Oxford School of Photography

insights into photography

Natural History Museum Oxford – Wildlife Photographer of the Year & Imaging Workshop

I had a brilliant day on Saturday teaching macro photography as part of the NHM Imaging Workshop. Working with my colleague Scott Billings we taught four groups how to use their dslr cameras for macro photography. We set up four different stations with different lighting techniques to enhance the wonderful specimens, fossils, minerals and crystals available from the museum’s teaching archives.

In between the class groups I was able to have another look at the Wildlife Photographer of The Year Exhibition staged at the NHM. This is such a brilliant location for the exhibition that it is a must for anyone interested in wildlife photography, but hurry it closes soon

IMG_1356 IMG_1355 IMG_1353


Are you really a dedicated photographer? 12 simple ways to tell

From Digital Camera World

Photography may start as a hobby, but it often becomes an obsession. Here are 12 ways to tell if you’ve been bitten by the bug and become a dedicated photographer.


dirty knees, yes, lost two stops since yesterday, damn weather, yes…….


see if you are a dedicated nut too

Nadav Kander Exhibition: Dust review – haunting and painterly

At the first talk in the Photography Oxford Festival series there were a panel who put forward the view that there was no outlet for serious writing on photography in the UK. They of course completely missed the point that as in all areas, music, art, literature etc. now the venue is the web. Bloggers do for nothing what the ‘critics’ want to be paid for. Bloggers might not always be professors or experts but their views are valid, the democratisation of comment is now the norm. Even though this is the case I always find  in the Guardian a good read and this review of a new Nadev Kander exhibition at Flowers Gallery, London by Sean is on the button, it is long by web standards but worth the time, a short extract..

As shown in Nadav Kander’s new series, Dust, they possess a strange, sometimes eerie beauty that he captures in his signature style: large-format landscapes full of stillness and light that continue his visual exploration of what he calls “the aesthetics of destruction”……Kander thinks big. The size of his prints reflects his ambition as well as his acute understanding of scale and architectural eye for composition. In their beauty, though, they also accentuate the paradoxical nature of his approach: the rendering of the desolate sublime. In his catalogue essay, the novelist Will Self writes: “These images do not make beautiful what is not, they ask of us that we repurpose ourselves to accept a new order of both the beautiful and the real.” I am not entirely convinced by that claim. Digitally printed to a degree of verisimilitude that the darkroom could never produce, Kander’s images possess a hyper-real aspect that to me makes them seem oddly unreal...read it all here



try to get to London to see the exhibition, the website makes it all look very enticing

Nadav Kander: Dust is at the Flowers Gallery, London until until 11 October



50 Years of Wildlife Photographer of the Year – in pictures

Seen in the Guardian Natural History Museum’s new book released on Wednesday marks five decades of the WPY competition, celebrating the art of wildlife photography. Started in the 1960s, the 160 prize-winning and commended images represent 50 years of different times, styles and specialisms – showcasing some of the iconic images of wildlife on planet Earth, part of an exhibition in London from 24 October



Photography Oxford Festival Exhibition Highlights Part 1- Pentti Sammallahti


Today I took to my bike to visit about half of the exhibitions on offer at the festival. I will do another half next week, I don’t want saturation I want feeding. Feeding my eyes that is. Sadly I cannot say the whole festival has so far excited me although there have been some real highlights. I did the circuit that included Wadham, Pitt Rivers, Keble, Lady Margaret Hall, Maison Francaise, Studio 45 (closed), St John’s and Art Jericho (also closed). This is not a review, nor is it comprehensive, it is just a brief opinion of some

Wadham has the exhibition Designed to Deceive This exhibition explores the photograph as construct, rather than as truthful witness, showing photographs taken with the deliberate intention or unintended result of misleading the viewer and/or distorting the meanings contained within them. Whether subtly manipulated or dramatically retouched, these images disprove the earliest view of photography as the objective representation of a scene, and the long gone notion that the camera never lies.

It is full of well known pictures that have been manipulated before Photoshop and/or manipulated the viewer by the use. Interesting, diverting, not essential.

Keble has pictures coming out of Bangladesh. As you would expect in a show that has 6 or 7 photographers the subject matter and quality is varied, honestly some of it is pretty dire, but some of it was worth the trip, certainly worth a visit although the final piece on suicide is not joyous, predictably.

