processes and was looking for a smaller, and cheaper, version of Christopher James "The Book of Alternative Photographic Processes".
Todd A. Dobbs
This book is a great resource for doing everything from acrylic lifts to palladium/platinum printing to high speed developing times.
Jeremy Nelsen

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

14 of 15 people found the following review helpful By Brian D. Taylor on February 22, 2009
Format: Paperback
Robert Hirsch's Photographic Possibilities, Third Edition, is absolutely fantastic and takes its place as the frontrunner among texts concerned with experimental photography. This new book is wonderfully updated with current information and most importantly; it's a visual and creative feast. The turn of each page is a delight for the eyes, as well as incredible inspiration for trying new techniques, exploring, playing, and taking chances with clear and precise guidance from an expert and venerable writer (See Hirsch's other books: Light and Lens: Photography in the Digital Age--the benchmark of excellence in the new hybrid world of traditional and digital imaging; Seizing the Light: A Social History of Photography- the standard of excellence in the history of photography; and Exploring Color Photography: From the Darkroom to the Digital Studio- the standout book in its field as well).

Photographic Possibilities is the most beautifully illustrated text on experimental photography available today, profusely filled with numerous wonderful images and examples of the many techniques presented in clear chapters; from elegant, antique 19th century contact printing methods like platinum and gum printing, to 21st century step-by-sep procedures using computers and inkjet printers for experimental purposes and creating enlarged negatives. The publisher obviously spent the significant funds required for reproducing every photograph in its required color and spot varnishing each image, producing a truly stunning book of beautiful pictures.

Beyond the inspiring illustrations, another strength of Photographic Possibilities is the quality of the writing.
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Todd A. Dobbs on September 27, 2009
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I teach alternative processes and was looking for a smaller, and cheaper, version of Christopher James "The Book of Alternative Photographic Processes". While I love James' book, the cost has always made it a difficult choice to require my students to purchase, I would rather they had a bit more money for supplies to actually use some of the processes described in the book instead of just reading about them. This is where "Photographic Possibilities" comes to the rescue. Hirsch does a good job of summarizing photographic history as it relates to the use of processes in the first chapter of the book, and he keeps it interesting so even the shortest attention spans should be captivated. The rest of the book includes valuable information on classic B/W film and paper processes (face it, these are now alternative processes too), as well as discussing many of the more popular hand-coated processes like Cyanotype and Platinum/Palladium. The chapter on digital negatives is a good primer for a beginner to use, but like any textbook that includes current software and hardware, it is doomed to be out of date soon by no fault of Hirsch. The most valuable part of this textbook in my opinion is the chapter on how to actually incorporate the various processes and concepts into a work-flow that makes the best use of your materials and processes. I recommend this to any photographer wanting to expand their image making vocabulary, and instructors of alternative photography.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Jeremy Nelsen on January 14, 2009
Format: Paperback
Hirsch does a great job of covering the ins and outs of alternative photography. This book is a great resource for doing everything from acrylic lifts to palladium/platinum printing to high speed developing times.

Great, great, thorough book.
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