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The Negative [Hardcover]

Ansel Adams , Robert Baker
4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (23 customer reviews)

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Book Description

December 1981 The New Ansel Adams Photography Series, Book 2 (Book 2)
Little, Brown and Company, the sole authorized publisher of Ansel Adams' books, calendars, and posters, in redoubling its efforts to ensure that this legendary artist's work remains fresh and appealing to bookstore customers into the next century. The new elements in this revitalized publishing program, which is authorized and supervised by the Publishing Rights Trust established by Ansel Adams, include:

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A master-class kind of guide from an undisputed master. PUBLISHERS WEEKLY Adams is a clear-thinking writer whose concepts cannot but help the serious photographer. NEW YORK TIMES --This text refers to the Paperback edition.

About the Author

Ansel Adams (1902-1984) was one of the great artists and environmentalists of the twentieth century. In a remarkable career spanning more than sixty years, he made over 40,000 photographs. Adams was a master teacher as well as a master photographer, believing that his approach to photography was universally applicable. From 1955 until 1984 he conducted annual photography workshops, first in Yosemite and later in Carmel. But his most important and lasting contribution to the artistic, practical, and technical aspects of black-and-white photography was through his legendary technical series (revised several times since the initial publication in the early 1950s):The Camera, The Negative, and The Print. --This text refers to the Paperback edition.

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Customer Reviews

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Most helpful customer reviews
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Negative is all Positive July 15 2002
This is the book I turn to for the heavy duty technical data on the most important aspects of photography, but guess what? This is probably one of the most readable and easy to digest technical books on photography you are ever likely to read or need. Adams has a way of making mysterious worlds within Photography accessable. I will admit though that this book is not for the absolute beginner, though having said that those who want to stretch a little could find much that is of use without having too much knowledge off the mark.
When I looked at the three books of this series, The Camera, The Negative and the Print, I waded into each wanting to choose only the best one from the series. I quickly realised that neither of the other two had what The Negative had and I have subsequently realised that this was by far the best choice for me. The negative deals with Visualization and image values, Light and Film, Exposure, The Zone System, Filters and Pre-Exposure, Natural Light, Artifical Light, Darkroom processes, Dark Room equiptment and procedures and value control in processing.
This book is an absolute must for intermediate photographers who have mastered the basics and want to take a step up into the world of greater control over their imaging with an eye to developing and processing their own film and prints. Everything you need to know about getting your images right before you even hit the shutter is in this book, all you need to do now is accentuate the positive by going and buying The NEGATIVE!
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5.0 out of 5 stars Zone System still relevant in digital age Aug. 22 2001
Despite the heavy emphasis on chemical negatives, this book's essentially a clinic on Adams' Zone System for contrast control. As such, it's still totally relevant for the digital age. If you're using chemical negatives, this book's an absolute must have.
Adams' attention to detail in testing contrast and resolution in various lighting situations forms the core of the Zone System and of this book.
Issues such as filtration remain the same today as they did with negatives. Although pushing and pulling film is carried out differently in the digital age, it's not impossible if you have even a modicum of exposure control (for instance, overexposing and lowering brightness will still yield lower contrast). And if you are into digital, you'll gloat at your full control of exposure tweaks beyond the one-dimensional control you get with timing chemicals in solution.
One thing that may be disappointing is the emphasis on black and white. There's a brief description of color, but it really deserves a book of its own. This is especially true for filtration and contrast control.
The three books in this series can be read independently, but together provide a complete clinic from positioning the camera to displaying a final print.
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By A Customer
This book is basically about films and light. It is the most useful book i have ever read on films and taking pictures. It offers no shortcuts nor does it give you easy solutions. But it shows the reader how he or she can develop an eye for taking pictures. The authors goal is not just to take a picture of whats there but to see something in his mind and using the media of film and light to portray what he sees. He calls this visualization. His primary tool is the film and a system of controlling exposure through what he calls the zone system. As Adams was not explaining easily understood concepts with his book it is a complicated book. But it is meticulously written and detailed. And it radiates with Adams'love for his subject. The only flaw I could find on the book is that many of the films he mentions are not in use by ordinary lay-photographers.I have had it for a year now and read it more often than I can remember.
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Being a mere amateur, I had never really devoted any time to a serious reading of books on the theory of exposure until I bought Ansel Adams "the camera", "the negative" and "the print" a few weeks ago. I haven't finished reading them, but I have already read enough about the zone system to find it tremendously interesting. The way Adams explains things is well structured, accurate, deep and wide! It takes you through all the aspects of photography, gives real answers to all the questions (which do of course bear a certain level of complexity), even those you haden't thought about! Everybody should receive these books with any camera in my opinion, they are just great!!! Don't look for it any longer somewhere else, it's all here!
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5.0 out of 5 stars The Master speaks! Sept. 5 1999
By A Customer
Ansel Adams expressed more with B&W then most can even DREAM of doing with color...
This is my second foray into learning the basics of exposure through the Zone System, and who better then The Master himself to lead. He has taken a fairly technical system and made it a breeze to grasp. No misleading sidebars or relationships here. Just the facts. Much better then my first indoctrination. No matter how deeply you wish to delve into his techniques, even a redimentary understanding of previsualization before exposure will improve ones photo making, even in color. An outstanding reference. The entire series, Book 1: The Camera, Book 2: The Negative, and Book 3: The Print are invaluable additions to a personal photography library.
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Most recent customer reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Great
All the information I need and more.
Published 1 month ago by Benoit Pichette
5.0 out of 5 stars Great
After read this book,my B&W photograph expose have imporve dramatically,before that,I just using average meter to optain exposure.good book
Published on June 25 2004
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent Book for any Serious B&W Photographer
Ansel Adams reviews the characteristics and limitations of the B&W negative. It is very comprehensive and describes both exposure and processing techniques. Read more
Published on Dec 24 2003 by RJC
5.0 out of 5 stars Lessons from the Master in Technique
Simply put: The best out there.
Make sure of a few things:
a)you are an advanced amateur
b)you love B&W
and it woundn't hurt if
c)you can do your own... Read more
Published on Dec 16 2002 by Marco Vera
5.0 out of 5 stars The quintessential guide to exposure
This book is the second of Ansel Adams three instructional masterpieces (see the Camera and the Print). Read more
Published on May 19 2002 by Leland Buck
5.0 out of 5 stars Great series
This whole series (The Camera, The Negative, & The Print) are highly recommended for anyone seriously interested in learning more about photography and improving their skills. Read more
Published on April 2 2002 by John Hodge
5.0 out of 5 stars demystifies 'correct exposure'
With little doubt, this is the very best book on photographic technique I have read to date. This book does not insult one's intelligence nor does it mire one in excessive... Read more
Published on March 24 2002 by Mingham C Wu
4.0 out of 5 stars The complex negative
I was really interested in getting to the bottom of how Adams has developed his Zone system for exposure control. My photography instructor had alluded to it's complexities. Read more
Published on Jan. 18 2002 by Dr Will Blake
5.0 out of 5 stars The Best Black & White Photography Book Written
Hands down this is the best B&W photography book written. The second in a three book series, Ansel Adams meticulously details every aspect of capturing an image on B&W... Read more
Published on Dec 13 2001 by Doc
5.0 out of 5 stars The best of the three book series
The book were Ansel Adams explains his well known zone system.
It is the best book of the three books of the series "the camera", "the negative",... Read more
Published on Nov. 28 2001 by Sebastiao Barata
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