The making of fine monochrome prints

Book Cover: Elements by Barry Thornton
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Reviews:Sidewayseye wrote:

I think the best of Thornton's books, better in my opinion to 'Edge of Darkness', although that is very good too.

I first came across Thornton's name when I was at the Inversnaid Photography Centre on the banks of Loch Lomond in 2001. André Goulancourt who ran the centre was full of praise for him. He was a regular visitor there. He died two years later - his untimely death was a big loss to the UK fine print photography scene.

The book is organised into a technical section and then a number of images through which Thornton describes the problems he had to solve in order to get the images to his liking.

For any aspiring film photographer or darkroom worker or even advanced practitioner this book has it all: great images, a profound knowledge of film and developer characteristics, the judgments and trade-offs made to make the images.

Thornton's style is as a 'no nonsense photographer' rather than as an 'artist'. He mistrusted art-speak. I think this is his strength. His tremendous technical knowledge that came from years of trial and error coupled with an acerbic wit makes the book very readable.

This is one of the best books on the making of fine monochrome prints in my library. It's good because he allows you into his thought process in visualising his images.


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