Oxford School of Photography

insights into photography

Pictures of the Week: October 10, 2014

From The Denver Post

Malala Yousafzai acknowledges the crowd at a press conference at the Library of Birmingham after being announced as a recipient of the Peace Prize, on October 10, 2014 in Birmingham, England. The 17-year-old Pakistani campaigner, who lives in Britain where she received medical treatment following an assassination attempt by the Taliban in 2012, was jointly awarded the peace prize with Kailash Satyarthi from India. Chair of the Committee Thorbjorn Jagland made the announcement in Oslo, commending Malala for her ‘heroic struggle’ as a spokesperson for girls’ rights to education.

"Malala Yousafzai Wins Nobel Peace Prize"

(Photo by Christopher Furlong/Getty Images)

"APTOPIX France Eiffel Tower"

“A Visitors takes a photo on the new glass floor at The Eiffel Tower, during the inauguration of the newly refurbish first floor, in Paris, France, Monday, Oct. 6, 2014. Visitors of the Eiffel Tower can walk on a transparent floor at 188 feet high and look down through solid glass, with safety glass barriers around the edge. (AP Photo/Francois Mori)”

"APTOPIX India Nobel Peace Prize"

“An Indian child rescued by the workers of the NGO Bachpan Bachao Andolan or Save Childhood Movement which is run by Kailash Satyarthi, poses for a portrait at the Mukti Ashram in New Delhi, India, Friday, Oct. 10, 2014. Taliban attack survivor Malala Yousafzai became the youngest Nobel winner ever as she and Satyarthi of India won the Nobel Peace Prize on Friday for working to protect children from slavery, extremism and child labor at great risk to their own lives. (AP Photo/Bernat Armangue)”

"APTOPIX Spain Human Tower"

“Members of the Castellers Joves Xiquets de Valls try to complete their human tower during the 25th Human Tower Competition in Tarragona, Spain, on Sunday, Oct. 5, 2014. The tradition of building human towers or “castells” dates back to the 18th century and takes place during festivals in Catalonia, where “colles” or teams compete to build the tallest and most complicated towers. The structure of the “castells” varies depending on their complexity. A “castell” is considered completely successful when it is loaded and unloaded without falling apart. The highest “castell” in history was a 10 floor structure with 3 people in each floor. In 2010 “castells” were declared by UNESCO one of the Masterpieces of the Oral and Intangible Heritage of Humanity. (AP Photo/Emilio Morenatti)”

"TOPSHOTS-INDIA-RELIGION-HINDU-FESTIVAL"

“An Indian potter prepares clay lanterns used during Diwali celebrations ahead of the forthcoming Hindu festival in Jalandhar on October 8, 2014. Diwali, celebrated this year on October 23, marks the victory of good over evil and commemorates the time when the Hindu god Lord Rama achieved victory over Ravana, and returned to his kingdom of Ayodhya after 14 years exile. AFP PHOTO/SHAMMI MEHRA”

"APTOPIX Hong Kong Democracy Protest"

“A protester holds an umbrella during a performance on a main road in the occupied areas outside government headquarters in Hong Kong’s Admiralty in Hong Kong Thursday, Oct. 9, 2014. Talks between the Hong Kong government and student leaders of a democracy protest that has blocked main roads in the Asian financial hub for nearly two weeks are canceled because they’re unlikely to be constructive, a senior government official said Thursday. (AP Photo/Kin Cheung)”

See more from this gallery here

World Press Photo Awards 2014

The annual World Press Photo exhibition is the best known of World Press Photo’s activities and is a highlight in the organization’s calendar.

Every year following the World Press Photo Contest, the winning images go on tour. In April, the exhibition is officially opened in Amsterdam and can be seen at venues around the globe until March of the next year. The tour program takes in approximately 100 cities in 45 countries and is still expanding.

The exhibition is a showcase for creativity in photojournalism and a platform for developments in the profession, part of World Press Photo’s aim of encouraging and stimulating the work of press photographers around the world. The show also attracts a broader public and, because of the wide-ranging focus of the contest, forms an eyewitness record of world events from the previous year.

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Survivors carry religious images, ten days after Typhoon Haiyan made landfall in the central Philippines.

ABOUT:

Philippe Lopez is a French national who has worked for Agence France-Presse (AFP) in Asia for 14 years. He began his career with the agency as a freelancer in Cambodia in 1999 and became a staff photographer the following year. In 2002, he was named as a photo editor in New Delhi, India, as part of the agency’s development of its South Asia photo desk. He joined the agency’s regional headquarters in Hong Kong as a picture editor in 2005 and became a staff photographer in Shanghai in 2009. He returned to the Hong Kong bureau in 2011.
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BOSTON MARATHON BOMBING 15 April 2013 Boston, USA

Carlos Arrendondo (left) climbs over barricades on Boylston Street, to reach people injured by the first of two bombs that exploded near the finish line at the Boston Marathon, on 15 April. The bombs went off 12 seconds apart, killing three people and injuring at least 264. The winners had crossed the line some hours earlier, but thousands of people were still to finish, and spectators lined the street. On 18 April, the FBI released photographs and video footage of two suspects, later identified as Chechen brothers, Dzhokhar and Tamerlan Tsarnev.  Shortly after they had been identified, the brothers allegedly killed a police officer and hijacked a car. Tamerlan died following the subsequent shoot-out with police, and Dzhokhar was arrested hours later.

