Robert Langham lives in Tyler, Texas in the same brick-street neighborhood where he was raised. Until recently, he worked in the same darkroom at The Tyler Junior College where he has taught for 40 years. As an assistant at the Ansel Adams studios in Yosemite, Langham honed his skill at interpreting landscape imagery as expressed in his “Shiprock, New Mexico” images. Though he teaches digital photography and the use of Photoshop, which he uses for commercial work, his personal artwork is done on film, using large format cameras and a traditional “wet” darkroom.
Langham is also very much a naturalist and environmentalist. His hometown Tyler is in the Blackfork Creek watershed, high in the Neches River drainage. His “Blackfork Bestiary” series (a bestiary is an ancient scientific catalog of animals) is a portfolio of live animals and insects from this Blackfork Creek ecosystem; the works are photographed in a very non-traditional manner and composition. All of the critters (from black-widow spiders and poisonous snakes to possums and frogs) are then safely released back into nature. Nor is Langham afraid to experiment with staging non-traditional photographic subjects. In his “still-life” work “Magic and Logic,” he creates what he refers to as a “kinetic still life.” He reinterprets what we think of as a traditional still life work with movement and fiction done in camera without post-processing trickery. “Magic & Logic” reflects how he worships the mystery of dreams and ideas that find their way into a tangible creation. His work is in several museums: The Harry Ransom Center, Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, and The Museum of Southeast Texas at Beaumont. In 2022, Langham received the prestigious Guggenheim Fellowship in photography.