focussing on specific fields of interest

books by Blaker – mid 1970s

Toronto. These two books by Alfred A Blaker are related to a 1965 book he wrote titled Photography for Scientific Publication. 1977’s Handbook for Scientific Photography is a complete rewrite of the original and covers the use of photography in a laboratory setting. The subjects often demanded microscopical or macro techniques and lighting.

1976’s Field Photography was a more comprehensive book covering the use of photography in the field (i.e. outdoors) to record scientific subjects from tiny bugs to vast landscapes.

I picked up the books around the time I bought my first microscope – a Leitz IIb stand made in 1904 (bought at a PHSC fall photographica-fair to complement the Leica cameras I collected at the time).

The books are typical of the mid 1970s publications teaching photographic techniques in specific fields of endeavour.  The books address mainly 35mm technique using black & white materials. While mostly black & white photos are used, a few colour photos adorn each book as well (and cameras larger than 35mm are briefly described too).

Being from the late 1970s, the books reference film only – not even a thought of a digital future. These two hardcover, saddle stitched, books with dust covers each cost a bit over $50 when new. Today they can be found for a fraction of that amount in a used book store.

By the way, if you are enthusiastic about film and black & white analogue (chemical) photography then why not join us Sunday May 27th at our spring photographica-fair? You will find lots of film gear readily available. Admission is free to students with school ID – and there is free parking!

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