Recommended books

The Keepers of Light

'The Keepers Of Light', by William Crawford.

While this book is now old, (published in 1979), it provides a good starting point for the alternative process photographer.


It includes an initial section on the history and evolution of photographic technology, which helps to set the context of historical photo processes. The second section provides working details on a broad range of alternative photographic process. While not rich in detail in any specific process, it provides a good grounding for the beginner. It was this book that began my own journey with alternative photo processes. As your interest and work evolves you can then chose books that offer more specific information on individual processes.

UK & European Visitors click here    US visitors click here


The Gum Bichromate Book

'The Gum Bichromate Book', by David Scopik

If you are seeking a book that concentrates on the gum process alone, David Scopiks book is worth a look. It provides detailed information on all the steps necessary for effective and controlled gum printing, including full working details on making three colour gum prints. While you may choose to work differently, Scopik's book will provide a good grounding and understanding of the gum bichromate process.

UK & European Visitors click here           US visitors click here


alternative photo processes

'The Book of Alternative Photographic Processes', by Christopher James

A recently published book which covers in technical detail a broad range of historical photo processes.

It provides detailed chapters on the various alternative photographic processes being practiced today. Excellent illustrations, plenty of examples of contemporary work and an accessible writing style make this book highly recommended.

UK & European visitors click here         US visitors click here


Making Digital Negatives'Making Digital Negatives for Contact Printing', by Dan Burkholder (2nd Edition)

If you plan to make digital negatives for alternative process printing, then this book is a good introduction to exploring a digital workflow.

Dan Burkholder provides a valuable introduction for those working with digital negatives. The book is designed to suit those new to working with digital negatives and is an ideal way to get started.

Visit Dan's website for additional information on curves for leading inkjet printers, workshops and to buy the book.


Spirits of Salts'Spirits of Salts', by Randall Webb & Martin Reed

A detailed and well-illustrated book describing working methods for a variety of historical processes practiced today. Written in a straightforward and concise manner. A good practical workbook — highly recommended.

UK & European visitors click here


art & artists'Art & Artists' 1st Edtion
edited by Malin Fabbri, founder of

Alternative Photography: Art and Artists, Edition I highlights the work of over 100 of today's most active photographers working with alternative processes. Discover how the different processes create a unique look in a print, and get an insight into how the processes function. Here you will find both information and inspiration. Artists introduce themselves, their work and why they chose the qualities of that particular process.

Read more about Alternative Photography, Art & Artists here



My approach to the gum process is just one perspective — it's what works for me. I recommend you take a look at some other perspectives too...

These are my primary recommendations, with an emphasis on gum printing, and some general resources that I find useful. For a broader selection of information I suggest you visit my links summary.


Online resources & suppliers


Alternative Process FAQ > >.

A introduction to all the major alternative photographic processes practiced today. Details on subscribing to the alt-process photo list are included — a mailing list that is an excellent resource for those working with historical photographic processes. The FAQ site also offers useful links for sites of interest.


archive of the alternative photo process list > >

The archive of the alt process list enables you to search by subject and thread — providing an ideal research tool for specific processes.


Reflections on the Art and Science of Gum Bichromate > >

This site by Katharine Thayer provides an excellent technical commentary on the gum process — highly recommended.


Mike Ware's Alternative Photography Page > >

This site provides details on working processes, an excellent bibliography and a picture gallery of various alternative processes. As the creator of this resource is a chemist, the technical information is of particular value.

Livick, Artist, Gum Printer, Photographer > >

an excellent example of contemporary work in the gum process. Stephen Livick has been working with gum for more than 25 years. The technical skill and quality of his vision illustrates the vast potential of the gum process.


Photogramme. Anciens procédés (site français). Working techniques for gum, kallitype, cyanotype, salt printing, albumen printing and other processes. Photogramme is also a provider of chemicals and materials for alternative processes in Europe. French language only.





Bostick & Sullivan is a leading supplier of chemicals and other materials for historical photographic processes. This site also provides a range of technical papers of interest, and links to other online resources. A great resource.

Freestyle supplies a range of films for alt-process purposes, both continuous tone and litho.

Daniel Smith - artist supplier for paper, watercolour paints, brushes and other materials.



Bergger provide various films for alt-process needs, developers and papers. Their site is in both French and English.

Photogramme supplier of chemicals for historical processes- site Français

Atelier PH-7 supplier of chemicals and information on photographic conservation — also a gallery space devoted to historical photographic processes. Site is in French, Flemish and English.



Silverprint carry a full range of traditional and alternative process materials.

Atlantis European artist supplier providing paper, watercolour pigments, brushes and other key materials for gum printing

Further information & online resources