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Langford's Basic Photography: The Guide for Serious Photographers [Paperback]

Richard Sawdon Smith , Michael Langford , Anna Fox
4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (18 customer reviews)
RRP: £25.99
Price: £23.39 & FREE Delivery in the UK. Details
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Book Description

23 July 2010
Langford's Basic Photography is a seminal photography text. First published in 1965, it has informed the work and career of many of the world's leading photographers.

The new, 9th edition, continues the tradition of its predecessors, reflecting the same comprehensive mix of scholarly and practical information. It covers every aspect of photography, from capture through to output, both digital and analogue. There is an emphasis on explaining the 'how to' of photography, but Langford's Basic also includes in-depth coverage of the fundamental principles that govern the art, such as how light behaves, optics, and the shutter. This ensures that the reader comes away with not only a good grasp of photographic technique, but also an in-depth understanding of the fundamentals that will help them to better understand how great photography is made. As such, it functions both as an excellent coursebook for students of photography, and a great primer and reference for amateur enthusiasts.

The new edition has been fully updated to reflect dynamic changes in the industry. These changes include: an expansion and overhaul of the information on digital cameras and digital printing; an emphasis on updating photographs to incude a wider range of international work; replacement of many diagrams with photos; overhaul of the analogue sections to give a more modern tone (ie exposure measurement and film and filters with some more dynamic photo illustrations); a fully edited and updated photography timeline.

This landmark text is an essential purchase, both for new photographers as an introduction, and for established photographers as an invaluable reference work.

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Product details

  • Paperback: 480 pages
  • Publisher: Focal Press; 9 edition (23 July 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0240521684
  • ISBN-13: 978-0240521688
  • Product Dimensions: 24.1 x 19 x 2.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (18 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 6,813 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • See Complete Table of Contents

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Review

"This is the ninth edition of a textbook that has become an industry standard since its first publication in 1965. Now updated to include the most recent innovations of the field, it contains an entire chapter on digital cameras and one on post-production of the digital image. From shooting to processing to printing, this guidebook gives thorough instructions in various procedures, equipment, aesthetics, and forms of presentation for the medium. Detailed treatment of the fundamentals for lighting techniques, optics, and composition are enhanced by numerous diagrams, charts and photographic examples. A supplemental glossary and extensive appendices are found at the back.. Either as an introduction for amateurs or as a reference for intermediate photographers, this book is an invaluable resource for practitioners of this field."--Sacramento Book Review

"This is the ninth edition of a textbook that has become an industry standard since its first publication in 1965. Now updated to include the most recent innovations of the field, it contains an entire chapter on digital cameras and one on post-production of the digital image.  Detailed treatment of the fundamentals for lighting techniques, optics, and composition are enhanced by numerous diagrams, charts and photographic examples. Whether as an art form or a commercial venture, the complexity of photography requires meticulous and systematic explanations.  This is precisely what Langford's Basic Photography provides.  Either as an introduction for amateurs or as a reference for intermediate photographers, this book is an invaluable resource for practitioners of this field."--Sacramento Book Review

About the Author

Michael Langford, renowned author, teacher, and practitioner, is a legend because of his skill that balanced art and technique. He inspired and taught thousands. As Photography Course Director at the Royal College of Art, London, UK, his key involvement with photography courses and exams set the standard worldwide.

Inside This Book (Learn More)
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Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Index
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars New look on an old classic. 1 Jan 2011
Format:Paperback
I read the original Langford Basic Photography in 1973. I had just bought an SLR and wanted to find out more about the fundamentals of photography. This last year I bought a digital SLR and wished to update my knowledge, and so looked to the updated Langford.
I found that the updated book was much better illustrated, and a great deal of the technical detail which had originally been in the main text was now, if included, usefully tucked away inside the Appendices.
There are several errors to do with figure references. Some of the photograph comparisons are labelled the wrong way round - b should be a etc. Also, page 384 reference to a figure... of frames made by Tony Rae, a non existent reference that should be deleted.
Apart from these minor errors, I found the book a good read. It maintains a great deal of information around the analogue, or film camera. It does discuss digital in some separate chapters, but makes useful comparisons between film and digital throughout the text. The text is clear, and straight forward. It does not overwhelm the reader with science, but clearly lays out the basics. Where appropriate it makes comparison between different technologies. Terminology, and basic ideas are well explained. The authors realise that in depth discussion of any one technology is futile, and will date, and aim to give the reader the a basic understanding of the principles allowing them to go on to make their own decisions regarding cameras, lenses and processing methods.
The aim of the book is to give the reader an understanding of the principles and tools used to make photographs. Getting there exposes the reader to criteria by which to judge their own and others photographs. I enjoyed the book, and look forward to reading the second volume - the Advanced Photography - when it is re-issued in the near future.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
By Andy_atGC TOP 100 REVIEWER VINE VOICE
Format:Paperback
To the best of my knowledge, this is the most current version of this classic.

