Camera Geekery: Analogue Photography by Andrew Bellamy


by Michael Nguyen /

2 min read
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While this is a beautiful book, if more people had it we wouldn’t be able to find Nikon SLRs masquerading as broken digital cameras for 3 bucks. All jokes aside, Analogue Photography is a wonderful collection to any film photography lovers’ library.

Written by Andrew Bellamy, Analogue Photography: Reference Manual for Shooting Film delves deeply into the technical side of cameras and photography. There is no advice or tips on how to take better photos, this is purely a technical manual with a clear focus on the mechanisms and fundamental functionality of film cameras. Once you have mastered the mechanics of photography, you have creative control over your camera, a tool for taking photos of your vision.

Publisher Ars-Imago states the book is the first “to reestablish the principles of film photography for a new generation.” If you’ve stumbled upon an old Nikon in the basement, bought an Olympus at a thrift store or inherited a Leica, this book is for you and provides all the information you need to help you get going in a beautifully visual way.

Andrew Bellamy’s design background shines in its design influenced by the illustrated manuals that came with cameras in days past. He wrote, photographed, designed and illustrated the entire book, even making the custom font.

The basic components of a camera, depth-of-field, how a pentaprism works, scale focusing methodology, etc. – over its 192 pages, Analogue Photography dives into all of these concepts.

The well thought out and designed pages oozes with love for these mechanical beauties that we adore so much and a reminder of just how intricate and incredible these machines are.

Much to learn and gorgeous to hold and look at, can’t ask for much more than that. You could snap up a copy yourself from these links below:

Italy and Europe in general: ars-imago

Switzerland: ars-imago

Germany: Vetro Editions

France: Labo Argentique

Spain: Foto R3:

UK: Firstcall Photographic:

US: Freestyle

Asia: Camera Film Photo

6 comments on “Camera Geekery: Analogue Photography by Andrew Bellamy”

    Robert bosson January 27, 2018 at 12:14 am / Reply

    Am I the only pedantic one, but unless this book covers wet-plates, shouldn’t the accurate term simply be ‘film photography’? I don’t get this constant ‘analogue photography’ description as if there are multiple formats of analogue in regular use aside from FILM!!!

    Daniel January 28, 2018 at 4:35 am / Reply

    They are sold out in the US but looking forward to reprinting. I was listening to Bellamy Hunt’s interview on B & H photo podcast and he mentioned that film cameras have become “celebrity icons”. I did a web search and saw that Aziz Ansari was proud of using cameras. (I can’t find many more references, but I did not look hard) I recall seeing photo spreads in fashion magazines where models and famous people are shown carrying vintage cameras. I am wondering if they have also become fashion accessories, and not used. I ask since there some dog breeds were once turned into fashion accessories, and not well taken care of, and ultimately abandoned to shelters or dog pounds. It’d be a shame if some cameras are simply fashion items, and ultimately thrown away when the fad goes away. Of course, I do see young people in camera stores buying film and cameras, but wonder how big the “fashion” aspect is.

    Daniel January 28, 2018 at 10:53 am / Reply

    You’re technically correct, but I think most people think about what they can practically buy. Having said that, I saw a documentary about a man who does wet plates, so that art seems to be quite alive (he does say that even with his experience, he does not know if the photos will come out well. He prepares his plates in a van he drives to the locations)

    Peter Mellis January 29, 2018 at 9:45 pm / Reply

    As someone that has owned various film cameras, in several formats, for many years, I would like to obtain a copy of this book. I’d also like to give a copy to my granddaughter who has discovered film and is curious about “the workings”. The US seller shows it as being out of stock – please post on here when it becomes available in the US. Thank you.

    Joe Curzon February 6, 2018 at 3:48 am / Reply

    If you’re after this book, it can be helpful to know the ISBN.
    ISBN: 978-88-943044-0-4

    Vetro Editions also have a copies of the book and are a co-publisher with ars-imago

    Mario February 6, 2018 at 4:36 pm / Reply

    Hi there,
    By some strange wierdness I read about this book while browsing the net in Mozambique.. promptly ordered it from Germany to be sent to Australia where my mother lives. And just as quickly forgot about all that.. A few months later I went to visit my mother, and after a month-long stay I received a package in the post.. it was the Analogue Photography book!!! Amazing (ly) slow.
    A few days after returning from Australia I had to travel to Italy on business, and while there I went to my favourite Rome film shop, Ars-Imago.. and there on their counter was a nice new yellow book… yes, Analogue Photography!

    Besides this long circuitous tale on how I touched two copies of this book just days apart and continents apart, let’s talk about the actual contents..

    The book has a nice minimalist feel to it, with much of the acrane explained succinctly if a little sparsely. However it does little more than scratch the surface of film SLR and rangefinder cameras. It’s a nice whimsical book, a bit like a cute camera bag.. not really that useful but quite nice and stylish. It will look good in your bookcase and if you just want to flick through something it’s a pleasant and stimulating though unchallenging read. For absolute beginners in film photography though it does explain everything that is left out of more modern publications. If anything I’d call it the slr/rangefinder version of Ansel Adam’s “The Camera book, originally published in the 1950’s. And on that note I’d have to say I recommend it, even for jaded film photographers like myself. Just check where it’s available… before you order online!

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