Mike Ware - Alternative Photography
Mike Ware - Alternative Photography

Free Book Downloads


A Technical History of Photographic Printing in Platinum and Palladium

This account of the underlying chemistry and historical practice of the platinum and palladium printing processes has been compiled on the basis of my 36 years experience with the medium. Its writing was initiated in 2010 by my appointment as a scientific consultant to the National Gallery of Art in Washington DC. Over the ensuing six years, the NGA became the hub of a wide-ranging, inter-institutional research collaboration by curators, conservators, photographers and scientists, that culminated in an International Symposium in 2014, the proceedings of which - greatly extended - were published in 2017 as Platinum and Palladium Photographs: Technical History, Connoisseurship, and Preservation, with 46 contributors, edited by Constance McCabe, under the aegis of the Photographic Materials Group of the American Institute for Conservation of Historic and Artistic Works. This beautifully illustrated and scholarly published book may be purchased from the NGA:


but it deserves a technical appendix, so I am here offering my scientifically oriented supplement, with over 840 references to the original literature and WWW, as a freely downloadable 51.5 MB .pdf of 396 pages.

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History, Science and Art of Cyanotype: photographic printing in Prussian blue

My first monograph on Cyanotype was published by the Science Museum of London in 1999, but has long been totally out of print. I have now substantially restructured this text in an updated and extended edition that is made freely available as a 5 Mb pdf file in this download. This book engages with the history, aesthetics, practice, conservation and chemistry of the medium. With its 760+ references to the original literature and the WWW, I hope it may serve as a useful resource for historians, curators and conservators of photographs, and students of siderotype - iron-based analogue imaging. It includes full practical instruction in the modern process of cyanotype printmaking.

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Cyanomicon II

Recent years have seen a growing interest in the cyanotype process, which has prompted me to further update, expand, and illustrate this monograph. I have also incorporated answers to a number of questions about the process and its practice that are now being asked with increasing frequency in the alternative process forums. Consequently this file is now ten times larger than the original pdf, above; i.e. it is a 51 MB download of a 377 page book.

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What's Who?

A dictionary of things named after people and the people they are named after

Roger Jones and Mike Ware

An encyclopaedic foray into the world of eponymy - the naming of things after people - which gives an account of events, ideas, inventions and discoveries which bear the names of the men and women - famous or forgotten - who lived, dreamed, made or explored them. There is virtually no field of human activity which has not left these historical nuggets embedded in our language. In this blend of the familiar and the surprising there is something for everyone who cares about the words we use and the living history they embody.

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Workshop Notes

For each of my siderotype processes described in detail under Practical Instructions, here are concise summaries of the essential technical data: requisite chemicals, quantities and procedures. Each is downloadable as a short .pdf. Originally compiled for distribution to students attending my workshops, these notes, when printed-out, may be found helpful as aides-mémoires in the studio or ‘dimroom’. They assume that the reader is already familiar with the general modus operandi of alternative photographic printmaking.

New Cyanotype

Download CyanoWork.pdf (136 kB) >>


Download ArgyroWork.pdf (132 kB) >>


Download PalladioWork.pdf (446 kB) >>


Download PlatinoWork.pdf (183 kB) >>

New Chrysotype

Download ChrysoWork.pdf (345 kB) >>

Preparation of Digital Negatives

Download DiginegWork.pdf (3.7 MB) >>

Siderotype Data Sheet

Download DataWork.pdf (31 kB) >>

Algorithm for Diagnosing Fogging

Download FoggiWork.pdf (41 kB) >>

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