The Book of Alternative Photographic Processes: 2 nd Edition

 copyright © 2007 Christopher James


“The first edition was a stunning achievement, and one I felt that was not likely to be superceded. Five short years later Christopher James has created a very new work and a new standard. The Book of Alternative Photographic Processes: 2nd Edition is, by far, the best alternative photographic process book ever!”

Richard Sullivan, Founder and Co-Owner, Bostick & Sullivan

The Book of Alternative Photographic Processes: 2 nd Edition

Christopher James

The first edition of The Book of Alternative Photographic Processes received unprecedented critical acclaim and is recognized as the definitive reference text in alternative process photography. With his congenial and conversational writing style, Christopher James enthusiastically details the processes, idiosyncrasies, history, and cultural connections of the genre. Best of all, Christopher makes alternative processes accessible, providing clear instructions and workflows. This significantly expanded 2nd edition is a comprehensive resource, exploring every aspect of alternative process image making.


• Examines the history and techniques including: lensless cameras, calotype, salted paper, anthotype, cyanotype, argyrotype, chrysotype, POP, kallitype, ambrotype, wet collodion & gelatin dry plate emulsions, Van Dyke, platinum / palladium, Ziatype, carbon, gum bichromate, albumen, alternative paper, emulsions, & imaging systems, and digital negative workflows.

· An extraordinary and abundant visual resource with rare historical images and contemporary work from artists, including; Sally Mann, Michael Kenna, Chuck Close, Dan Estabrook, David Hockney, Christopher James, Anselm Keifer, France Scully Osterman & Mark Osterman, Luis Gonzalez Palma, Judy Seigel, George Tice, and Mike Ware. As well, there is a significant collection of student work to "set the bar" in any learning environment.

• Complete table and sink set-ups for all alternative processes

• Extensive appendices including: chemistry and safety, resources, supply lists, conversion tables and historical & contemporary bibliographies.

“As bit strings take over our photographic being – if not our lives – we need, more than ever, this playful and inspiring manual. James cheerfully and effectively instructs us, whether we are novice or adept, in the alchemical arts of transmuting our expressive photographic images, both digital and analogue, into hand-crafted prints which will forever bear our individual marks.”

Dr. Mike Ware , Author of over 50 publications on alternative process, history, process and preservation.

About the Author

Christopher James is an internationally recognized artist whose paintings and photographs have been exhibited in galleries and museums in this country and abroad. His work has been published and shown extensively, including shows in The Museum of Modern Art, The Metropolitan Museum of Art, The George Eastman House, and the Philadelphia Museum of Art and he has lectured and given alternative process workshops throughout the world. James taught at Harvard University from 1978 – 1991 and is currently the Chair of the Photography at The Art Institute of Boston at Lesley University.


“Christopher James has taken the most thorough book on the hand-made photograph and made it even more complete. It's full of every technical detail, historical anecdote and experimental idea he's found over many years of research, practice and teaching, without sacrificing an ounce of his familiar enthusiasm and good humor. Even if you weren't interested in alternative photographic processes, you could read this book for pleasure alone.”

Dan Estabrook , Artist, NYC


“Expert alternative printers I know call Christopher James' first edition "the Bible." Now it's an even more lushly illustrated Bible, with clear and complete directions for every process in history. Christopher James has been leading, inspiring, and teaching delighted students for years, in every medium in the field. We are so lucky… he knows everything in the world about all of it.”

Judy Seigel , Publisher/Editor of World Journal of Post-Factory Photography


Web page last updated December 24, 2007
All pinhole images in this page copyright © 2007 Christopher James