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The Book of Alternative Photographic Processes Paperback – February 12, 2008

ISBN-13: 978-1418073725 ISBN-10: 1418073725 Edition: 2nd

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 660 pages
  • Publisher: Cengage Learning; 2 edition (February 12, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1418073725
  • ISBN-13: 978-1418073725
  • Product Dimensions: 10.9 x 8.6 x 1.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 3.9 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (49 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #313,836 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

"The first edition was a stunning achievement, and one I felt that was not likely to be superceded. Five short years later Christopher James has created a very new work and a new standard. The Book of Alternative Photographic Processes: 2nd Edition is, by far, the best alternative photographic process book ever!" - Richard Sullivan, Founder and Co-Owner, Bostick & Sullivan

"As bit strings take over our photographic being - if not our lives - we need, more than ever, this playful and inspiring manual. James cheerfully and effectively instructs us, whether we are novice or adept, in the alchemical arts of transmuting our expressive photographic images, both digital and analogue, into hand-crafted prints which will forever bear our individual marks." - Dr. Mike Ware, Author of over 50 publications on alternative process, history, process and preservation.

"If I could only have one photography book this would be it." - Tim Whelan Photographic Books

About the Author

Christopher James is an internationally known artist and photographer whose photographs, paintings, and alternative process printmaking have been exhibited in galleries and museums in this country and abroad. His work has been published and shown extensively, including exhibitions in The Museum of Modern Art, The Metropolitan Museum of Art, The George Eastman House, and the Philadelphia Museum of Art. The first two editions of his book, The Book of Alternative Photographic Processes have received international critical acclaim and are universally recognized by artists, curators, historians, and educators as the definitive texts in the genre of alternative process photography and photographically integrated media and culture. Christopher, after 13 years at Harvard University, is presently University Professor and Director of the MFA in Photography program at The College of Art and Design - Lesley University. He is also a painter, graphic designer, and a professional scuba diver. His web site is www.christopherjames-studio.com

More About the Author

Christopher James is an internationally known artist and photographer whose photographs, paintings, and alternative process printmaking have been exhibited in galleries and museums in this country and abroad. His work has been published and shown extensively, including exhibitions in The Museum of Modern Art, The Metropolitan Museum of Art, The George Eastman House, and the Philadelphia Museum of Art. The first two editions of his book, The Book of Alternative Photographic Processes have received international critical acclaim and are universally recognized by artists, curators, historians, and educators as the definitive texts in the genre of alternative process photography and photographically integrated media and culture. A significantly expanded 850 page / 650 image, 3rd edition will be published in late 2014. Christopher, after 13 years at Harvard University, is presently University Professor and Director of the MFA in Photography program at The College of Art and Design - Lesley University. He is also a painter, graphic designer, and a professional scuba diver. His web site is www.christopherjames-studio.com

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Customer Reviews

4.9 out of 5 stars
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Clearly written with easy to follow step by step instructions.
Lunabird
Christopher James, The Book Of Alternative Photographic Processes, Second edition is more fun than a barrel of monkeys.
Tim Whelan
Now go read his book with these thought in mind and you'll get it.
HJR

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

8 of 9 people found the following review helpful By f64Islander on June 9, 2011
Format: Paperback
If you are having trouble sleeping don't pick this one up for a quick fix. Christopher's knowledge and wit will keep you engaged. I have a good many other books on alternative processes and this is my "Go to" volume. For those with an interest in historic processes, regardless of your skill level, this important text needs to be in your library. Neither the First nor Second editions have been anything other than first rate sources of information. My second edition is beginning to show the signs having a little too much chemistry spilled on it and I may have to get another as my breadth of knowledge and experience expands, thanks to Mr. James.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Matthew on August 29, 2011
Format: Paperback
If you have ever had any interest in alternative printing or working in the non tradition of wet darkroom work this is a must have. To think of giving a brief historical background, a full chemical proprieties list, and than giving in depth instruction of how to make the physical print of more than 10 process's is simply amazing to pack into one book. While reading you can really appreciate Christopher's passion for the hand made craft. He is able to explain these often complicated chemical prints in a easy and non intimidated manner. In a fully digitized world it is so refreshing to see a man fully dedicate himself to something alternative than the norm.