LMH has the exhibition of wooden churches. WOODEN CHURCHES – TRAVELLING IN THE RUSSIAN NORTH // Richard Davies


I was not surprised to find that this was really good, so much so that until, PENTTI SAMMALLAHTI, it was my favourite. This was the first exhibition today that is printed well, displayed in frames and a serious body. The churches are charming and the photographs often quite lovely. Displayed in the chapel at LMH, propped up on the wooden pews, the pictures suited the surroundings. In some ways I would have preferred to see them properly hung on walls but needs must and I would have preferred to see them than not.

Maison Francaise has  Bernard Plossu French photographer Bernard Plossu has never been shown in Britain. The Maison Française d’Oxford will show some of the major pictures which have dotted his career, as well as new work made recently in Britain.Plossu has had an influential career unattached to any institution or newspaper, producing a constant rich stream of exhibitions and books. His manner has been to photograph autobiographically but not diaristically: he is allusive and elliptical, and his photography connects to a wide culture of literature, music and cinema. 

Poorly hung, small images in non descript frames, some interesting and engaging images and as it was on the way to St John’s worth the stop over, just. Here is a better one



So to the Finns, there are three of them, the one that you should be heading for as the absolute highlight is  PENTTI SAMMALLAHTI. I have done a little research and here is a bit for you

About Pentti Sammallahti

Pentti Sammallahti was born in 1950 in Helsinki, Finland. Growing up, he was surrounded by the works of his grandmother, Hildur Larsson (1882-1952), a Swedish-born photographer, who worked for the Helsinki newspaper Kaiku in the early 1900s. After visiting The Family of Man exhibition at Helsinki Art Hall (1961) Sammallahti made his first photographs at age eleven. Pentti joined the Helsinki Camera Club in 1964. His first solo exhibition was in 1971.

Sammallahti has travelled widely as a photographer, from his native Scandinavia, across the Soviet Republics through Siberia, to Japan, India, Nepal, Morocco, Turkey, across Europe and Great Britain, and even to South Africa.

Sammallahti’s travels and interest in fine printing and lithography has led him to publish numerous portfolios of which the largest and most well known is “The Russian Way” (1996). As a benchmark figure in contemporary Finnish photography, his work has a supernatural sense of a moment in time with the sensitivity and beauty of the world displayed through its animalistic existence. His particular use of dogs, which reflects the human existential experience, shows the shared nature of the earth with a gentle humor and fleeting attitude.

Sammallahti describes himself as a wanderer who likes the nature of the great north, the silence, the cold, and the sea. He likes the people and the animals of far off places and he records the relationships between them and their environment.

As a master craftsman, he meticulously tones his prints, which come in various formats, from 4 by 5 inches in image size to panoramas of 6 by 14 inches. In 2010 for his retrospective exhibition in Helsinki he created large format pigment prints, about 9 by 21 inches and 15 by 35.5 inches in size.

As a passionate seeker of the perfect mechanical printing method, his own innovative printing techniques and reintroduction of the portfolio form have re-awakened broader interest in published photographic art. Influenced by the idea of ‘artist books’ – individual works in which the artist is responsible for the whole: photography, the making of prints, layout, design and typography, reproduction and often the actual printing process either with the offset or the gravure method.

Since 1979, Pentti Sammallahti has published thirteen books and portfolios and has received awards such as the Samuli Paulaharju Prize of the Finnish Literature Society, State Prizes for Photography, Uusimaa Province Art Prize, Daniel Nyblin Prize, and the Finnish Critics Association Annual.

From 1974 to 1991 Sammallahti taught at the University of Art and Design in Helsinki, retiring when he received a 15-year grant from the Finnish government, an unusually long endowment, which is no longer awarded. Both as a photographer and a teacher, he has had an enormous influence on a whole generation of documentary photographers in Scandinavia.
My advice is go and see his pictures. 






Car by Pentti Sammallahti

here are some more links with information and pictures by Pentti





Photography Exhibitions Oxford September 2014

We are lucky that for the first time Oxford is awash with photography exhibitions. As a cultural city it is a constant complaint that in general photography is ignored, well not this month. The Photography Oxford Festival is now in full swing, we have reported on this many times already but as lovers of photography a wakeup call to go out and see some real pictures on walls rather than sitting at home looking at Flickr, 500px, Behance or wherever else you consume your photography, is a good thing.

The first point of call I would like to send you to is the Natural History Museum, the have the Wildlife Photography of the Year exhibition, held over for one week to coincide with the imaging workshops we are helping to run.

