Cover image for Starting photography
Starting photography
Langford, Michael, 1933-
Personal Author:
Third edition.
Publication Information:
Oxford : Focal Press, [1999]

Physical Description:
191 pages : illustrations (some color) ; 24 cm
General Note:
Includes index.
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
TR149 .L364 1999 Adult Non-Fiction Central Closed Stacks

On Order



A practical book for the absolute beginner. Learn how to compose your pictures for more visual effect, understand the camera controls that will allow you more creative freedom, tackle different subjects and difficult lighting conditions, photograph in a studio and process and print your own pictures in the darkroom. Each chapter is fully illustrated with colour examples and suggestions for practical exercises allow you to practice and explore different effects. Features include: * how to select and compose a good shot * how different cameras operate: whether film, digital or APS * how to use camera controls; shutter speed, focus, zoom setting, use of flash etc. for creative effect * advice on tackling different subjects * visually identifying and overcoming common faults * exploring simple special effects and unusual images * setting up an indoor studio * processing and printing your own black and white prints in the darkroom * ways of mounting and presenting your work 'Starting Photography' is an authoritative start-up guide written by a leading photography writer with an international reputation. This edition is eminently suited to practical photography courses and has been updated to cover the latest City and Guilds 9231 syllabus. It also includes projects designed to encourage experimentation.

Author Notes

Michael J. Langford is the author of numerous how-to books and articles on photography. He writes for a variety of audiences; books like Learn Photography in a Weekend are geared to the casual picture-taker, while works such as The Single Lens Reflex Handbook or The Darkroom Handbook: Photography Consultant are developed with the professional photographer in mind. The main benefit of photography, Langford believes, is that it enhances the way people see the world.

One of Langford's best-known works is Basic Photography, an international best-seller that has been translated into four languages and gone through six editions. A comprehensive introduction to the subject, Basic Photography and its companion volume, Advanced Photography, are frequently used as textbooks in photography courses. Other books by Langford include Photography: Materials and Methods, The Step-by-Step Guide to Photography, Better Photography, and Visual Aids and Photographs in Education.

Langford's expertise in how-to books erives in part from his many years of teaching. He is the Photography Course Director at the Royal College of Art in London, and has also taught at the London College of Printing and the Birmingham College of Art and Design, where he was the Head of the School of Photography. He has also worked as a photographer for several advertising agencies and magazines in England and in Europe.

(Bowker Author Biography)

Table of Contents

Introductionp. 4
Part 1 Picture Making
1 Seeing and photographingp. 6
2 Using the viewfinder -- framing upp. 9
3 Creating a point of emphasisp. 11
4 Picking lighting conditionsp. 16
5 Pattern, texture and shapep. 20
6 Using colourp. 24
Projects Developing a personal approachp. 27
Part 2 Camera and Film
7 Camera principlesp. 28
8 The 35 mm film camerap. 30
9 Filmsp. 38
10 Digital camerasp. 43
Part 3 Creative Use of Camera Controls
11 Shutter speeds and movementp. 45
12 Focus, and aperturep. 48
13 Choice of exposurep. 52
14 Changing focal lengthp. 57
15 Flash and its controlp. 62
Projectsp. 68
Part 4 Tackling Subjectsp. 69
16 Peoplep. 70
17 Placesp. 75
18 Animal portraitsp. 83
19 Landscapesp. 87
20 Close-up subjectsp. 94
Projects Tackling self-set themesp. 100
Part 5 Troubleshooting
21 Assessing results from the labp. 102
Part 6 Experimental and Constructed Pictures
22 Letting the image movep. 109
23 Exploring reflectionsp. 113
24 Using lens attachmentsp. 115
25 Combining picturesp. 120
26 Manipulating printsp. 127
Projectsp. 133
Part 7 Using a Studio
27 Layout and lightingp. 135
Part 8 Film Processing and Printing (BandW)
28 Processing a filmp. 142
29 Contact printingp. 148
30 Enlargingp. 154
Part 9 Presenting and Assessing your Work
31 Finishing offp. 164
32 Presenting pictures in setsp. 167
33 Evaluating your resultsp. 170
Appendix A Rollfilm and sheet film camerasp. 172
Appendix B Using a hand-held meterp. 174
Appendix C Batteriesp. 175
Appendix D Health and safety in photographyp. 176
Appendix E Chemically treating BandW printsp. 177
Glossaryp. 180
How they were takenp. 185
Indexp. 187