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Thread: Must read books for large format photography?

  1. #1

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    Must read books for large format photography?

    Please recommend books for a newbie's library. I have printed and punched several article form the home page and they are in a binder. I have the three AA books and look at them a lot. What else should I have. I am looking for more technical oriented books but would also appreciate some on composition, and seeing, and art as it applies to photography. What have you found helpful? I live in west central Illinois and struggle to find landscapes. I know they are here. How do I see them?

    Thanks

    Ken

  2. #2

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    Re: Must read books for large format photography?

    Steve Simmons' Understanding the View Camera and Leslie Strobel's View Camera Technique are often recommended here. Surprisingly, Jim Stone's A User's Guide to the View Camera is highly recommended (the site says: "In my opinion, the best book on view camera technique") is highly recommended on the French LF forum.

  3. #3

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    Re: Must read books for large format photography?

    "Large Format Nature Photography" by Jack Dykinga, gives an excellent over view of camera technique and composition from a landscape photographers p.o.v, particularly if you are looking at doing any colour work. David Ward's books "Landscape Within" and "Landscape Beyond" look beyond the obvious "how to" and explore some of the more philosophical aspects of landscape photography.

  4. #4

    Re: Must read books for large format photography?

    'The Nature of Photographs' by Stephen Shore (the first edition has better reproductions)

    'Landscape: Theory' published in 1980 by Lustrum Press

    'Looking at Photographs' John Szarkowski, 1973 MOMA

    "Andreas Gursky' MOMA catalog from 2001, essay by Peter Galassi is pretty good

    check out Interlibrary Loan through your local library....

  5. #5
    Jim Jones's Avatar
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    Re: Must read books for large format photography?

    The AA books on large format have been published in several editions over two or three decades. I like the early ones for the distinct AA flavor and the later ones for clarity and more up-to-date information. Leslie Stroebel's View Camera Technique was also published in several editions. The basic information in the early editions is still valid. Later editions may be worth their price for those using later equipment and products. For a graduate course in black & white photography, although not restricted to large format, Way Beyond Monochrome by Lambrecht and Woodhouse excels.

    I haven't seen many thrilling landscapes in central Illinois, but a trip east on Highway 36 into Parke County, Indiana, may be worth the time for its over two dozen covered bridges. To make the most of that expedition, plan ahead. There's a lot to photograph if you are well organized. Long ago, when I had the opportunity to briefly visit exotic places in foreign countries, spending as much time in research and planning as actually photographing there was a worthwhile investment. Closer to home, a long lens on a camera helps one to select good distant subjects from bland vistas. Get off the major highways. Drive slow, or do like Edward Weston and leave the driving to a sympathetic friend.

  6. #6

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    Re: Must read books for large format photography?

    With those books you already have virtually everything technical that you'll ever need.
    Now, what you need is something to excite your passions -- not the great Iconic images such as Weston's Pepper #30, or Adams' Moonrise, but excellent and inspiring images of subject matter less than awe-inspiring.
    My thoughts are Imprints by David Plowden, and Time in New England by Paul Strand.
    Wilhelm (Sarasota)

  7. #7

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    Re: Must read books for large format photography?

    MATTERS OF LIGHT AND DEPTH, by Ross Lowel. He makes Lowel Lights.

    This is a book about lighting and light. Quality and control. It is not a book of schematics and diagrams but one of how light works with a camera - either still or video.

  8. #8

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    Re: Must read books for large format photography?

    And if you want an alternative to buying books there is this: http://www.largeformatphotography.info/

  9. #9

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    Re: Must read books for large format photography?

    For inspiration of what can be found in the urban landscape consider something by Alvin Langdon Coburn, there is an excellent book about his work by Mike Weaver called Alvin Langdon Coburn Symbolist Photographer published by Aperture in 1986 and available used, I recently picked up a copy for about $30 from Amazon.

    His work is also available online free, one good place is Luminous Lint where some of his images can be found http://www.luminous-lint.com/app/pho...don__Coburn/C/

    Studying the work of master photographers is a pleasure and inspirational I find.

  10. #10
    jp's Avatar
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    Re: Must read books for large format photography?

    I'd also suggest looking to photo history to see how LF was done well. More recent history has Eliot Porter for color intimate landscapes; perhaps an option where you don't have grand landscapes like out west. I'm a fan of the pictorialist movement, so I have bought about every book that related to the photographers of the photo secession. Pictorialism into Modenism is a good little book. Truth Beauty Pictorialism and the photograph as art is good. "After the Photo secession" is fantastic. There are some good Edward S Curtis books as well; he covered a lot of different styles with LF during his career/obsession.

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