Wildlife Photographer of the Year 2013 Grand title winner Winner 2013 Animal Portraits Greg du Toit, South Africa

Wildlife Photographer of the Year 2013 Grand title winner Winner 2013 Animal Portraits Greg du Toit, South Africa

The festival itself has a plethora of exhibitions, I can’t tell you whether any are worth visiting yet as I have yet to do the tour of venues and the festival website is worse than a dogs dinner for images and decent information, it might look cool like the new Windows front page on your phone but it is poor, so here I have kindly created a decent list for you but in no particular order and without recommendations. The copy and pasting of this list does not look pretty, I know, I’m sorry but at least it gives you all the exhibition info in one place so you can work out where to go on your own tour of the festival

Exhibition Title





At the Photography Oxford Festival she will show, for the first time, a recent body of work entitled Custodians. Setting out to explore the extraordinary colleges and buildings of Oxford, and to meet the “Custodians” who play a pivotal role in perpetuating these world-renowned institutions, her work reflects issues of heritage, history, and stewardship.

Joanna Vestey

Studio 45

Studio 45: 45 Park Town, OX2 6SL


The Descendants

Born out of a passion for history, this series by award-winning photographer Drew Gardner recreates portraits of some of the world’s most famous historical figures with their direct descendants. This collection of photographs takes you on a unique journey through time.

Drew Gardner

Studio 45

Studio 45: 45 Park Town, OX2 6SL


Bernard Plossu

French photographer Bernard Plossu has never been shown in Britain.

The Maison Française d’Oxford will show some of the major pictures that have dotted his career, as well as new work made recently in Britain.

Bernard Plossu

Maison Francaise

Maison Francaise, 2-10 Norham Rd, OX2 6SE


In the Shadow of the Pyramids

“ ‘In the Shadow of the Pyramids’ is a portrayal of Egypt through my own eyes. Guided by my childhood memories and a struggle to understand the country I call home, the series is a journey from 2005 to 2014 through Egypt to explore the essence of Egyptian identity in the hope of coming to terms with my own – from the time of Mubarak to the revolution and Egypt’s looming future.”

Laura El-Tantawy

Pitt Rivers Museum

Long Gallery

Pitt Rivers Museum, South Parks Rd, OX2 3PP


Broadhead’s Women 2014

ART JERICHO will present photographs by Maisie Maud Broadhead, a young London artist, in a mini retrospective of her work from the past four years, to include her new series of portraits from 2014. Last year Broadhead was awarded the Jerwood Makers Open, and earlier this year she was awarded the Brighton Pavilion Commission.

Maisie Maud Broadhead

Art Jericho

Art Jericho, 6 King St, OX2 6DF


Mathematicians and Justice

Mariana Cook’s “Justice” series explores the artist’s fascination with those people who come to feel so passionately about fairness and freedom that they will risk their livelihoods, even their lives, to pursue justice; people for whom the “rule of law” is no mere abstraction, for whom human rights is a fiercely urgent concern.

Cook’s “Mathematicians” series explores a similarly unique group of individuals.

Mariana Cook

Mathematical Institute

Mathematical Institute, Radcliffe Observatory Qtr, Woodstock Rd, OX2 6GG


Pentti Sammallahti

You don’t take photographs, you receive them,” says Pentii Sammallahti

He prefers to work during the winter months at dusk, when the light and mists create the mood he is most comfortable with. The White Sea in Russian has been the setting for some of his most memorable pictures.

Pentti Sammallahti

St. John’s College

St John’s College, St Giles, OX1 3JP


Arno Rafael Minkkinen

Returning regularly to his native Finland, Arno Minkkinen has spent the last four decades taking self-portraits of his unclothed body, rarely including his face; connecting his body with his surroundings. He eschews manipulation of any kind, insisting that what the camera sees is what the viewer sees. The results are surreal landscapes blending the human form with land and water.

Arno Rafael Minkkinen

St. John’s College

St John’s College, St Giles, OX1 3JP



Veli Granö explores themes surrounding alternative social realities in his work, posing a question of how an individual might aim to create their own reality if the one offered by the society does not seem fitting. Granö’s photographs deal with deviant individuals, or situations, that do not conform to the accepted social norms, standards and expectations.

Veli Granö

St. John’s College

St John’s College, St Giles, OX1 3JP


Defying the Laws of Gravity

This exhibition will explore how the way of seeing through Bangladeshi eyes is contributing to this change. Nurtured by a growing confidence, an intellectual integrity and teachers with international perspective -many of them household names in photography – Pathshala students are developing a style particular to Bangladesh.