What I loved about this book is how nothing is left to the imagination, often times while reading technical instructional books there is always that little something that is left out that can really make the world of difference while in the studio. With James's book nothing is left to the imagination, anything that could go wrong or may go wrong he warns you off, and gives you insight on how to avoid that. I was amazed to see that he was able to top himself with the first edition, i very much look forward to the third edition.

As i write this review i look to the book case fondly at my battle tested personal copy stained all over with various shades of browns and blacks from chemistry and smelling like lavender varnish.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Danny on June 11, 2011
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Wonderful book! I have never had much success learning from books and had my doubts when I purchased this one. In buying the book my goal was to learn platinum, cyanotype, salt, and albumen printing. I succeeded in all four methods and many more. Christopher James writing is not only informative but entertaining, which is a rare combination. I am a professional photographer who was well versed in digital and darkroom printing but I wanted to expand my photographic toolbox and this book helped me achieve that. An outstanding resource!
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By BjornR on June 10, 2011
Format: Paperback
I started to explore the alternative (historic) photographic printing techniques approx. a year ago, and have learned lots of stuff by searching the net for information. I have also bought several books on the theme, but only this book had the information level I was searching. It is a thick book, and very structured. Great read too. So far I have only explored a few of the techniques described in the book, but it is a joy to read about all the other techniques. The author brings the techniques into perspective by starting each chapter with a historic overview. In this way, I have got a much better understanding of why and how the different techniques evolved. But most important: I get a much better understanding of how to make beautiful images printed in alternative techniques. Highly recommended.
I am running a blog on my personal experience with these techniques, and had to make a short review of the book on [...] Off course I gave it top score, which I also do here.

Bjorn
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By ArtDirector on June 9, 2011
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I officially recycled all my other alt-pro books when I found this one. Why recycle? Because I didn't want to risk circulating bad information out there. Before finding Christopher's book, I had been working in alternative process photography, some techniques learned in college, some in workshops, some self taught for 15 years.
From set-up to process to finish, this book gives me all the instruction and troubleshooting clues I need to complete a successful print. He takes the mystery out of the process while sharing his sense of humor (necessary in this line of work).
I especially like the historical attributes he offers and that I can get all of this in one book! Yes, it's hefty, I don't carry it around with me. But it is prominently displayed in my studio where I work.
When I replaced my first edition with the second, I wrote on the inside front cover: "This is the first edition, good information but there is a newer edition out there so FIND IT!" then took it to the thrift store in hope that someone interested in alternative processes will find it and get hooked.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By K. Wrage on June 9, 2011
Format: Paperback
I have read a number of publications on antique or alternative photographic processes, and most are dry, dull, and highly formulaic. Each process is going to be different for each practitioner depending on his/her environment. Christopher James walks us through many (MANY) different processes by describing what is tried and true for him, but he is also careful to give alternative methods that have worked for many other well-known and respected artist/practitioners in regard to individual processes. He gives engaging historical lead-ins to each of the processes while letting the modern practitioner know that these processes are not just part of the past--they are current, exciting, "alternative" methods of creating beautiful photographs. He lets us know what chemicals or products worked in the past but may no longer be available, while listing the modern equivalents and how to purchase and use them. He also covers everything from paper types and prep to digital negatives. And, he manages to do all of this and more in a charming and engaging manner.

Funny, but my second edition, with post-its and other notes attached, happens to be sitting on the couch next to me as I type this. It is a wonderful reference, not only for the processes listed in the book (there are beautiful photographs throughout) but for the stories behind each as well.
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