I had originally purchased this book and a couple of other of Langford's titles, not because I was new to photography but because they collectively provided an insight into modern photography, or rather the way it was in the late-80's or early-90s and pre-digital.

The late Michael Langford was a lecturer in photography in one of the major art colleges and quite highly regarded. His books were very well-written, informative and sold in high numbers through several reprints and updates. As far as I can recall, he was in the process of updating some of the books for digital photography, which had not then taken over from film quite so thoroughly as now and that demanded substantially different approaches, when he died. The reins were taken up by others and there have been yet further periodic updates as digital photography continues to expand.

Initially, digital cameras were of one of two types; the viewfinder cameras that had a simple optical system to provide a view of the approximate image field and the DSLR (digital single-lens reflex) which used the shooting lens and the camera sensor to display an image in an advanced optical viewfinder. The latter often had additional features including a much larger sensor, multiple exposure modes, a wider range of shutter speeds and faster lenses that were also interchangeable. A little later came the bridge camera, a cross between the two, that basically used the physical size of the former and some of the features of the latter, but in a rather simplified form.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Photography 1 Feb 2011
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
This is an excellant book for people taking up photography for the first time. The HNC students at the college use this book for there studies.Full of great info brillient book.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The basics of photography 30 Jan 2012
By Elena
Format:Paperback
This book teaches you the basics of photography in a simple, easy way. It's been around for a while, but even if your edition is already old and talks about film cameras, the principles stay the same and help you take better pictures. If you're interested in learning more about photography, this is the book you should start with. And of course, practice a lot!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant 31 Mar 2011
Format:Paperback
I started a beginner photography course last year and my tutor recomended this book. It I really intresting but it can be a bit complexed for a basic beginner. I would recommend the beginner Langfords photography book for a start and this one for a more advanced look into photography
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4.0 out of 5 stars Good book, Still very Old, 5 Jun 2012
Format:Paperback
This book used to be good. It explains basic principles of photography very well.

Although in its ninth edition, and published in 2010, the book is still very old. It is film-oriented and need a complete overhaul. A lot of techniques are already out-dated. About half of the book can be completely ignored. It talks too much about film, film processing, large format camera, hand-held meter etc.

The books need a complete re-written. Simply adding some contents of digital cameras does not make it modern.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Just what my son needed 17 Oct 2013
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
this was for my son who is studying photography and has been very useful. Was well packed and delivered on time.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Really helpful 9 Jun 2013
By Charlie
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
This is a fantastic book for first time photographers. I used it a lot for doing my first year in photography and I have no doubts at all that is will be even more helpful for me continuing my studies.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
3.0 out of 5 stars Leans heavily towards film based shooters.
Plenty of detail about all aspects of photography. The version I bought is an older copy and leans heavily towards film and film processes, but still interesting to read. Read more
Published 9 days ago by Mofojofo
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
On time , as described
Published 19 days ago by J A WESTON
5.0 out of 5 stars university
Starting my photography degree in the next few weeks and this was suggested to help me learn pretty much everything you would need to know. Read more
Published 12 months ago by Nikki
5.0 out of 5 stars An essential for beginners
This was required reading at my college, and I can see why. Covers all the basic topics and then some. Well worth it.
Published 17 months ago by Stu Swinbourne
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent!
Very clear
Breaks everything into chunks
has summary's
full of useful information
well worth the money!
will use for ever
Published 19 months ago by Steph Pollock
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant total introduction to photography
I'm on a BTEC level 2 photography course and am starting from scratch with zero technical knowledge. Read more
Published 22 months ago by AndreaG
5.0 out of 5 stars Essential reading
Of all the titles on my daughter's essential reading list for university, this was the one title which she had to ensure she took with her - think that says it all
Published on 17 Sep 2012 by Djw
5.0 out of 5 stars Langford's Basic Photography
One of my photography tutors at College referred to this as the bible, so its highly recommended if your doing an NQ in photography. So far its been very useful.
Published on 6 Jan 2012 by Cleggie
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