Shahidul Alam, Abir Abdullah, Anisul Hoque, Taslima Akhter, Tushikur Rahman, Sarker Protick & Jannatul Mawa

Keble College

Keble College, Parks Rd, OX1 3PG


Document Scotland

Scotland today stands at a decisive moment in its history.

Events in 2014 will shape how we relate to our neighbours and to the wider world. The exhibition ‘Document Scotland’ believes that photography can and should play a central part in documenting this epoch. The curators hope to leave a visual document, a testimony to the extraordinary times we are living in.

Document Scotland:

Colin McPherson, Jeremy Sutton-Hibbert, Stephen McLaren, and Sophie Gerrard

Wadham College, Squash Court

Wadham College, Parks Rd, OX1 3PN


Designed to Deceive

This exhibition explores the photograph as construct, rather than as truthful witness, showing photographs taken with the deliberate intention or unintended result of misleading the viewer and/or distorting the meanings contained within them.


Wadham College, Chapel

Wadham College, Parks Rd, OX1 3PN



The American, Mark Laita, has been photographing snakes for more than a decade. Few species of snakes have eluded his lens.

Mark Laita and Yann Layma

Old Fire Station

Old Fire Station, 40 George St, OX1 2AQ



Yann Layma was attracted to creatures that fly rather than slither. A chance meeting turned the young Layma into the disciple of a leading entomologist who taught him all there was to know about these beautiful, delicate creatures.

Bus Stories

A crowd of loners; a bus filled with people each looking at the floor, at sights running past windows, at the ceiling, but never at each other. We are all sitting on the same bus, perhaps we all travel in the same direction, we sit next to each other; it does not mean though that we are together.

Mimi Mollica

Jam Factory

Jam Factory, 27 Park End St, OX1 1HU



Explores our relationship with photography as keepsake; the image as a record of experience or repository of memory in the light of the 21st century’s accelerated means of production and consumption of photography.

Clarita Lulic + Various


OVADA, The Warehouse, 14a Osney Lane, OX1 1NJ


Inside Mugabe’s Zimbabwe

In Mugabe’s Zimbabwe, journalists are an endangered species.

His regime has bombed and banned newspapers, blown up radio stations, confiscated transmission equipment, kidnapped and deported foreign journalists, arrested, locked up, and beaten local journalists. Knowing all this, Hammond still undertook his mission to give a voice to the voiceless through his lens. And he has paid the price – harassed, interrogated, imprisoned.

Robin Hammond

Magdalen College

Magdalen College, Grove Auditorium, Longwall St, OX1 4AU


Susanna Majuri

Susanna Majuri’s photographs are an exploration into photographic fiction as a place for encountering emotions, both positive and negative, with references to storytelling, literature, music, and folklore. Elements recognisable from storybooks merge with our own memories creating a dreamlike atmosphere.

Susanna Majuri

Story Museum ‘Safe’

Story Museum, Rochester House, 42 Pembroke St, OX1 1BP



“Restwert” brings together work from two contemporary German photographers, Dietmar Eckell and Matthias Heiderich. The exhibition includes a selection of pieces from Eckell’s long-running project “Restwert” which examines the residue of human occupation in and inscription onto the landscape.

Matthias Heidierich

Dietmar Eckell

O3 Gallery, Oxford Castle

O3 Gallery, Oxford Castle Quarter, OX1 1AY


Photography and Healing

Doctors asked the question “what good is photography” would have no hesitation is agreeing that modern medicine would be lost without X-rays, scans, and other imaging techniques.

Showing a patient what is going on is the best way to further understanding, and with understanding comes the mental strength that aids the healing process.

Angelino Merendino, Wendy Sacks, Jon Brett, Adam Hahn

North Wall

North Wall, South Parade, Summertown, OX2 7JN


Oxford Film Strips

David Rhys Jones uses ceramics as a conduit for his documentary photography, creating semi-sculptural works, revealing interplay between surface and image.

Port Meadow Dogs

Rory Carnegie, an award-winning documentary photographer, has created a series using photographs made on walks over Oxford’s Port Meadow, combined digitally with studio shots, to create an ethereal, painterly image.

Rachael Edgar

Fresh from her post-graduate degree, she has created a new series of contemporary work using a very early photographic process, Gum Bichromate on glass, first used by the nineteenth century pioneers in photography.

