« New Products: COMING SOON! | Main | Niche Within a Niche »

Wednesday, 07 November 2012


Always good to find a few more interesting books. The Haas book does seem available in the used 1971 hardcover edition through Amazon, ranging from acceptable to very good condition. I just ordered one for less than a buck... http://www.amazon.com/gp/offer-listing/0670245836/ref=dp_olp_used?ie=UTF8&condition=used

Many people seem to consider the various photo books put out by he National Geographic as excellent quality printing. What is your take on them?

Darn you ctein! I'm not supposed to spend money on books this month - just ordered "within the stone".

Ctein, it's interesting to learn of your admiration for Shirakawa's Himalayas. I arrived a little later on the scene and bought the 1977 concise edition whilst preparing for a trek to Mount Everest the following year, and subsequently bought the 1986 full-size Abradale/Abrams reprint. Like you, I found the book inspirational.

The book is also a showcase for the quality of enlargements possible from the Pentax 6x7 camera and was one of the factors that motivated me to move from 35mm to the 6x7 format and to the Pentax 6x7 in particular.

Question: Was it a similar experience for you?

How about Photographer Tillman Crane and his book TOUCHSTONES, as well as his portfolio of that name? http://www.tillmancrane.com/portfolio_touchstones.php

Worth having and worth viewing.

For anyone interested in the Limited Ed. of Ansel's "Yosemite,,,"


Wonderful place/people to do business.... cheers

I still have my original 1971 copy of Ernst Haas' The Creation, which I obtained in the early 1970's. It never fails to inspire me even after 40 years! Whenever I open the book, it holds my attention for at least an hour. A fine selection indeed.

Ctein, I bought 'Himalayas' in the 1970s as a present for someone who wanted it very much. After much deliberation and a longish wait to come by the spare money.


Your post made me go to a dusty corner of my shelves and take another long look at my dozen or so Ballentine paperbacks from the Sierra Club Exhibit Series. The books are rich in pictures, many by Elliot Porter, Philip Hyde, and earlier sources, with extensive documentation and west coast verse to support the photographs. All for $3.95 a copy! The dates and photo/editorial credits are frequently obscure but it seems they all appeared in the 1960s, under David Brower's editorship. And they must have printed boatloads, as they are still available used at single-digit prices.

Dave Bohn's "Glacier Bay," had the greatest impact on me at the time. I ended up spending time there in a kayak a few years later.


"How about Photographer Tillman Crane and his book TOUCHSTONES"

I have that.


I have 'Yosemite and the Range of Light' - it was a Christmas present from my Mum. I've always thought it had very fine reproduction quality, although I hadn't realised what a step-change it represented in its time.

The other one that stands out from my modest book collection is John Sexton's 'Listen to the Trees'. This has the most beautiful silvery reproductions that really gave me a sense of what large format photography could achieve.

Dear Scott,

Yeah, if they hadn't printed boatloads, it wouldn't have been cheap.

(If there are readers who don't know how book printing works, the setup costs are extremely high but the unit costs are very low. The way you make a book cheap is to decide to print a zillion of them, so as to spread those setup costs over many, many copies.)

pax / Ctein

Dear Rod,

Not quite the same. I was a very early adopter-- had the fifth Pentax 6x7 imported into the US according to my camera store. So I'd been using it for a while before I saw the book.

But it was gratifying to see that Shirakawa-San had as good taste as I did. (G)

pax / Ctein

I've just finished composing my own book using Photobook Designer. It's 106 pages and Photobook will print it for $278.20, casebound.

I paled at that and enquired from a local printer. Their quote for two copies - $929.50 i.e. $468.25 ea.

The lady apologised, said she knew it was high, but said what you just said - the setup costs are the same for two copies or 2000. That's where the cost is. She said even she, with staff discount, would use the web services for a small run like this. She hinted at, er, China being involved.

It's disheartening because I'd like to be able to give my book as a gift, but even $278 is way too much for me. When we can write our own books so easily now, the cost of printing is still a stumbling block.

I can output it as a pdf, of course, and it looks great on screen, but nothing matches the impact of print.

The quality of the first one I had done was extremely satisfying, btw. It matched what I composed on screen very closely. I was surprised and pleased.

The Sierra Club Ballantine paperbacks may be touchtones in their combination of affordability and quality, but from a pure quality point of view, they pale compared with the corresponding Exhibit series hardcovers.

As for the impact of laser printing, it is most evident if one compares the first and second editions of "The portfolios of Ansel Adams", since the image selection is unchanged.

The comments to this entry are closed.