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John Blakemore's Black and White Photography Workshop Paperback – 15 Apr 2005

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Product details

  • Paperback: 160 pages
  • Publisher: David & Charles PLC (15 April 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0715317210
  • ISBN-13: 978-0715317211
  • Product Dimensions: 18.9 x 1.4 x 24.6 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (12 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 484,392 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • See Complete Table of Contents

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Product Description


This is a unique insight into the art of one of photography's most influential practitioners and one of its most important teachers. --Black and White Photography

About the Author

Starting as a freelance photographer in 1956, John Blakemore soon emerged as England's leading landscape photographer, later transferring his unique and elegant photographic style into areas as diverse as still life, documentary, portraiture and Polaroid colour. His work is included in the public collections of, among others, the Royal Photographic Society, the Victoria & Albert Museum, the Arts Council of Great Britian, the Los Angeles County Museum, the Fotografiska Museet, Stokholm, and the British Council. He has had one-man exhibitions all over the world including in London, LA and New York, and a British Council Touring Exhibition to Eastern Europe, South America and China. He has had four monographs of his work published, and has given public workshops for over 25 years establishing himself as one of the UK's best known photography teachers. He also taught photography at the University of Derby for many years and, recently retired, is now Emeritus Professor of Photography. He lives in Derby, UK.

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40 of 41 people found the following review helpful By Roy Hammans on 30 Oct. 2005
Format: Hardcover
Why produce a book on the art of producing fine photographs, using film, paper and chemicals, at a time when the manufacturers of conventional materials are struggling to survive and the move to digital imaging is inexorable?
Because this is much more than a 'how to' book for traditional photography. It a book about 'strategies' and the development of a personal photographic style related to subject and intention, based around the landscape and still life work of one of the UK's foremost practitioners. The contents are a visual delight and the book serves both as a monograph and a practical manual.
Those with a desire to learn techniques related to film-based photography will find much of benefit here, but the concepts and approaches are equally relevant to all camera users with a desire to produce expressive results. I had the good fortune to spend a week working with John Blakemore over 25 years ago and the experience fuelled my desire to explore all that a photograph can offer as a personal statement. This desire has never left me, and I am still exploring the possibilities and discovering new approaches. Blakemore's writing style is very accessible and he relays his personal approach in an understated and very honest manner. One definitely gets the impression that we are viewing 'work in progress' and that there are many more visual delights to come from his camera, all built upon the solid foundation of approach and technique conveyed so well in these pages. Technical information, although consistently related to darkroom work, can also provide useful guidance to anyone using a digital camera and Adobe Photoshop achieve their results.
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16 of 17 people found the following review helpful By MattW on 30 Dec. 2007
Format: Hardcover
This book has already received a couple of very well written reviews and I don't want to try and emulate these (and fail!). All I will say is that this is probably the most important book I have read or own on fine art photography.

(although it is aimed at the "fine print" genre, I believe that the thorough understanding required of exposure and printing techniques is invaluable for all other types of photography.)

The book covers both traditional technique (brilliantly, and so easy to digest) together with the development of ones own style and subjects - thus I would recommend this book to photographers shooting exclusively digitally aswell as the obvious audience of traditional fine art photographers.

Saying that, it is undoubtedly traditional photographers who will benefit most from this book and, being one of those, this is a very welcome book to appear at a time when the world has gone digital mad.

As an example, the Zone System is explained superbly and in this sense the book is a great accompaniment to Ansel Adams "The Negative" and "The Print" - for anyone who finds the Zone System difficult to get to grips with, irrelevant or boring, Blakemore's chapter in the book on exposure ("Postvisualisation") is excellent.

Buy this book, however you capture or print images, as it will lend a superb understanding of what makes a great monochrome photograph.
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36 of 43 people found the following review helpful By londonreader21 on 1 April 2005
Format: Hardcover
John Blakemore is one of those very rare individuals in British photography whose work is known, and appreciated, across the entire spectrum of the craft. Whether you talk to advertising or editorial photographers, artists or darkroom specialists, his reputation is held in equal respect. One of the strengths of his imagery lies in its elements of accessibility. It's work that someone entirely new to photography can approach and enjoy. Yet it retains a multi-layered sophistication normally entirely detached from the more popular end of photographic practice.

In looking at the images enclosed within this new book I'm reminded of a piece written in the late eighties: considering in passing how so many of his admirers wax lyrical over the seductive beauty of his still lives without ever discerning the more savage element of their construction, and the metaphors implied. For the delicate flower still lives include subjects mutilated to expose their sexuality, along with other examples of the same flora deprived of the water that would have extended their existence. Allowed to wrinkle, shrivel, and dry they attest to their brief mortality: instigating thought trails leading perhaps towards humanity's own transient tenure on life.

Uncommonly for a book on technique, chapter one starts out by attempting to define a relationship between the medium and the message. For meaning flows freely from the shifting tones on these paper prints. Later on we'll learn about the mysteries of Dr Beer's developer: mixed as two baths, soft and hard, puritanical sounding when voiced, yet in the hands of a craftsman offering infinite possibilities for the final print. But at the outset it's meaning that is paramount.

Blakemore was always said to be an adherent of Ansel Adams' Zone system.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By J. Rolfe on 20 May 2011
Format: Hardcover
A lovely book, and full of great detail about image composition and processing back in the chemistry days. Still very relevant in the digital age though as while the techniques may be different, the principles and application are the same.
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