David Rhys Jones, Rory Carnegie and Rachael Edgar

Sarah Wiseman Gallery

Sarah Wiseman Gallery, 40-41 South Parade, Summertown, OX2 7JL


World Press Photo 2014

World Press Photo organizes the leading international contest in visual journalism. 53 prizewinning photographers, 25 nationalities and 151 selected pictures are exhibited here for their UK debut.

World Press Photo’s aim is to generate wide public interest in and appreciation of the work of photographers and other visual journalists.


The international jury of the 57th annual World Press Photo Contest has selected an image by American photographer John Stanmeyer of the VII Photo Agency as the World Press Photo of the Year 2013.

Oxford Brookes University

Oxford Brookes University, Glass Tank, Gipsy Lane, OX3 0BP


On Solid Ground

“On Solid Ground” tells the stories of those starting afresh in unfamiliar cities, rebuilding homes they were forced to abandon decades before, or embracing new means of survival in the face of crisis.

PANOS photographers

Oxford Brookes University

Oxford Brookes University, Garden Courtyard, Gipsy Lane, OX3 0BP


People’s Project

Oxfordshire’s demographic posits people from all over the world, so the idea of ’Home’ for some will be sensitive and complicated.

In partnership with the local press, we will publish our work to encourage the general public to respond and send in their photographs, leading up to and culminating with the exhibition at Oxford Brookes University.


Oxford Brookes University

Oxford Brookes University, Public Piazza, Gipsy Lane, OX3 0BP


Mother and Father

“Mother and Father” is a moving photo-novel of the final years of a 60-year marriage. His vision reflects the bond between his mother and father, which even Alzheimer’s cannot break. They become symbols in a story of balance and tension, which is both domestic and epic. These thoughtful, often melancholy, images form a personal piece that is simultaneously universal and timeless.

Paddy Summerfield

337 Banbury Road

337 Banbury Rd, OX2 7PL


Wooden Churches

These churches are the remnants of thousands that were built all over Russia from the time of Prince Vladimir, who, on his conversion to Christianity in 988 ‘ordained that wooden churches should be built and established where pagan idols had previously stood.’ Most of those that survive are to be found in the sparsely populated northwestern corner of Russia.

Richard Davies

Lady Margaret Hall, Chapel

Lady Margaret Hall, Norham Gdns, OX2 6QA


Why We Print this Picture

This exhibition represents a selection of photography from the charity Oxfam, starting with advertisements from the 1960s through to work commissioned this year, focused around their efforts in Africa – the region of the world that attracts the most criticism in terms of perpetuating a negative image. Through this selection we are able to witness how Oxfam’s use of photography has evolved from images of starving children to a more nuanced approach to photography in an attempt to utilise its power to create change.

Oxfam Archive Images

Lady Margaret Hall

Lady Margaret Hall, Norham Gdns, OX2 6QA


Canon EOS 7D Mark II: price, specs, release date confirmed

From Digital Camera World



The Canon EOS 7D Mark II – price tag at £1,599.99 / €1,999.99 – has been announced atPhotokina 2014, adding many features found in the flagship EOS-1D X. 

The Canon EOS 7D Mark II is Canon’s new flagship APS-C format DSLR and is a replacement for the Canon 7D, which was launched back in 2009. Among the Canon 7D Mark II key features are a new 20.2-megapixel APS-C CMOS sensor, 10fps continuous shooting at full resolution and a new 65-point cross-type AF system.

Though this new Canon camera incorporates a 20.2-megapixel sensor like the Canon EOS 70D, our testing team says this is a brand new sensor for the 7D Mark II, and micro lenses have also been redesigned for improved efficiency.

Also on-board the Canon EOS 7D Mark II is Canon’s Dual Digic 6 processing engines, which help it achieve its 10 frames-per-second maximum burst rate for 31 raw files or until the memory card is full with JPEGs. The Canon EOS 7D Mark II maximum continuous shooting rate can be set to 2­10fps in High mode, 1­9fps in Low and 1­4fps in Silent shooting mode.

More information here

Paddy Summerfield – Mother and Father

Here is a little reminder in case you missed the previous post whilst sunning yourself in some sunny location

Dear Paddy has been an institution in Oxford for decades, he was the very first person to appear at the original Photographers Workshop on 6th June 1982, he shambled through the door and said, ‘hi I’m Paddy can I help’.  He has been a great source of inspiration and support for so many fresh faced new photographers that there is probably a book just on who has been influenced by the great man. Now as part of Photography Oxford he is showing his touching and long term body of work Mother and Father.

