The Experimental Darkroom : Contemporary Uses of Traditional Black & White Photographic Materials book cover
1st Edition

The Experimental Darkroom
Contemporary Uses of Traditional Black & White Photographic Materials

  • Available for pre-order. Item will ship after October 3, 2022
ISBN 9781032131863
October 3, 2022 Forthcoming by Routledge
276 Pages 400 Color Illustrations

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Book Description

The Experimental Darkroom is a book focused on traditional black & white photographic materials—darkroom chemistry and silver gelatin paper—now used in many non-traditional ways. The book starts with a comprehensive digital negatives chapter. Topics are divided into five sections: cameraless experimentation, camera experimentation, printing experimentation, finished print experimentation, and a section highlighting contemporary photographers who use these approaches today. Each process under discussion is accompanied by photographic examples and a step-by-step method written in a “Just the facts, ma’am” style.

Topics included are:

  • Photograms and clichés verre
  • Lumen prints
  • Chemigrams
  • Pinhole and zoneplate
  • Holgas
  • Chromo
  • Liquid emulsion and modern tintype
  • Lith printing
  • Sabattier
  • Mordançage
  • Bleaching and bleachout
  • Toning, traditional to experimental
  • Applied color and abrasion tone
  • Encaustic, photomontage, and collage
  • Bromoil

The Experimental Darkroom encourages taking risks and having fun. Over 400 images and 71 artists are included in its 276 pages. The outcome will be an expansion of creative options for the silver gelatin print. The options are engaging and now more accessible with digital negatives. Images are no longer solely captured in camera or on analog film. The darkroom is no longer always dark. The print is no longer a pristine and accurate rendition of what the camera sees. Photographers are pushing the boundaries of black & white photographic practice. It is an exciting time to get into the darkroom and play!

Table of Contents

Preface, Introduction, Chapter 1: Setting Up the Contemporary Darkroom, Chapter 2: Digital Negatives for the Contemporary Darkroom Part 1: Cameraless Experimentaation, Chapter 3: Photograms and Cliché-Verres, Chapter 4: Lumenprints, Chapter 5: The Chemigram Part 2: Camera Experimentation, Chapter 6: Pinhole and Zoneplate, Chapter 7: The Holga, Part 3 – Printing Experimentation, Chapter 8: Chromo, Chapter 9: Liquid Emulsion and Modern Tintype, Chapter 10: Lith Printing, Chapter 11: Sabattier, Part 4 – Finished Print Experimentation, Chapter 12: Mordancage, Chapter 13: Bleaching and Bleachout, Chapter 14: Toning, Chapter 15: Applied Color and Abrasion Tone, Chapter 16: Encaustic, Collage, Photomontage, Chapter 17: Bromoil, Part 5: Contemporary Experimental Artistis, Appendix, Bibliography

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Christina Z. Anderson’s work focuses on the contemporary vanitas printed in a variety of 19th century photographic processes. Anderson’s work has shown nationally and internationally in 120 shows and 60 publications. Anderson has authored books which have sold in over 40 countries—The Experimental Photography Workbook, Gum Printing and Other Amazing Contact Printing Processes, Gum Printing, A Step by Step Manual Highlighting Artists and Their Creative Practice, Salted Paper Printing, A Step-by-Step Manual Highlighting Contemporary Artists, and Cyanotype: The Blueprint in Contemporary Practice; also Digital Negatives with QuadToneRIP, Demystifying QTR for Photographers and Printmakers co-authored with Ron Reeder, and Handcrafted: The Art and Practice of the Handmade Print co-authored with Wang, Jianming, and King. Anderson is Series Editor for Focal Press/Routledge’s Contemporary Practices in Alternative Process Photography series and Professor of Photography at Montana State University. To see her work, visit