Tuesday, July 04, 2017

Dr. No? Blofeld? Nope It's Goldfinger!

Morning folks - y'know, in a galaxy far, far away and a long time ago, people actually used to prInt and mail out paper catalogues! 
It was dead exciting getting one through the post because you could muse for hours over your choice of whatever you liked from a planet full of stuff, narrowing your choices down day by day, till the ultimate list was made!
No more searching your High Street and feeling despondent and glum because your local shops never stocked anything you wanted at all. No, for a small amount of postage, there were wonderful people who would send you everything your heart desired.
And so it was with photography.
There are still a number of excellent mailorder suppliers of photographic stuff in the world - you should be using them rather than Ebay, or Amazon, simply because they care, they are knowledgable, and it is their business. Yes, you'll maybe pay more, but you are paying for a service and deep stock

Goldfinger pre-dated Silverprint (in London) - this is one of their mailorder things - it used to be available as a download on Silverprint's site, but it vanished a few years ago - I guess they thought 'Who wants to read this old stuff!'
So, in the interests of knowledge and some bloody fantastic reading, here it is again as a fully downloadable PDF.
My apologies to Martin Reed and Silverprint, but I just feel that stuff like this should be 'out there' as it were and not consigned to the digital skip of history! Though if you are from Silverprint, or indeed are Martin and you don't want this to remain posted please contact me.

This post buys some time for me - a small stop-gap whilst I try and get some more printing and writing done . . . but that's another (series) of stories . . .
The Godlfinger Craftbook is a well written photographic processing discourse. Sadly the price list has gone . . . as has a lot of the stuff mentioned.
I hope you enjoy it, oh and if you do, remember, FogBlog is pretty much dedicated to Ye Anciente Arte Of Printing And Processing, so have a look around - there's some interesting stuff on this blog if I do say so myself.

This is the link:

It works. It'll open in Google Docs and is fully downloadable.
Every home should have one.


  1. Although I don't do darkroom work anymore, the booklet was informative. Now I know the difference between RC and fibre papers. In the past I only knew 'shiny' and 'not shiny'. (I wish I was joking).
    On a similar topic, I enjoy pre-digital age photography instruction books because they are all about photography and not how to do things on computer. "John Hedgecoe's Complete Guide to Photography" with its excellent projects, for example. Bryan Peterson wrote some good books about exposure and seeing creatively. Although the newer editions say "Includes Digital!", they are basically the same pure photography books written in the film age with "digital" stuck in now and then. "Use a high speed film or adjust the ISO on your digital camera." Also, the film books are not wanted by anyone anymore and I can get them cheap.

  2. It's great isn't it - you can't put a price on knowledge. I thnk this is a fascinating insight into what was arguably The (almost) Golden Age.

  3. Well done. I recently discovered my own copy. It surprised me when it vanished from the Silverprint website.
    A good deal of nostalgia in there – remember when Record Rapid was the only paper for the truly dedicated photographer?
    The digital revolution has changed more than photography. A new edition would look much prettier, it it existed on paper at all.

  4. This comment has been removed by the author.

  5. Very true David, and yet there's still a hunger for all things printed - just look at the sales of real books!
    I must admit, I've thrown none of my catalogues out - they're a fascinating read - I've even got mid-90's Silverprint and First Call ones somewhere . . . the price differences between then and now would make you gasp, so maybe it's best not to remember!

  6. Hi Phil, FYI you state the file can be downloaded, but that doesn't seem to work. The "download permissions" section in the file's Details say "viewers cannot download" ?!

  7. Thanks for pointing that out - it should work now - any problems, let me know. My fault!

  8. Well yes. there is something about holding a book... I recently discovered a Zone VI catalogue. I used to get the Newsletter, too. Interesting to watch Fred change from eager young upstart to the Man Who Knows Everything. I still have them, neatly bound in proper Zone VI ring binders. The plastic covering looks like a Z6 grey. You don't often see a densitometric pun, do you?

  9. You certainly don't see puns like that very often (fortunately) ';0)
    I've got the Workshop book somwhere, though I've not read it as much as a lot of my other books simply because it smells like that leather bit you used to get at the end of the climbing ropes in school . . a curiously warm smell of some sort of alien cheese and chemicals . . it's all-pervading, so much so, that I've had to seal the book in a plastic bag.
    Hope your binders don't smell the same way . .

  10. No smell that I can detect. I bow to your knowledge of rope-ends.
    Fred described Zone testing procedures but he, himself, bunged his highlights on VII and let the shadows do what they would. Apparently, in person, he was an inspiring teacher.

  11. I didn't know that actually - interesting when the book is quite to the point!

    As for Rope Ends - Curator of the S.C.S.R. that's me

  12. Dear Sheepy,

    Baaaaa, ba, baaaa baa. BAAA!

    In translation for the rest of the world:

    Those were the days my friend...

    Can't beat your golden finger, but I do have The SilverPrint Manual dated 1990 in a proper The SilverPrint Manual four hole ring binder*. I have measured the wodge of paper and it's about 3/4 inch thick. I'd semi-forgotten about it, but it's chock full of useful and interesting information.

    I also have a couple of Ag Photographic Darkroom Practice and Photography Magazines circa 1993/4 - again each bursting with photographic exoterica and esoterica, the occult and the quotidian.

    * No double entendres here. Though I was sorely tempted.

  13. They sound fantastic - wish I could see them -I suppose canning and pdf'ing is a big job isn't it?

  14. Of course you could scan them rather than canning them, I think the former is probably easier than the latter!

  15. Canning - many pages. According to this place https://www.bookdepository.com/Silver-Print-Manual-Eddie-Ephraums/9780951688007 256 pages.

    That's a bit above and beyond even my boredom threshold. Soz! Maybe a project for when the nights are much longer than the days and I'm all caught up with my darkroom printing!

    I hadn't really looked at it before, but it seems to very comprehensively run through most of what an Ovine Film Photographer might need or, indeed, want to know.

  16. That's a lot of canning and is probably similar to Ephraum's book . . so, not worth it. But thanks for checking!

  17. Aaaargh! Theres's another Fogblog, or rather fog blog. It's about caravanning in Australia. Beware of imitations! oz fog blog. You may find it interesting, of course.

  18. There's a number actually David - a nice one about birding too. The Oz camping one has shut own though, so we are safe.



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