JOHN TLUMACKI USA

ABOUT:

John Tlumacki has been a staff photographer for the Boston Globe for 32 years. He has covered three Winter Olympics, Superbowls, and World Series. He was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize in 1989 for his coverage of the Berlin Wall. He was named Boston Press Photographer of the Year in 2011.
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FINAL EMBRACE 25 April 2013 Savar, Bangladesh

Victims lie in the rubble, on the day after the Rana Plaza building, which accommodated five garment factories, collapsed. The relationship between the two people is not known.

In the days following the disaster, more than 800 bodies were visually identified by relatives, or by using ID cards or personal possessions. Relatives of others had to give DNA samples, but months after the incident many had still not been able to identify missing family members. The collapse of the Rana Plaza ranks as one of the worst industrial accidents in history.

TASLIMA AKHTER Bangladesh WEBSITE: www.taslimaakhter.com

ABOUT:

Taslima Akhter was born in Dhaka, Bangladesh in 1974. Before devoting herself entirely to photojournalism and activism, she studied public administration at the University of Dhaka and photography at Pathshala, the South Asian Media Institute in Bangladesh. 
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Djibouti City, Djibouti African migrants on the shore of Djibouti city at night, raising their phones in an attempt to capture an inexpensive signal from neighbouring Somalia—a tenuous link to relatives abroad. Djibouti is a common stop-off point for migrants in transit from such countries as Somalia, Ethiopia and Eritrea, seeking a better life in Europe and the Middle East © John Stanmeyer, USA, VII for National Geographic
Exhibition in London

2014 Exhibition LONDON, Friday 7 November 2014 – Wednesday 26 November 2014

Southbank Centre, Royal Festival Hall

Belvedere Road

London
United Kingdom
 VISITING HOURS Daily: 10.00 – 23.00

Pictures of the Week: October 17, 2014

From the Denver Post

A woman wearing a facemask, as protection from volcanic ash, harvests ash covered chillies and tomatoes at a village in Karo district located, Sumatra island on October 14, 2014 as Mount Sinabung (background) continued to erupt. In February, Sinabung’s eruption killed about 17 people and forced more than 33,000 others to flee their homes.

A protester sits front of barriers against police officers at a main street in Mong Kok district in Hong Kong Friday, Oct. 17, 2014. Riot police cleared an offshoot Hong Kong pro-democracy protest zone in a dawn raid on Friday, taking down barricades, tents and canopies that have blocked key streets for more than two weeks, but leaving the city’s main thoroughfare still in the hands of the activists.

"APTOPIX Cuba Violins Photo Gallery"

“In this Oct. 9, 2014 photo, students tune their violins before class at the Manuel Saumell music school in Havana, Cuba. Before Cuba’s 1959 revolution, many students played violins, violas, cellos and bass from European workshops. After it, the Soviet Union provided violins and cellos, along with many other goods. Now, as Cuba struggles to revive its economy, students must make do with violins from China that too easily pop strings and lose their tone. (AP Photo/Ramon Espinosa)”

"APTOPIX Serbia Putin"

“Members of the Serbian army march under heavy rain during a military parade in Belgrade, Serbia, Thursday, Oct. 16, 2014. Waving Russian and Serbian flags and displaying banners “Thank You Russia,” tens of thousands came to see the parade in Belgrade attended by Vladimir Putin, which marked the 70th anniversary of the liberation of the Serbian capital from the Nazi German occupation by the Red Army and Communist Yugoslav Partisans. (AP Photo/Marko Drobnjakovic)”

"APTOPIX Mexico Charro Horses Photo Gallery"

“In this Aug. 26, 2014 photo, 4-year-old patient Saul Valverde rides lying on the back of Andariego, a 19-year-old veteran horse retired from “charreria,” the Mexican version of a rodeo, at a corral in southern Mexico City. Andariego now works as a therapy horse, helping children with special needs. Horses can live another 20 years after their rodeo days. The lucky ones find second careers in breeding or as therapy horses. (AP Photo/Marco Ugarte)”

"APTOPIX India State Elections"

“Security men guard as Indian women arrive to cast their votes during the Haryana state elections in Bandhwadi, India, Wednesday, Oct. 15, 2014. The Indian states Haryana and Maharashtra are going to the polls Wednesday to elect representatives to their respective state legislatures. (AP Photo/Saurabh Das)”

"TOPSHOTS-INDONESIA-VOLCANO"

“A woman wearing a facemask, as protection from volcanic ash, harvests ash covered chillies and tomatoes at a village in Karo district located, Sumatra island on October 14, 2014 as Mount Sinabung volcano (background) continued to erupt. In February, Sinabung’s eruption killed about 17 people and forced more than 33,000 others to flee their homes. AFP PHOTO / SUTANTA ADITYA/AFP/GettyImages”

