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Tim Rudman's Amazing Iceland Book

One of many amazing analogue prints in Tim Rudman's beautiful tome, Iceland: An Uneasy Calm

Tim Rudman will be a familiar name for darkroom workers and, in many ways, his style of work has been a huge influence on modern digital 'filters' and aesthetics, too. Based in the UK, Tim has written definitive texts on black and white print toning as well as the elusive art of lith printing. Both were beautifully illustrated with emotive and intriguing photographs - and I was very jealous of most of them!

It's interesting to observe where digital photography has gone, producing ready-made 'filters' that mimic the techniques mastered by Tim and a handful of other darkroom exponents.Yet despite the obvious attraction of digital, there's something special about a hand-made darkroom print, especially at the hands of one of the world's leading exponents.

Tim sent me a copy of his latest book, Iceland: An Uneasy Calm. I can remember him posting some complimentary messages on my Facebook page after my recent trip to Iceland, but after looking at his work, I think he was just being kind! The photographs are sensational.

Apart from the amazing subject matter and the sublime composition, there are a number of aspects to Tim's work that really appeal to me.

First, it's the subtle toning. At first glance, the photographs are just black and white, but there's a hint of warmth in them and, when you look a little closer, you can see his split toning. But unlike a digital split tone which is done to the numbers, Tim's chemical toning has an unexpectedness about it.

I also love the deep, rich blacks. I think this is something digital photographers have yet to come to grips with. The camera manufacturers warn us about clipping our exposures, and this is exactly right when it comes to camera exposures. But in the darkroom or on the computer, large areas of rich black, sometimes with a hint of detail, work brilliantly well for the final image.

Tim has self-published. "I wanted to do this book just as I wanted it, and so for the first time, I decided not to use an external publisher, but to set up my own publishing label. This is exploratory in that way and has been a big learning curve." 

I'm thinking all the lessons have been well learned because the book is beautiful to hold and it's a really enjoyable experience to turn each page and discover what Tim has designed. If you've ever thought of designing your own photo book, Tim's is a great example upon which to model your own.

The book has a price of 55 UK pounds, is 300x280 mm landscape format, 132 pages containing 98 quad-tone plates made from selenium and thiourea toned silver gelatine prints. The foreword is by Bill Schwab.

Tim has set up a website for the book where you can view more of the images or make a purchase. There's a very cool Collector's Edition which includes a print. Highly recommended.The book website is http://iceland-anuneasycalm.com  (www.iceland-anuneasycalm.com will find it too and is easier for most people to remember.)

Peter Eastway Uses

Peter Uses
AIPP

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