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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: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (50 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #112,942 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"The first edition was a stunning achievement, and one I felt that was not likely to be superceded.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 recognized artist and photographer whose paintings and photographs have been exhibited in galleries and museums in this country and abroad. His work has been published and exhibited extensively, including shows in The Museum of Modern Art, The Metropolitan Museum of Art, The George Eastman House, and the Philadelphia Museum of Art.

The first edition of his book, The Book of Alternative Photographic Processes (Delmar Thomson, NY, 2001) received unprecedented critical acclaim and was the winner of The Golden Light Technical Book of the Year award. The Book of Alternative Photographic Processes: Second Edition (Delmar Cengage, NY, 2008) was released in February 2008 and is widely recognized as the definitive text in the genre.

Christopher earned his degrees at The Massachusetts College of Art and The Rhode Island School of Design. He was a Professor at Harvard University from 1978 through 1991 and is currently Professor and Chair of Photography at The Art Institute of Boston at Lesley University. He is also a working graphic designer and a professional scuba diver.

Christopher's paintings and photographic work, his teaching and writing, and information about upcoming workshops and lectures, can be seen on his web site: www.christopherjames-studio.com

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Customer Reviews

4.8 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

57 of 65 people found the following review helpful By cfg on September 7, 2009
Format: Paperback
This is a great glossy overview of processes if you're curious about which to pursue, but not so much use as for practical instruction. James has an approach and writing style in which contradiction and lack of coherent detail(and perhaps even proofing errors) play no small role. Eccentric and charming at first (in a self-edited sort of way) it can be quite maddening if you make purchases or try out processes based on his recommendations and instructions. I'd seriously recommend double checking with other sources once you decide on a process to try out. Of course that's good advice for any source of info, but here it's critical. It's maddening that he'll list creme brulee recipes while be curiously tightlipped about crucial process details. I'm an experienced and largely self-taught printer- carbon transfer, albumen, tri-color gum and kallitype, so I'm not a novice that needs a lot of hand-holding.

A notable irritation is the gum chapter. A typical recipe- 'An 1 1/4 inchworm of watercolor per 12 full eyedroppers of gum and 12 full eyedroppers of dichromate'..? I wouldn't recommend measuring pigment unless you measure in all dimensions -aka volume- not just length. Much more accurate to weigh. And what size eyedroppers? When he does use traditional weights and measures they are inconsistent: he mentions Stephen Livick using 12g of pigment for every 12ml of dichromate when using Sennelier paints, double the concentration of other brands. In a separate section he then says Livick uses 2.5-4g g of Lindel paint in 12ml of dichromate. Forgetting for an instant that 12g of watercolor is an absolutely fantastic quantity of paint (I pigment 4 36x50cm 2mm thick carbon tissues with less- and that's 2 liters worth of solution) I still wouldn't call 12 the double of 2.5 or even 4.
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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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