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Author Topic: Ansel's book - Camera & Lens, The Negative & The Print?  (Read 3327 times)

outdoorslover

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Ansel's book - Camera & Lens, The Negative & The Print?
« on: August 28, 2016, 05:14:17 PM »

Hi all,

I've been a photographer for a long time, and love Black & White. Most recently I've been looking at Ansel Adams books - "The Camera & Lens", "The Negative" and "The Print", and thinking of purchasing them. I'm not too interested in replicating the zone system, but would love to pick up any good tidbits on exposure, processing (though digitally, not with film), and printing.

Is anyone familiar with these books? Any good? Worthwhile read? What did you like/learn from them?

Thanks,

Jeff
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aduke

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Re: Ansel's book - Camera & Lens, The Negative & The Print?
« Reply #1 on: August 28, 2016, 05:18:00 PM »

Try your public library. It may have copies. Also, B&H Photo has some reprints of all three priced at $15.00.

Alan
« Last Edit: August 28, 2016, 05:21:46 PM by aduke »
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N80

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Re: Ansel's book - Camera & Lens, The Negative & The Print?
« Reply #2 on: August 28, 2016, 09:11:17 PM »

I think The Camera and The Negative are must read books for any serious photographer. The Print will be less relevant unless you intend to do dark room printing.

The Camera starts out extremely basic. But even if you are a seasoned photographer it is good to go over the basics. It discusses the optics behind focal length, perspective, f stops etc. It spends time talking about various film formats with more time given to large format, but the approach to large format shooting is informative. It also discusses elements of composition. I also liked Adam's no nonsense style of writing.

The Negative is heavy into the Zone System. I think B&W photographers, especially younger ones, would all benefit from an understanding of the Zone System as a basis for thinking about exposure decisions. Matrix/Adaptive metering makes exposure choice almost a none-event for most of us (and most of the time it does and excellent job) but there are times and situations in which it is good to know how your exposure choices will affect your final product, particularly if you will be printing. I would agree with people who say the step-by-step approach to the Zone System is outdated, but the real point of the Zone System is really about how each exposure decision you make affects your final output. I also think it helps understand the importance of tone in B&W photography. It is also helpful in understanding products like SilverEfex Pro.

So yes, I would read them. I own them and have for a long time.
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Eric Myrvaagnes

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Re: Ansel's book - Camera & Lens, The Negative & The Print?
« Reply #3 on: August 28, 2016, 09:18:53 PM »

I buried myself in them back in the 1960s and '70s, and they were truly extraordinary.
A few years ago I donated them to a school that had just built a new photography library, and they were thrilled to get them.
So i can't give you mine. But Alan's suggestions are good.
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-Eric Myrvaagnes    (A sampler of my new book is on my website.)
http://myrvaagnes.com  Visit my photo website. New images each season. Also visit my new website: http://ericneedsakidney.org

Patricia Sheley

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Re: Ansel's book - Camera & Lens, The Negative & The Print?
« Reply #4 on: August 28, 2016, 10:49:30 PM »

~in agreement with all the above. Eric and I haunted many of the same paths in those exciting days. I can only add that one can never know what individual particle will resonate for someone on a seeking path, but the opportunities abound within these works for that lightning strike. Lumine!
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Herbc

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Re: Ansel's book - Camera & Lens, The Negative & The Print?
« Reply #5 on: August 29, 2016, 08:51:36 AM »

Anybody who grew up in the Large format scene knows these well.  You might also try his "40 photographs" which is informative. 8)
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Eric Myrvaagnes

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Re: Ansel's book - Camera & Lens, The Negative & The Print?
« Reply #6 on: August 29, 2016, 09:51:03 AM »

Anybody who grew up in the Large format scene knows these well.  You might also try his "40 photographs" which is informative. 8)
+1.
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-Eric Myrvaagnes    (A sampler of my new book is on my website.)
http://myrvaagnes.com  Visit my photo website. New images each season. Also visit my new website: http://ericneedsakidney.org

DeanChriss

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Re: Ansel's book - Camera & Lens, The Negative & The Print?
« Reply #7 on: August 29, 2016, 10:00:13 AM »

I found that "The Print" describes a number of techniques that can be adapted to digital printing though there is also quite a bit that is not adaptable, like sections on developers and paper grades.
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outdoorslover

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Re: Ansel's book - Camera & Lens, The Negative & The Print?
« Reply #8 on: August 29, 2016, 10:58:10 AM »

I was bitten by the photography bug, back in the early 80's in High school and loved doing B&W in the darkroom. I've never touched a large format camera, but have had my fair share of medium format film cameras, which I still have but don't use. I now have a line of Canons that I shoot with (10D up to my 5D Mk III), and a couple tilt-shift lens, which I absolutely love. Most of the stuff that I shoot is color, but I LOVE B&W, and have done a lot of conversions with LR/PS + NIK over the years.

I picked up "Ansel Adams 400 Photographs" the other day, and got inspired to convert a lot of my stuff that was shot during the wrong time of day for color, to B&W, as much of it would look great. And being that I live in the Bay Area of California, I should probably follow the master's teachings.  :D
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pegelli

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Re: Ansel's book - Camera & Lens, The Negative & The Print?
« Reply #9 on: August 29, 2016, 12:18:28 PM »

I have them and while not fully applicable to all aspects of digital B&W they provide a very meaningful foundation. I read them fully from cover to cover years ago and still look through them occasionally. When I was working in the darkroom I tried some of his printing techniques on 24x36 mm negatives (with mixed success).

If you can find it another option is to get "Basic Techniques of Photography, an Ansel Adams Guide" by John P Shaefer (ISBN 0-8212-1801-8  90000) which is a slightly modernized version of the three original books combined into one, but still heavily into real chemical darkroom work vs. digital.
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outdoorslover

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Re: Ansel's book - Camera & Lens, The Negative & The Print?
« Reply #10 on: August 30, 2016, 06:38:10 PM »

If you can find it another option is to get "Basic Techniques of Photography, an Ansel Adams Guide" by John P Shaefer (ISBN 0-8212-1801-8  90000) which is a slightly modernized version of the three original books combined into one, but still heavily into real chemical darkroom work vs. digital.

I was able to find it on Amazon.com for $0.34 + $3.99 shipping, so I ordered it.

Thanks for the suggestion.
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GrahamBy

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Re: Ansel's book - Camera & Lens, The Negative & The Print?
« Reply #11 on: September 02, 2016, 08:36:07 AM »

So back when I was about 13 or so in the mid 70's, I wanted to understand how shutter speed related to f-stops, and I asked my mother if she'd buy me a book on the technical side of photography.
She somehow brought home Michael Langford's Basic Photography. I think it had a separate chapter on each camera movement, long discussions on response curves and development times, methods of ISO determination, optical theory. So I got a bit more than I bargained for, but swallowed it whole. Then went on to his Advanced Photography which explained how colour worked :)

Fantastic stuff. Just looked and it's now up to edition 9 and it gets into digital in the first volume... things move on :)
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lowep

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Re: Ansel's book - Camera & Lens, The Negative & The Print?
« Reply #12 on: September 06, 2016, 09:13:15 PM »

aristotle´s poetics is also worth reading - for the same reasons
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N80

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Re: Ansel's book - Camera & Lens, The Negative & The Print?
« Reply #13 on: September 07, 2016, 08:57:10 AM »

Agreed. Classics are always relevant.
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George

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