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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: #277,016 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"The first edition was a stunning achievement, and one I felt that was not likely to be superceded.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
I found Christopher Jame's book on alternative processes to be incredibly insightful and inspirational.
Aris
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 Richard S. Sullivan on February 26, 2008
Format: Paperback
First a disclaimer. I helped on the cabon chapter and am the inventor of the Ziatype process, so I can hardly be called a neutral reviewer. However I do want to make a few comments.

Back in the late 70's another amazing book on this subject came out, Keepers of Light. It was an incredible achievement in its day but James's book exceeds it. Photo books come and go and only a tiny fraction ever get revised into a 2nd edition One would expect that after nearly 30 years the newer book having gone into a 2nd edition would be better, but this goes way beyond expectations. KOL was the spark that got me excited about process photography and to eventually start Bostick & Sullivan. I see this new book being a similar stimulus for young photographers to venture out into their own explorations of photography.

Christopher James should also be commended for not just producing a how-to book, but one that connects the modern day worker with the historical aspects of these processes. He covers the basic history of each process, which enlivens and adds to the fun of doing them. Did I say "fun?" Yeah, I did, and yes I know, we're supposed to be deadly serious about our art, but damn, this stuff is fun and you can't get away from that fact. That is also a theme that lies in the background throughout this book: art is fun.

Now this book is obviously targeted at the practicing photographer, but it deserves a much larger audience. Anyone interested in photography should read and have this book handy for a reference. Art and photo historians, collectors, curators, and folks that are just interested in photography will find their understanding of photography and photography's history enriched.

Perhaps now we will have fewer people making ink jet prints and calling them carbon prints. Ok, a personal peeve of mine. Sorry.
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