Langford’s Basic Photography is part of the reading list for the Context & Narrative . As a continuation of developing understanding photography as a medium and art form this book is an excellent resources for further research stemming from the copious amounts of referenced photographers and examples of their work. Otherwise the information contained within the text is more geared towards the beginner and amateur for whom the technical understanding of the processes may need further development and guidance.
Across the 15 chapter, the book takes the reader on a journey from a basic understanding of the medium right through to the use of equipment and the production of final prints. The majority of the information is relatively dated due to the original edition being written in 1965, but with the inclusion and digital formats and techniques there is useful information throughout for those looking to understand the basic of metering, exposure and processing. Unfortunately due to the rapid development of digital techniques and capabilities the modern information is also outdated as the latest edition was update in 2010, a decade in which digital cameras and software has increased exponentially in capability.
For myself, I found several useful points on lighting, metering and potential sources of further research. Having a better understanding of the techniques used in the film era for metering and lighting setups has given me a better understanding of how to control these aspects in a modern setting. The ease of modern technology is often a hinder an example as the reliance on things like TTL metering and lighting settings doesn’t develop the understanding of how light interacts with distance and shadow. A knowledge which could be developed through trial and error but understanding the theories behind the practice is a much better basis for achieving desired results.
I feel that the book would also be an excellent resources for those who wish to work in the film medium, with detailed information on the development and processing techniques needed.