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Photographic Possibilities

The Expressive Use of Equipment, Ideas, Materials, and Processes, 3rd Edition

By Robert Hirsch

  1. ISBN: 9780240810133
  2. Publication Date: December 2008
  3. Format: Paperback
  4. Pages: 300
  5. Price:
    • $41.95 (USD)
    • £24.99 (GBP)
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Serious imagemakers have come to trust and depend on this resource of innovative and traditional photographic processes that to enhance their technical knowledge, create astonishing pictures, and raise their visual consciousness.

This concise and reliable handbook provides professional and advanced photography students with practical pathways of utilizing diverse photographic methods to produce engaging, expressive pictures from an informed aesthetic and conceptual position.

This update, in full color for this first time, offers new links between analog and digital photography by featuring clear, up-to-date, step-by-step instructions on topics ranging from making ambrotypes and digital negatives to pre-picturemaking activities that utilize a thinking system to visually realize what is in your mind's eye in an effective and safe manner.

This edition vividly showcases the thought-provoking work of over 140 international artists including Peter Beard, Dan Burkholder, Carl Chiarenza, Michael Kenna, Dinh Q. Lê, Joe Mills, Andrea Modica, Bea Nettles, France Scully and Mark Osterman, Robert & Shana ParkeHarrison, Holly Roberts, Martha Rosler, Mike and Doug Starn, John Sexton, Brian Taylor, Jerry Uelsmann, and Joel Peter Witkin as well as other major and emerging talents. Image captions explain how each artist technically realized their vision and concept.

All technical information and resources have been refreshed to provide the latest data for acquiring the products needed for these processes. Above all, this comprehensive reference provides field-proven know-how, encouragement, inspiration, and a profuse compendium of promising photo-based explorations one can discover and pursue.

Author Bio

Robert Hirsch is a photographer, writer, and the Director of Light Research ( His books include Seizing the Light: A History of Photography, Photographic Possibilities: The Expressive Use of Ideas, Materials, and Processes, and Exploring Color Photography. Hirsch is a former Associate Editor for Digital Camera (UK) and Photovision Magazine, and a contributor to Afterimage, exposure, Buffalo Spree, Fotophile, FYI, History of Photography, Ilford Photo Instructor Newsletter, and The Photo Review, as well as former Director of CEPA Gallery.


Chapter 1: Essential Moments in Photographic Printmaking
Chapter 2: Predarkroom Actions: Imaginative Thinking and Personal Safety
Chapter 3: Image Capture: Special-Use Films, Processing and Digital Negative Making
Chapter 4: Formulas of One's Own
Chapter 5: Black-and-White Film Developers
Chapter 6: Analog Fine Printmaking: Equipment, Materials, and Processes
Chapter 7: Black-and-White Paper Developers
Chapter 8: Toning for Visual Effects
Chapter 9: Special Cameras and Equipment
Chapter 10: Historic and Alternative Processes: Beauty, Imagination and Inventiveness
Chapter 11: Transforming Photographic Concepts: Expanding the Lexicon