Jill Enfields’ new book Guide To Photographic Alternative Processes has an impressive depth of information, editorial voice, variety of processes, and excellent examples of contemporary artists using the processes.
The only complaint I would have is the type is small and the paper should be brighter. This might be a reflection of my age and the need for reading glasses. On the plus side, I like how the book is sized to fit easily in a camera bag. I predict several chemistry stains throughout the pages from repeated use.
The topics she covers are: digital negs, fugitive printing (not mug shots), cyanotypes, Salt and albumen prints, Van dyke and other “brown” prints, platinum, wet plate collodion, liquid emulsion, gum printing, transfers and ceramic printing. Lots of stuff and worth the money. As I read each chapter, I noticed she anticipates each question that would come up and provides a concise answer. A guidebook should not be complicated to read.
I need easy to read manuals, full of information and able to pique my curiosity to learn more. My go-to books are Dick Arentz’s platinum printing book, the Osterman’s wet plate collodion book, and now Jill’s book on everything else.
As a teacher, I need an alt process manual that gives more than a thumbnail of the topics I like to cover. My students at NESOP are voracious for alt process information and their contemporary applications. Jill’s book does this clearly.
If you are interested in alt processes as an artist, look no further for an easy to read and inspiring road map. If you are a teacher, this book provides a comprehensive and solid amount of information enhances any classroom demonstration while giving the student an excellent source of information outside of class. As I look to revise my syllabus for the fall, I will use the methods found in this book as a guide. I will make this my class textbook because most of the learning occurs outside the classroom when the students are practicing on their own.
An added bonus in the albumen chapter has a great recipe for cheesecake. Waste not!
So, a big thank you goes out to Jill. God bless you, wherever you are.