From: Christina Z. Anderson (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Date: 05/27/01-11:22:36 PM Z
Thanks for the affirmation. Yes, I too get PFJ. And I, too, am a book
junkie and have about every
book on alt process there is, I think! Like Judy's cookbook analogy, the
more the merrier. In fact, I just checked on the Christopher James one and
it is available July 13 through Amazon.com ($46, gulp!), so thanks for the
Since I don't fancy myself even close to a nonsilver expert, as some on
this list *absolutely* are, I am afraid that I might also be one to print
misinformation. That is why I am so happy to see that Katherine Thayer is
writing a gum manual, for instance, and that Judy publishes PFJ (and should
write her own gum manual), that Sarah Van Keuren has her own manual that she
reprints every year, that Dick Arentz has written a platinum book and Webb
and Reed have written their alt process, and liquid emulsion book. Heck,
there are others on this list, too! Tim Rudman's lith printing bible...I
feel like I am in royalty on this list with so many authors.
My first love is getting a perfect print and then messing with it,
kindof. (I still am trying to figure out if this is a compliment or an
insult, but my students nicknamed me the Martha Stewart of photography).
I have checked out every book there is, and the only ones that come
close to experimental photography are all outdated and not all inclusive,
but still somewhat good...Stone's Darkroom Dynamics, Kodak's Creative
Darkroom Techniques, and several other books with the same sort of title.
If James' new book, in fact, covers all these types of experimental things,
then I'd be sort of relieved because I wouldn't have to do mine. Well, not
really, because mine is basically
written. I'll do it anyway.
My actual more practical reason for not including nonsilver is that
that is taught in another class. I am gearing this workbook to be a
textbook that students can use in the course of a semester (or two) of
study, with a menu of choices per week. The textbook assigned to the class
is Hirsch's Photographic Possibilities, a good book, but the class uses only
1/3 of the text and that's a waste of money. Mine is short and sweet, cheap,
and full of enough info to screw around. Not perfect yet, tho---already,
according to Prof Jolly and PFJ, I have to change my sabattier info
drastically (history, mackie line technical info, "old brown" developer
myth--great paper on the web if you haven't already found it). I do, BTW,
test everything I write about--wouldn't even consider writing a handout on a
process I had not extensively tested. That, in fact, has taken precedence
over everything else in my life all year....
You say that the standard alternative process have already been covered by
current books. This is true but, I might submit, not all processes are
covered well. Some of the books on the market could do a better job of
discussing details. Some of them perpetrate myths and errors from previous
If you look at some of the articles in the Post Factory Journal you will
find examples of how to write an article about a specific process that not
only provides complete information about the process but also includes the
kind of accurate information one needs to actually use the process. These
articles are written by people who are actually doing these processes.I
think this is why the PFJ is so popular.
I have collected just about every book written about the alternative
processes since "Keepers of Light" which is the first book I bought. I have
also saved a lot of stuff from this list and, of course, subscribed to the
Post Factory Journal. There is a lot of material out there but its not all
either accurate or complete. When I began teaching alternate process
printing on the college level, I wrote my own manual based on my own
experiences. This was prior to PFJ. I did a lot of work experimenting with
and testing the material I found in the existing publications before I did
any writing. I remember spending about a month one summer teasting and
checking out everything I could find out about cyanotype i.e. various
formulas, ways to improve contrast, toning methods etc. In the end, I felt
that I really knew something about cyanotype. I did something similar with
VDB and this led to an article in PFJ which you can look up.
If you are going to write, I hope you will consider doing a definitive work
about all the alternative processes.
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