Photographic Possibilities: The Expressive Use of Equipment, Ideas, Materials, and Processes / Edition 3

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Serious imagemakers have come to trust and depend on this resource of innovative, traditional, and alternative photographic processes to enhance their technical knowledge, create astonishing pictures, and raise their visual consciousness.

This book offers new links between analog and digital photography by featuring clear, step-by-step instructions on topics ranging from making digital negatives, to using infrared film and toners, to alternative process techniques including salt prints, ambrotypes, kallitypes, Vandyke Brownprints, gumoil, gum bichromate, platinum and palladium processes, and more.

This edition showcases the thought-provoking work of more than 140 international artists including Peter Beard, Dan Burkholder, Carl Chiarenza, Michael Kenna, Dinh Q. LĂȘ, Joe Mills, Andrea Modica, Bea Nettles, France Scully and Mark Osterman, Robert & Shana ParkeHarrison, Holly Roberts, Martha Rosler, Mike and Doug Starn, John Sexton, Brian Taylor, Jerry Uelsmann, and Joel Peter Witkin as well as other major and emerging talents. Image captions explain how each artist technically realized their vision and concept.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780240810133
  • Publisher: Taylor & Francis
  • Publication date: 12/3/2008
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Edition number: 3
  • Pages: 300
  • Product dimensions: 8.50 (w) x 10.90 (h) x 1.10 (d)

Meet the Author

Robert Hirsch is a photographer, writer, and the Director of Light Research ( His books include Seizing the Light: A History of Photography, Photographic Possibilities: The Expressive Use of Ideas, Materials, and Processes, and Exploring Color Photography. Hirsch is a former Associate Editor for Digital Camera (UK) and Photovision Magazine, and a contributor to Afterimage, exposure, Buffalo Spree, Fotophile, FYI, History of Photography, Ilford Photo Instructor Newsletter, and The Photo Review, as well as former Director of CEPA Gallery.

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Table of Contents

Chapter 1: Essential Moments in Photographic Printmaking
Chapter 2: Predarkroom Actions: Imaginative Thinking and Personal Safety
Chapter 3: Image Capture: Special-Use Films, Processing and Digital Negative Making
Chapter 4: Formulas of One's Own
Chapter 5: Black-and-White Film Developers
Chapter 6: Analog Fine Printmaking: Equipment, Materials, and Processes
Chapter 7: Black-and-White Paper Developers
Chapter 8: Toning for Visual Effects
Chapter 9: Special Cameras and Equipment
Chapter 10: Historic and Alternative Processes: Beauty, Imagination and Inventiveness
Chapter 11: Transforming Photographic Concepts: Expanding the Lexicon

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Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • Posted February 22, 2009

    A Must-Have Reference on Alternative Photography

    Robert Hirsch's Photographic Possibilities, 3rd Edition, is absolutely fantastic and takes its place as the frontrunner among texts concerned with experimental photography. This new book is wonderfully updated with current information and most importantly; it's a visual and creative feast. The turn of each page is a delight for the eyes, as well as incredible inspiration for trying new techniques, exploring, playing, and taking chances with clear and precise guidance from an expert and venerable writer (See Hirsch's other books: Light and Lens: Photography in the Digital Age-the benchmark of excellence in the new hybrid world of traditional and digital imaging; Seizing the Light: A Social History of Photography- the standard of excellence in the history of photography; and Exploring Color Photography: From the Darkroom to the Digital Studio- the standout book in its field as well).

    Photographic Possibilities is the most beautifully illustrated text on experimental photography available today, profusely filled with numerous wonderful images and examples of the many techniques presented in clear chapters; from elegant, antique 19th century contact printing methods like platinum and gum printing, to 21st century step-by-sep procedures using computers and inkjet printers for experimental purposes and creating enlarged negatives. The publisher obviously spent the significant funds required for reproducing every photograph in its required color and spot varnishing each image, producing a truly stunning book of beautiful pictures.

    Beyond the inspiring illustrations, another strength of Photographic Possibilities is the quality of the writing. Hirsch has proven his skills in research over many years, regarding practically every facet of photography's technique, aesthetic, and history. This latest edition, vastly updated, is the compilation of all this knowledge, as well as extensive interviews with artists and experts around the world sharing their discoveries with a highly accomplished, respected fellow artist and author. No other text on this subject can match Photographic Possibilities for the clarity of its text, its concise writing, or the beauty of the reproductions.

    In the spirit of disclosure, Robert Hirsch has kindly included some of my artwork in this book, but as a university professor who has taught alternative processes in colleges and workshops for over 30 years, I would rave about this book anyway! Photographic Possibilities is the clearest, most inspiring, most concisely written, and most beautifully illustrated book in the field, and is a valuable resource for everyone. All photographers, ranging from enthusiasts to deadly serious fine art professionals will have enough information, and most importantly, enough inspiration to last a long lifetime- if you wear gloves.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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