Another photography book found it’s way on my shelf: Experimental Photography – a handbook of techniques. When it comes to photography, thinking outside the box is always a good idea. A book full of inspiration makes sure that you don’t run out of ideas. So, what to expect from this book?
Experimental photography is something I always enjoy. When I saw this book, I just had to buy it. First of all, not everything in this book is an experiment. There are also plenty of old techniques like the cyanotype and the Vandyke process. But, with digital cameras everywhere, these processes feel like experiments nowadays.
5 chapters (and the index) make it easy to find the techniques you’re most interested in:
- Cameraless photography
- Handmade, Toy and disposable cameras
- Operative hacks
- Print experimentation and techniques
- Post-printing experimentation
Most of the techniques are laid out on two pages with a lot of images and easy to follow instructions.
It’s not a book that you read from the first page to the last one but it’s a lot of fun browsing. For some projects you’ll need chemicals, other techniques are easier and need less equipment. You can make your own slit-scan camera with black card and some tape, alter your photographs by bleaching or print your images on leafs by making chlorophyll prints. I really like that many techniques are quite easy and really managable to do. In the book you’ll also find interviews with artists who work with different techniques to achieve unique looks in their art.
Analog vs. digital
Will you enjoy the book if you only shoot digital? Maybe if you are really interested in photography, but certainly not as much as an analog shooter will do. But I’d be surprised if you don’t buy an analog camera, a roll of film or at least a pack of photographic paper after having a look into “Experimental Photography”.
Experimental Photography – A handbook of techniques // M. Antonini, S. Minniti, F. Gómez, G. Lungarella, L. Bendandi
2015, Thames and Hudson Lt.