A veteran manual fully updated in 2005 for digital photographers

Title: Complete Guide to Black and White Photography

Author: John Hedgecoe

ISBN: 1843403161

Publisher: Collins and Brown

Edition: Paperback

Review: Prolific photographer John Hedgecoe has written a wide selection of photography books. First published in 1994, the Complete Guide to Black and White Photography was updated in 2005 to include a section on digital. The layout is simple; each individual topic has two pages and accompanying the text are some stunning annotated photographs.

Basic principles including the tonal range, high key and low-key lighting, texture and filters are covered in the first chapter, before the book examines in detail the photographic genres of Still life, Portrait and Landscape. Focusing on film processing, ‘the traditional darkroom’ isn’t really relevant to digital photographers – apart from those with a strong interest in film. At a mere 12 pages ‘The digital darkroom’ chapter is disappointing – while useful, the information on choosing the right equipment and using an image editor is very limited.

Complete Guide to Black and White Photography is immensely readable, utilising striking imagery. However, covering such a vast topic as black and white photography in 160 pages means some areas are very brief and, while a useful introduction to shooting mono, it does lack depth.