Introduction to Photography: Resources

Introduction to Photography: Resources

Photographic Basics and Reference

When you are trying to learn black & white photography you are are also learning the history of the photographic medium. If you pursue this craft you will find yourself looking at used equipment, reading old books, and looking at a lot of old photographs. The fact that the Kodak has dropped out of the BW paper market is an indication of where this part of the photography world lies--now treated as a historic process that is practiced by a dedicated following of practitioners. Materials, information, and equipment are still available, even plentiful, but you will not find them at your local photo store anymore. Here are a few resources that may be useful.

Used Equipment

Lens and Repro in New York
KEH Photo in Atlanta
Helix Camera and Video in Chicago
Hahn Graphic in Rochester


View Camera Magazine
One of the few current publications for practitioners of large format photography, it is a haven for those excentric and dedicated practioners. As materials become harder and harder to find, a repository of current information will become become very valuable.

Camera and Lens by Ansel Adams
Book One of the basic photo series, Adams contributions as a writer and explainer of complicated processes is difficult to match. Camera and Lens covers basic camera operation and equipment choices, along with many technical suggestions for accessories and practical working methods. Although the equipment he refers to is a bit historic, it is all available used and, except for late model 35mm equipment, does not differ significantly from what is available new today. If you are serious, the rest of the series, The Negative, The Print, Artificial Light, and Natural Light are also available and are a great way to get your feet wet in these areas. The Negative is primary source material for anyone interested in pursuing the Zone System. Most of what I have read that has been written since has has not improved on this very thorough explanation. If your career is long, you may read these several times.

Inspiration, Photographic Literacy

International Museum of Photography at the George Eastman House
Do not leave Upstate New York without seeing what this preeminent, world-class institution has to offer. In addition to information about current shows, this site also provides online access to parts of the historic photography collection.
Much of what you do will be influenced by knowing what is possible in the craft and culture of the medium. Here are some beautifully reproduced web portfolios of both classic and comtemporary masters.

On Being a Photographer
The importance of choosing a subject to photograph.

Miscellaneous Archaic Tasks

As Black & White photography diminishes in popularity, some of the products that have been taken for granted in supporting the craft are dissappearing. One of these is Spotone, for decades used to repair small blemishis on prints caused by light-stopping dust, either on the negative or on the printing paper when it is exposed. Here are a few suggestions on where to look for a replacement.

Photography as a Profession ~ Sites
The American Society of Media Photographers is the preeminent organization for photographers whose work is for publication.
ASMP’s links page, which has everything I’ve listed here and a lot more.
ASMP’s western New York chapter. This site will give you information about local activities and meetings. Most of them are open to the public, and students are welcome.
Information on the business of doing freelance editorial or journalistic work.
An organization centered on those doing journalism as an employee of a publisher
Information from the advertising photographers perspective.
The official site of the US Copyright office. Forms, instructions, and more.
Copyright Tutorial will take you beyond the basics that we discussed in class. The process of registering your work is simple and inexpensive, but adhering to the detailed requirements is a must. Start by reading this.

Software for Photographers
The source. Aside from access to image editing and design software, there is a wealth of information on the user forums about how to make it work.
A link to Ken Richardson's editorial pricing software by way of ASMP's endorsement of it.
Hindsight Ltd. creates InView and StockView, business management software for photographers. This is a link to their demos. Available for mac and windows. Check the rest of their site too, especially their pricing guide
fotoQuote price estimating software has been used by both photographers and buyers for nearly a decade. fotoBiz is management software.
Image database software for mac and windows. Will embed metadata into files, organize images, and convert images into jpegs, html pages, and export text information.

Business Books

ASMP Professional Business Practices in Photography
Allworth Press

The Real Business of Photography by Richard Weisgrau
Allworth Press

Getting to Yes by Roger Fisher and William Ury
Penguin Group

Getting Past No by William Ury
Random House/Bantam Dell

The Haggler's Handbook by Leonard Koren and Peter Goodman
W. W. Norton