A very quick update on the progress of the new edition…

It appears that the new edition of The Book of Alternative Photographic Processes is going to be a bit larger than we had planned. This is primarily due to the amazing amount, and quality, of work from hundreds of alternative process artists, that has been arriving at the studio for the past few months. If I don’t write a single word the book will be worth every penny simply as a contemporary and historical catalogue of the genre.

As well, I’m re-writing all of the chapters from start to finish, updating improved formulas and techniques, totally re-doing the Digital Options chapter with the inclusion of fast and easy work-flows for making digital negatives on Pictorico OHP films. Other chapters getting complete revisions will be The Kallitypes, Wet Collodion, I’m also adding more chapters and processes including The Calotype, Carbon, Argyrotype, Chrysotype, Tin Type, and many more. We’re expecting the book to be somewhere between 500-600 pages with about 450 images.

Right now the projected market debut will be next spring but at the current pace (since I’m on sabbatical from The Art Institute of Boston) it might be out earlier. Here’s the projected layout of the new edition:



Forward Matter: TOC, Introduction, Acknowledgements

  1. Pinhole
  2. Negative
  3. Digital Options
  4. Calotype
  5. Salted paper
  6. Anthotype
  7. Cyanotype
  8. Cyanotype variations
  9. Argyrotype
  10. Van Dyke, Brown Print, and Blue Van Dyke
  11. Kallitype
  12. Chrysotype
  13. Platinum Palladium
  14. Ziatype
  15. Paper, History, and Preparation
  16. Gum Bichromate
  17. Dichromate Options: Chromatype, 3D Gum, Dusting-On, alternative surfaces
  18. Carbon
  19. POP
  20. Hand Applied Emulsions & Tin Type
  21. Albumen
  22. Wet Collodion
  23. Mordançage


    1. A--Chemistry
    2. B--Conversion Tables
    3. C--Light
    4. D--UV Exposure Unit
    5. E--The Plastic Camera
    6. F--Your Working Space
    7. G--Alternative Process Shopping List
    8. H--Resources
    9. I--Internet Artist Sites
    10. J--Bibliography

October 2006
Second Edition Gets Green Light! :

The second edition of The Book of Alternative Photographic Processes has been given the green light and is now underway. Thomson Delmar, the publisher, has authorized significant funding for the new edition as well as a sizeable increase in pages (50-100) and illustrations (150+ to the existing 300). Expected publication date is early 2008.

The new edition will feature a lot of new content. I intend to retain the easy going, conversational, style of the writing… How could I do otherwise? Teachers tell me that it is this writing personality, and no-concrete rules attitude, that makes it successful with their students. The book will continue to be about the joy of process over product.

I will be completely updating the digital chapter and introducing a totally revamped digital negative technique that is extremely low-tech and easily assimilated by both beginners and pros. As well, this new digital chapter will deal with simplified methods of working with digital technology in a cooperative way so that that technology is seen as a tool in the process rather than an either / or choice.

I will be adding many new features including new chapters  such as the  Carbon Process, the Chrysotype, Mike Ware’s gold processes, and more. I will also add “Table Set-Up” and “Sink Set-Up” side-bars for every process… this will make getting organized for lab work a lot easier.

There will also be a lot of modified, and improved, formulas for many of the processes. A good example is a new Kallitype developer that I worked out with my workshop students this past summer in Santa Fe, NY, and Maine. The Kallitype has always been plagued by yellowish highlights. This problem is corrected by simply creating a hybrid combination developer of sodium acetate and ammonium citrate. Presto! No more yellow highlight details. If you want the new developer formula just send me an email. There is a lot more and I’m really excited about getting underway with the project.

This spring I’m taking a sabbatical, from my position as Chair of the Photography Department at The Art Institute of Boston at Lesley University, for research and writing. In the meantime, I am hunting for new work for the book and am specifically interested in getting new examples for the following: Salted Paper, Carbon Process, Chrysotype and gold processes, gum bichromate, examples of combination processes, and any digital / alternative process combinations.

I’ll update the progress as I go along, and as always, invite your comments and inquiries.


Summer 2006

Publication in China

Jim Gish, Senior Acquisitions Editor at Thomson Delmar, publisher of The Book of Alternative Photographic Processes, reports that Delmar’s Foreign Rights agent in London has secured the following translation rights: The Book of Alternative Photographic Processes — Chinese Simplified.

Publication date is expected to be May 2007.

Second Edition

Since it’s publication in 2001, The Book of Alternative Photographic Processes has done extremely well. The book has been adopted as required text both nationally and internationally and has also shown growth in its retail market share for consecutive years.

Thomson Delmar has indicated that it is time to begin planning for the book’s second edition and my editor, Jim Gish, and I are getting together this month to begin the process. Initial thoughts are for a fall 2007 publication date.

I’ve already begun soliciting new work from first edition artists and requesting submissions from new artists, and student artists, whose work I have been looking at for the last few years. I’ve also got well over a hundred new files with process updates, new materials, and new processes that were not in the first edition… and am planning to include a few traditional processes that I didn't have space for in the first book. I'm really looking forward to creating this edition and will keep you posted as we get close to publication.