11th Edition

Langford's Basic Photography The Guide for Serious Photographers

    630 Pages 784 Color Illustrations
    by Routledge

    630 Pages 784 Color Illustrations
    by Routledge

    This seminal photography text, now in its 11th edition, has been revamped, reorganized, and modernized to include the most up-to-date and need to know information for photographers. Introducing all the key concepts and fundamentals of photography, this book is a must have for any photographer’s bookcase.

    Providing examples and practical information throughout to allow photographers to apply concepts to their own work, the text explains the fundamentals of photography in an accessible way. Fully updated to reflect the dynamic changes in the industry, this 11th edition includes expanded and updated content focusing on advances in camera technology and digital lighting, connecting with the global photography industry and professional networks through social media, updated images throughout, and a new chapter on new digital outputs.

    Ideal as a foundational text for students of photography as well as a key reference for professionals.




    Picture Credits

    Chapter 1. What is Photography?

                    Why Photography?

                    Changing Attitudes Toward Photography

                    Art and documentation

                    How Photography Works

                    Picture Structuring

                    The Roles Photographs Play

                    Personal Styles and Approaches

                    Measuring Success

    Chapter 2. Light: How Images Are Formed

                    Light Itself

                    Wavelengths and Colors


                    When Light Reaches a Surface

                    Light Intensity and Distance

                    Making Light form Images

    Chapter 3. Lenses and Filters: Controlling the Image

                    Photographic Lenses

                    Aperture and f-numbers

                    Depth of Field

                    How Depth of Field Works

                    Depth of Focus

                    Using Different Focal Length Lenses, Camera Kits

                    Why Change Focal Length?

                    Lens Kits

    Image Stabilization

    Close-up Equipment

    Lens Care

    Essentials and Extras

    Which Kit Works for You?

    Filters – How They Work

    Chapter 4. Cameras

    The Essential Components

    Camera Types – Which is Best?

    Getting Started with Digital Cameras

    Digital Cameras

    Film Cameras

    Chapter 5. Exposure Measurement

    Factors that Determine What Exposure to Give

    Measuring Exposure for Continuous Light

    Practical Exposure Tips

    Measuring Exposure for Flash

    Practical Flash Exposure Tips

    Exposing Different Film Types

    Chapter 6. Organizing The Picture

                    Noticing Subject Features

                    Structuring Pictures Through the Camera

    Where Photographs Go

    Chapter 7. Lighting

    Principles and Equipment

    Basic Characteristics of Lighting

    Lighting Equipment

    Practical Lighting Problems

    Special Subjects

    Chapter 8. Digital Workflow

    Before Making Your First Photographs


    Downloading Your Photographs

    Processing Raw Files

    Digitizing Film

    Image processing for output


    Chapter 9. Digital Postproduction


    Working with Color and Contrast


    Retouching Tools

    The Crop Tool (C)

    Composite Images with Photomerge


    Useful Photoshop Shortcuts

    Chapter 10. Film and Film Processing

    Silver Halide Emulsions

    Features Common to all Films

    Choosing Films for Black and White

    Films for Color Photography

    Storing Film – Before and After Exposure

    So Which Film is “Best”?

    Film Processing

    Processing Black and White (Silver Image) Negatives

    Processing Chromogenic (Color and Black and White) Negatives

    Processing Color Slides and Transparencies

    Permanence of Processed Results

    Chapter 11. Black and White Printing: Techniques, Equipment, and Facilities

    Making a Print

    Printing Papers

    Safelighting and Printing Paper Sensitivity

    Developing Prints

    Making Contact Prints

    “Straight” Enlarging

    Controls During Enlarging

    Common Print Faults


    Chemical Afterwork





    Image Reduction and Bleach-Out

    Permanence and Archiving

    Darkroom Organization

    Equipment: The Enlarger

    Chapter 12. Moving Image and Photography


    Approaching Moving Images

    Moving Image Essentials

    Working for Offline and Online Screen Display

    Capturing and Remapping Time with Time-lapse Photography

    Basic Time-Lapse Photography Production

    Shooting Mirrorless and DSLR Video

    Animated GIFs and Derivatives

    Chapter 13. Finishing and Presenting Work

    The Permanence of Prints

    Mounting Methods and Framing


    Getting your Work Noticed

    Pictures on the Internet

    Building your Own Site

    Chapter 14. The Expanded Digital Photography Field


                    Digital Processing and Computer Generated Images

                    The non-visible spectrum and spectral capture

                    2.5 and 3D Reconstruction


                    Appendix A: Optical Calculations

    Appendix B: Camera Movements

    Appendix C: Expressing film response

    Appendix D: Chemical formulae

    Appendix E: Health and Safety concerns

    Appendix F: Digital Notebook

    Appendix G: Photography timeline



    Michael Langford was a renowned author, teacher, and practitioner. He inspired thousands because of his skill that balanced art and technique and taught many more as Photography Course Director at the Royal College of Art, London, UK.

    Anna Fox is an internationally renowned photographer and is Professor of Photography at University for the Creative Arts, Farnham, UK leading the Fast Forward: Women in Photography research project.

    Richard Sawdon Smith is Professor of Fine Art and Director of Fine Art and Photography at Norwich University of the Arts. He is an internationally award-winning acclaimed artist whose work has been exhibited, published, and screened widely. He is a winner of the National Portrait Gallery, London, Photographic Portrait Award and Co-editor of The Book is Alive! His roles include, Editorial Advisory Panel of Journal of Photography & Culture, Patron of Norwich Film Festival, Trustee of the Council for Higher Education in Art & Design, Trustee of Norwich Pride and a founding member of Norwich Queer Contemporaries.

    Andrew Bruce is photographer at the National Gallery in London. He is an internationally recognised digital imaging consultant. He is a photography lecturer and member of international imaging standards committees. His photographic art explores themes of wildness and trauma.  His work has been exhibited worldwide and is held in the permanent collections of the National Portrait Gallery and Yale Center for British Art.

    Praise for the Previous Edition:

    "Langford's Basic Photography is the definitive text in its subject area, and this new edition is a significant improvement of an already class-leading text." – Stephen W. Kelly, Senior Lecturer, School of Engineering and Digital Arts, University of Kent, UK

    "The quality of writing is lucid and clear, as are the images and illustrations. It is entertaining as well as informative and easy to navigate: this invites casual dipping in just for fun as well as study, which is a huge advantage and aid in learning and assimilating knowledge." – John Gulliver, Course Leader. BA (Hons) Digital Photography, Ravensbourne, UK

    "This text will serve well as an excellent resource for anyone interested in photography, amateur to professional." – Ralph R. Ristenbatt, III, Instructor/Senior Research Assistant, Pennsylvania State University, Forensic Science program, US

    “A great overview of analog and digital photography methods for student reference and to reinforce classroom instruction.” – Steve Lambert, Artist, Associate Professor of New Media, State University of New York Purchase College, US

    “This book is essential reading for the photographer. Its strength is in the amount of information and the easy to understand language. The chapters are practical and organized in a straightforward manner. It is an indispensable guide and reference that will always serve as a resource.” – JoAnne Seador, Adjunct Professor, Nassau Community College; Instructor, School of Visual Arts, NYC