During the festival there are showings of Paddy’s exhibition in the garden where the images were created from 6pm each evening 337 Banbury Road


This first public showing of Paddy Summerfield’s Mother And Father is part of the new PHOTOGRAPHYOXFORD 2014 Biennale, and also marks the publication of his book (Dewi Lewis Publishing). The images will be installed in the actual garden where most of the photographs were taken. The exhibition and  book document the final decade of a 60 year marriage, that began in the summer of 1939 as war approached, and ended under the shadows of another struggle: the trials of old age and his mother’s loss of memory. Summerfield reflects through the lens of his own vision the bond between his mother and father, which even dementia could not break.

As Gerry Badger writes: “Nothing much happens in these pictures, just everyday, commonplace, important things. The Summerfields tend their garden, they walk and sit within its protective embrace, they embrace each other.”....READ MORE HERE


©Paddy Summerfield




©Paddy Summerfield

Location: PhotographyOxford 2014

Venue 22: 337 Banbury Road OX2 7PL

Opening Hours: 6.30-8.30pm daily

Paddy Summerfield

Mother And Father

PhotographyOxford 2014 / Oxford / England

6 Life Lessons That Can Make You a Better Photographer

Yes, yes, yes  go read this, take it into your life and be a better photographer, by  Jason D. Little at Lightstalking

Photography can’t be all f-stops and shutter speeds; megapixels and frames per second shouldn’t dominate your thought process each time you reach for your camera. True, photography is an intriguing blend of art and science, so it’s not like fundamental principles of math and physics are irrelevant, but the science and engineering aspects have been taken care of for you. What is left for you, the photographer, is to create the art. Of course you need to know about exposure; having a functional understanding of how to control your camera is a must; and it’s nice to have a decent assortment of useful features on your camera. But these things don’t magically make you a better photographer any more than having a nice oven range and knowing a few recipes make one a chef. At the heart of meaningful, visually arresting photography lies attitude; how do you think and feel about what you’re shooting? Workshops and how-to guides certainly have their place when it comes to learning about photography, but such things will take you only so far. If you desire to become better at the intangibles, the things that are qualitative as opposed to quantitative, you might try drawing inspiration from a few lessons that can be applied to life itself as easily as they can be to photography. Here are some wonderful images for you

Wildlife Photographer of the Year 2013 Grand title winner Winner 2013  Animal Portraits Greg du Toit, South Africa

Wildlife Photographer of the Year 2013 Grand title winner Winner 2013

Animal Portraits Greg du Toit, South Africa

Wildlife Photographer of The Year Exhibition In Oxford


Steve McCurry Eye Witness

Svetlana Petrova

Svetlana Petrova Photography Project with a Cat an old masters

Screen Shot 2014-04-25 at 12.27.15

Oleg Oprisco


Magic In The Middle Kingdom: Michael Steverson


Fred Herzog – Photographer


Photographer Spotlight – Jill Greenberg




Bill Gekas Photographer


Jay Maisel


Don’t Look Away: Diane Arbus


No Breaks: Irving Penn


A Book Of Contrasts: Bill Brandt



Istanbul Taksim Gezi 071

Our Man In Damascus is now Our Man in Istanbul – John Wreford



Best ball head for tripods: 01 Manfrotto 498RC2 Midi

Ball heads are one of the tripod heads that are often chosen by photographers but rarely by the video crowd. You might be thinking it is time for a new tripod, I am, but actually I just need a new head (no comments).

Time for a new ball head? We reveal some of the most tempting ball-and-socket designs for use with heavy DSLRs. From Digital Camera World

For most of us, ball heads are the way forward. Compared with clunky, conventional three-way tripod heads, they’re more compact, quicker in use and easier to set up.

Instead of fiddling around with (typically) three separate locking arms, you can release and secure a full range of movements with a single locking screw.

Naturally, releasing all directions of travel with a single screw can spell disaster, especially when you’re using a heavy DSLR and telephoto lens combination. Many designs therefore include an adjustable friction damper to make things safer for different kit combinations.

Another neat twist is that some ball heads feature an additional pan-only lock. You can release this to enable horizontal panning while keeping the head’s tilt and swivel adjustments locked off.

All of the tripod heads in this roundup use a fairly large ball of around 40mm. Having a good-sized ball helps to enable decent stability and ease of movement.


read the full report here


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