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The Ansel Adams Guide: Basic Techniques of Photography - Book 1 Paperback – Bargain Price, April 15, 1999

4.6 out of 5 stars 28 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Review

** 'If the serious photographer could have but one book on the subject, by all odds, this would be it. Superb. PHOTOGRAPHIC SOCIETY OF AMERICA JOURNAL.

About the Author

John P. Schaefer is an active photographer and the author of Basic Techniques of Photography, Book 2. In 1975, as president of the University of Arizona, he was instrumental in founding the Center for Creative Photography, which houses the archives of Ansel Adams, Edward Weston, and many other outstanding photographers. Schaefer was a student, collaborator, and close friend of Ansel Adams and is currently the president of Research Corporation and a Trustee of The Ansel Adams Publishing Rights Trust.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 432 pages
  • Publisher: Ansel Adams; Rev Sub edition (April 15, 1999)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0821225758
  • ASIN: B0085SFWN4
  • Product Dimensions: 8.5 x 0.9 x 11 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 3 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (28 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,488,773 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
Although I loved this book, and knew what I was buying, Amazon's attribution of this book to Ansel Adams is misleading. This is a book about Ansel Adams' technique, and his zone system in particular. It's not a book by Adams. If you want Adams' own take on the basic techniques of photography, check out his three books: The Camera, The Negative, The Print, as well as his book of case studies, The Making of 40 Photographs. It takes a lot of nerve to write a book like this when Adams has already done a bang up job of it himself. Surprisingly, Schaefer's effort doesn't pale in comparison to the master's own. Plus you have the advantage of a single book rather than Adams' three. Schaefer provides an excellent guide to Ansel Adams' zone technique, with great illustrations. And despite a bit more attention paid to color photography than in Adams' own books, it still seems like an afterthought.
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By raboof on September 1, 2003
Format: Paperback
This book has everything, and then some. It will take you from not knowing anything to being a quasi-expert in a fairly short amount of time.
That said, it is pretty dry. Very textbookish in form, the book is difficult to read straight through. This is made more palatable by the extreme depth that the book goes into for each topic that it discusses.
Starting with the differences in photo gear, the author leads the reader through selecting a first camera to selecting a lens to selecting a film and finally the development of the negative and print. The book is exhausting in its depth and breadth.
Much time was spent on Adams' Zone system and its usefulness in taking beautiful photographs. This focus throughout the book really drove home the importance of exposure.
The pictures used in the book are fantastic and the personal accounts of some photos by Adams himself are very interesting.
The only thing that I felt was skimped on was the process of selecting a shot. Adams was a large-format photographer so he wasn't able to make the hundreds of shots of a scene that a 35mm photographer could make, so it was important for him to select his shots carefully. More text space devoted to Adams' method or instinct for finding shots would have been the final piece of information that would have made this a complete guide to photography.
It wasn't easy reading, but I learned a lot and was able to immediately use the information in the book to improve my own photography.
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Format: Paperback
This book is an excellent choice for beginning photographers as well as more seasoned photographers who wish to review the basics. This book covers a wide variety of techniques, as well as providing information about the history of photography, cameras, and film. I highly recommend this book to anyone who is interested in taking up black-and-white or color photography as a hobby or as a career.
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Format: Paperback
The majority of the text concentrates it's efforts in educating the reader in the art of B&W photography. Color photography is briefly touched on at the book's end. The first half of the book deals with various camera systems, accessories, film choices, photograph visualization and film exposure. All of these topics are covered exceptionally well. The second half deals with the developing and printing process. If the prospective reader will not be involved in the developing and printing process then the Ansel Adams Book 1, "The Camera", and Book 2, "The Negative", may be better choices. However to receive the maximum benefit from the art of B&W photography one must eventually delve into the darkroom. The book details those processes equally well.
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Format: Paperback
A superbly written book. Could be used as an example of great technical writing. Reads almost like a novel - I couldn't put it down until I finished. I am now digging my darkroom equipment out of the garage with a new sense of excitement. I rushed off and bought Book 2, which I am eagerly awaiting. No, I'm not associated with the author, but I am in awe of his talents! :^)
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Format: Paperback
I found the Ansel Adams books on "The Print" and "The Negative" a bit on the heavy side, but John Schaefer's book is a superb addition to any aspiring photographer's library. It covers the photographic field very comprehensively and in easily understood English, and without the frills of technical jargon so loved by some authors.

Although the book deals with colour photography as well, I would thoroughly recommend this book to any aficionado of black and white photography-- it is, without doubt one of the best books on photography I have in my library!
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I BOUGHT THIS BOOK THINKING THAT WITH THE ANSEL ADAMS CONNECTION IT SHOULD BE GOOD AND I HAVE NOT BEEN DISAPPOINTED..IT STARTS WITH A SHORT HISTORY OF PHOTOGRAPHY AND THEN WITH ALL TYPES OF CAMERAS INCLUDING A LITTLE ON DIGITAL BECAUSE WHEN THIS BOOK WAS WRITTEN DIGITAL WAS JUST GETTING STARTED,ANYWAY THROUGHOUT THE BOOK ARE QUOTES FROM ANSEL ADAMS AND HIS PICTURES.THIS BOOK IS OVER 400 PAGES LONG AND BY THE TIME YOU FINISH READING IT I GUARANTEE YOU WILL HAVE THE INFORMATION TO BE A MUCH BETTER PHOTOGRAPHER.ALSO THIS BOOK IS WELL WRITTEN AND ENJOYABLE TO READ.IT COVERS EVERYTHING.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This book (and the second volume accompanying it) adequately covers and explains all aspects related to analogic photography, especially BW photography. Even if little attention is paid to color photography and even less to digital, everything you may learn from the book should be useful for any kind of photography.
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