PDA

View Full Version : Which old photo books do you like?



Will Frostmill
7-Jan-2015, 17:17
I just picked up a copy of Kingslake's "Lenses in Photography" for fairly cheap on Amazon. I'm curious, what other photography books do you recommend, that I could pick up used for not much dough?

Everyone reccomends Stroebel - but which version? It probably doesn't matter, right? And there's a Graflex book, and the Kodak Professional Photoguide (I have that). Of course there's Ansel's series too.

What do you think?

John Kasaian
7-Jan-2015, 17:27
Principles of Photography by Neblette and Photography Facts and Formulas by Wall and Jordan would be good additions to your list.

Peter Lewin
7-Jan-2015, 17:38
My approach would be different. The "how to" information is available on the web these days. I would look for books by photographers whose work you like, rather than books on photographic technique. For Ansel Adams, I would look for "Examples, the making of 40 photographs" rather than the more famous series. Nothing wrong with the technique books, but I think you get more from looking at other photographer's work. And as they say, YMMV.

John Kasaian
7-Jan-2015, 17:58
Adam's Examples is one of my favorites!

mdarnton
7-Jan-2015, 18:09
Not really quite in line with your question, but I've been buying books of pictures by the photographers I'm interested in, recently. Used books from Amazon can be dirt cheap, and I'm taking advantage of that. Some of them, if you are more interested in content than condition, sell for a cent (I think they're making a dollar or two on postage), a dollar, a couple of bucks. It's never been better for people who like books made of paper.

Bill_1856
7-Jan-2015, 18:11
"Time in New England" by Paul Strand and Nancy Newhall is my favorite. Not one word about photography in the whole book.

Doug Howk
7-Jan-2015, 18:31
Books on print retouching - I have three.
"Print Finishing" by William Mortensen
"The Art of retouching and improving Negatives and Prints" by Arthur Hammond
"Retouching from start to finish" by Veronica Cass
The last book is also a good intro to the Adams Retouching Machine which can be useful for exhibition-quality prints.

Jim Jones
7-Jan-2015, 18:57
Kingslake's Lenses in Photography was the first book I bought on photography 62 years ago. It is still at hand for formulas and other information that an aging memory can't retain. Stroebel is my favorite of several on view cameras. I haven't forgiven Neblette for not really understanding pinhole photography in his 1942 edition of Photography: Its Principles and Practice. The Ansel Adams books published by the New York Graphic Society and Little, Brown and company are good. Some others about him have been compiled from poorly reproduced images in the public domain and from second-hand information. Naomi Rosenblum's A World History of Photography is a good overview. Photography and the American Scene was my early introduction to 19th century American photography. Josef Maria Eder's History of Photography is a more intensive study of early photography from an European view. The latter two were published by Dover books, but appear to be out of print now. Regardless of anyone's opinion on William Mortensen's photography, his book The Model and the later edition How to Pose the Model are still useful.

Jim Noel
7-Jan-2015, 20:42
"Handbook of Photography" by Henney & Dudley and "On Portraiture" by Fred Archer are good additions to the handwritten notebook of B. Smith the last entry of which is dated April 1896.

Bruce Barlow
8-Jan-2015, 06:30
"Time in New England" by Paul Strand and Nancy Newhall is my favorite. Not one word about photography in the whole book.

+1

Heroique
8-Jan-2015, 14:02
A slight twist on this theme...

Whenever I see old photo manuals, I like flipping through them for the entertaining hair styles, clothes fashions, and "instructive" behavior.

Here's an image from a 1970's Nikon EM camera manual.

127745

She's listening to the camera's famous "beeping" when the light is low, and seems to be enjoying the close intimacy of it all.

The manual cost $3 in the used bin -- its photos make it worth every penny. ;^)

andreios
9-Jan-2015, 00:36
Books on print retouching - I have three.
"Print Finishing" by William Mortensen
"The Art of retouching and improving Negatives and Prints" by Arthur Hammond
"Retouching from start to finish" by Veronica Cass
The last book is also a good intro to the Adams Retouching Machine which can be useful for exhibition-quality prints.

Doug, thanks for these tips - most useful, as I am just trying to learn this art / craft.

christopher walrath
10-Jan-2015, 18:27
I have Kingslake, Neblette and much of Adams' books and love them all. Probably my favorite photography book of all would be my copy (original, not photocopied) of the U. S. Army Photography Manual 1-219, printed in 1942 or 3. I have an extensive library of older manuals and books. But for me, in spite of having two copies of The Negative, Joe's book takes the cake.

jp
10-Jan-2015, 18:57
Mortensen's "Pictorial Lighting" and "The Model"
Dow's "Composition: Understanding Line,Notan and Color"

Less instructional and more inspirational old books I have are
First edition (I have later editions which are still old, but have seen 1st edition at the library) of Eliot Porter's books.
Books that are newer than me I won't call old...

One old one from 1909 I have is "The Flute of the Gods" which contains many nice little photogravure prints of Edward S Curtis for a modest cost.
(pardon the green cast from my cfl bulbs)
127883127884

Teodor Oprean
16-Jan-2015, 23:20
I like the books written by Andreas Feininger. He was was both a great photographer and a great teacher of photography.

richardman
16-Jan-2015, 23:33
I love photo books. They are inspiring. In terms of "old" books, I am a big fan of the Henri Cartier Bresson Decisive Moment and Robert Frank's The Americans. Neither is LF of course.

Randy Moe
17-Jan-2015, 00:31
Today the mail delivered 'Retouching From Start to Finish' by Veronica Cass Weiss, Craftsman Photographer, 1986 4th Printing revised. My movie making buddies were shaking their heads on my continuing wasteful purchases!

A $10 book is just insane, they think. I love it has detailed descriptions of using an Adams Retouching Machine. I have a Homer English Retouching Machine which seems similar.

I find my book better than a $10 beer, which is to becoming the norm these days...