Constellation Cafe Books : Caring For Photographs

Now I did make a post some time ago about the proper storage techniques for your old images. Recently I was in Bombay and I happen to find a great book which is on the same topic.

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“Caring For Photographs”, the title being quite self explanatory, is 186 pages thick, hardbound and printed by Time Magazine publications.In fact almost all of the information comes from the archival department of Time magazine. The printing is great, almost 80% in black and white and sections are divided in the book with light grey end sheets.

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There are five sections overall, each section talking about more topics in detail. Now this is a old book, published in 1975 so you really can’t expect any relevance to today’s technology. There are parts which have no value anymore with the introduction of high end flatbed scanners in the consumer market along with photoshop (which is better because of the non destructive workflow). But then there are some techniques here which are so beautifully explained chemical processes, irreplaceable by photoshop.

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The most relevant for film photographers here would be how to store and archive negatives, mounting them or cleaning prints. The book has detailed descriptions on what to do and what not to do to make sure that your negatives last forever.

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I didn’t really expect but the book also talks about how to display prints, different types of mountings. But my favorite has to be the section on “Family Of Man”, the epic show which has been considered one of the greatest photographic shows ever to be organized by Time. The book talks about how it was organized, how images were selected and the final landmark exhibit which was displayed and attended by over 270,000 visitors.

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Its a great book to have but only if you’re interested in archival and restoration. I don’t think its a book for digital photographers because most of the information in this book is non-transferable to the new medium. Also this information can be found online if you just search long enough. I got it, a used old copy for a 100Rs (2$) so I’m happy but in the end of it all, not a must buy.

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