I think it was two weeks ago a client from the photo store I work for came in and told me the book store across the street had a really nice book about a collection of Daguerreotypes originating from the Netherlands. I thanked him for the heads-up and planned to look up the book as soon as I had my lunch break. He offered to check for me if the book was still in stock. Ten minutes later he returned with what looked to be a book wrapped in gift paper. It was that specific book 🙂
It turned out to be a book on a collection of Daguerreotypes from one single family; Family Enschedé from Haarlem NL. They were able to trace 100 daguerreotypes, of which 81 are part of the collection of the Museum Enschedé in Haarlem and 19 still reside in the family’s hands, including a lot of letters going back and forth from different relatives in the family. With the help of these and additional diaries and account books they were able to trace these daguerreotypes back to this family, and even in great lines who was portrayed by which photographer. They have discovered and preserved a well-organised family archive which actually is one of the biggest photographic collections in the world of one single family.
The fascinating part here is that the preserved daguerreotypes are from the actual beginning of the invention of this process. Through their letters it becomes clear that this new miracle really is very special in the eyes of a lot of people and that certain members of the family make efforts in learning and working with this very process themselves which results in quite a bit of home-made daguerreotypes.
There’s also a chapter in this book dedicated to the technical aspects of this particular process and restoration of the images. All of the 100 daguerreotypes have been displayed in the catalogue section of the book with a proper description, as complete as was possible. Interesting!
One of the other books I came to finally finishing is “Ways of Seeing” by John Berger. Recommended to me when I was studying photography I immediately bought it but started reading it years later haha, and finished it past week. It’s an interesting book, have to read it again and try to read it all in one go (it’s not huge) but presents a different way of looking at things: art, oil paintings in relation to (modern) advertising, the presence of women (albeit nude or not) and how this differs from the presence of men and publicity. An interesting read, worthy of re-reading as I’ll probably notice more relations etc. during a second seeing.
I’ve also ordered another book, also touching the subject of ways of seeing: “Beeldspraak” from Ton Hendriks (thanks John for the heads-up!). More on that later 🙂
A while back I ordered some books from Amazon, along with a copy of “Keepers of Light” which I mentioned some time ago. I’d like to share the other two as well as they are really great books. The first one is “Coming Into Focus” by John Barnier and the second one is “Historic Photographic Processes” by Richard Farber.
I often referred to The Book of Alternative Photographic Processes by Christopher James, but really, I like these a whole lot better. The information is set up in a more clarifying way and more properly described.
Have a good read!
As Dutch people know de Slegte, a nationally spread book store, is merging with Selexyz. Across from where I work there lies a Slegte but not for long. The upside is that they have their books on sale which made me walk in there today (otherwise I would not have simply because I don’t like this particular store on the being- friendly-level). Luckily I did because I found some nice ones!
Normally I hardly ever check out their ‘new’ department, mostly because it contains lots of books about nudity and other, to me, irrelevant subject matters. Since it was laying opposite of the second hand section I thought looking both sides wasn’t that much of a pain. You never know…and what did I find…?
Yes, that’s right. “America and the Tintype” by Steven Kasher. As I’m pretty much only familiar with the static portraits which we all know from the ‘ancient’ days this book surprised me with quite the opposite in images. It has photos of post-mortem children, I mean who doesn’t like those, but also of “man making funny face” or “man with feet on table” or “ice skater with bandaged head and knee and bottle of liquor” or “two unidentified men playing with their cigars” or “decapitated man with head on a platter”. A real quirky book in other words!
I also bought “Case Histories | The Presentation of the Victorian Photographic Portrait 1840-1875”. This I bought out of mere interest. The casings on old photographs are pretty fascinating and it’s interesting reading a bit about their background, even though it’s limited to British manufacturers only.
Last but not least, “Eugène Atget’s Paris” by Taschen. I’ve always admired his work and still beat myself up, verbally that is of course, for having missed his exhibition in Rotterdam last year. I’ll have to do with books for now 😉
Anyways, that was it for today. Getting ready for the Big Collodion test tomorrow!
I’ve bought some new books (yuy) and today some arrived! The first I’ll share with you I bought on the advise of Jeroen. He mentioned this book as a interesting take on alternative processes as opposed to the one I have used so far, the “Book of Alternative Photographic Processes” by Christopher James. “The Keepers of Light – a History & Working Guide to Early Photographic Processes” is written by William Crawford and I bought my copy second hand from Amazon. The only thing I might ask prior to buying preloved books in the future is whether the former owner was a smoker… From what I’ve read so far it’s really well written, on top of that reads easily and contains a whole lot of precious information. I’m looking forward to reading more!
Edit 13 Oct. 2014: I should have written more extensively about this book as the first part of the book really is so interesting to me. The following review describes exactly what I find so awesome about it so I’ll refrain from (failing to) topping it by just posting the link here 🙂
Review “Keepers of Light”
The second book I received today is “The Master Photographer’s Toning Book” written by Tim Rudman. I already planned on buying this and after a little chat with Thomas Bertillson on Instagram I decided to finally take the plunge and buy it. A nice anecdote from the website of the seller: “Since this book sold out both UK and US editions and the publisher decided not to reprint for such a niche market, it has been commanding crazy prices for second hand copies on the internet. The highest reported was on Amazon for $999.99. Whilst this is clearly unusual the book is regularly advertised for several hundred $s or £s. For the last few years there has been a rising demand for a reprint at cover price – and at last, here it is. The rights have now reverted to the author, Tim Rudman, and in collaboration with Silverprint Ltd of London he has arranged a reprint from the original files by a printer that will give the same high quality production as the original. Despite inflation since this book was first printed in 2002 the cover price currently remains at £25.” Anyway, I thought that was funny 😉 I’m still awaiting two more books, hope they”ll arrive shortly!