I began the Preface of the third edition of this book by writing “Much has changed in the years since 1986 when this book was first published.”

Back then the arrival of a few new films and developers seemed extremely important because the essential nature of photography had remained the same for a very long time. Given the state of things now, those words seem almost comically understated. Digital technology is revolutionizing photography in ways that are so fundamental and at a pace this is so rapid that most photographers are either alarmed, or feel as if they are witnessing a remarkable dream.

Some photographers are reluctant to make the transition to digital methods because they instinctively dislike ...

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