See the rest of the images from this gallery here

The Photographer’s Quarter Life Crisis And How to Get Past It

From Lightstalking

There may come a time in your life as a photographer when you suddenly find your own photographs distasteful. This is a time when you feel restless, frustrated, and dissatisfied with the images you’ve recently created. You then realize that it’s not a one- time ordeal and it’s already been awhile since you started experiencing this. It’s not that you don’t know how to create beautiful shots because you’ve done it before and quite often too. You’ve created images that surprised your friends and family. Ah, it even surprised you so much that at one point you even thought of turning pro. And maybe you did turn pro. But somehow, things don’t seem to fare well and it feels as if your creativity has plateaued, or worse, regressed. If there was a photographer’s quarter-life /midlife crisis, this would probably be it.

There are two ways to approach this dilemma. You can end your dream of being a world class photographer and sell your gear at a ridiculously low price or you can try to find ways to get out of this seemingly twilight zone you’ve gotten yourself into. The question though is how.

I would suggest you take a course with us, ask anyone who has taken our Intermediate course if it has jump started their photography

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Before we answer how to get off this awkward feeling of always creating boring shots, we need to understand what is happening in the first place. We need to answer why you are experiencing it. Is it a skill deficiency? Perhaps, has your passion for photography started to dwindle? You may or may not yet be in this situation, but the possibility of experiencing it is there.

The Cause

There may be several reasons why this happens. It can be caused by a drop in excitement level, lack of skill, the absence of new things to learn, or too much common shooting opportunities that leads to boredom.

Do you remember when you started doing photography? You were so excited about everything from understanding camera bodies, lenses, lighting equipment, and even enhancing your images for hours with Photoshop. Even reflectors, filters and slings were very interesting at that time. It’s a time when you suddenly see a big difference between your old pre-basic photography class shots and your i-feel-like-a-pro-after-basic-class photos. In fact, as you continue to learn more, you also see big positive changes in the way you create your images. The improvement is so huge that it keeps you excited. But the more you progress, the less improvement can be seen. Not because you’re learning less, but because you’re seeing less of the differences in your shots. The once steep learning curve is beginning to flatten out.

 

Want more…….

Taylor Wessing Photographic Portrait Prize 2014

Its that time of year, all the major awards and competitions produce their winners, yesterday we reported on the Landscape Photographer of The Year and now it is The Taylor Wessing Photographic Portrait Prize. We did report on the alternative version of this prize, the one that represents the ones that didn’t win the  Portrait Salon 2014 – Pictures rejected by Taylor Wessing I admit I was a bit harsh on the Taylor Wessing Prize in that piece, I suggested that to win the TW you either had to have red heads holding a small furry animal. Well I was wrong, this time it is a chicken, and I also said that every subject had to look bored out of their brains, again I was wrong, it is just most of them have to be bored. The winner this time can barely be called a portrait, this is what The Telegraph said

The Taylor Wessing Photographic Portrait Prize tends to draw a vocal crowd. This year more than 4,000 submissions have been whittled down to 60 exhibits, plenty capable of eliciting an “awesome” or an “awful”. However, as the last prize to be hosted by the outgoing director Sandy Nairne, there is little doubt that this is a fine swansong, delivering portraits that are variously elegant, jubilant and unsettling from a consistently accomplished selection.

Tongues will still wag. Not least because many will consider that the winning image, David Titlow’s Konrad Lars Hastings Titlow, is not a portrait at all. If you photograph a bowl of fruit, you’d be hard pressed to call it a landscape. Likewise, I’m not sure you can describe as a portrait a composition in which three adults, a baby and a dog vie for prominence (if anything the dog wins) and which focuses on the moment rather than the subjects. It’s a strong image, resonant of the Golden Age of Dutch painting (more of which later). But is it a portrait?

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The 2014 winnerKonrad Lars Hastings Titlow by David Titlow. Photograph: David Titlow/National Portrait Gallery

Ah nice doggie…..

Here is the ubiquitous red heads with animal

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Shortlisted imageBraian and Ryan by Birgit Püve. Photograph: Birgit Püve/National Portrait Gallery

See what I mean about bored?

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Shortlisted imageSkate Girl by Jessica Fulford-Dobson. Photograph: Jessica Fulford-Dobson/National Portrait Gallery

The Guardian has an easy to access gallery here

I am not sure I can go on, the mirth is overwhelming, anyway here are some more images to tempt you along to the exhibition at the NPG

THE EXHIBITION

The Taylor Wessing Photographic Portrait Prize 2014is a unique opportunity to see sixty new portraits by some of the most exciting contemporary photographers from around the world.

The selected images, many of which will be on display for the first time, explore both traditional and original approaches to the photographic portrait through intimate images of friends and family alongside revealing portraits of famous faces.

This year the competition attracted over 4,000 submissions in the form of editorial, advertising and fine art prints and the selected works in the exhibition include the four prize winners as well as the winner of the John Kobal New Work Award.

Please note this exhibition contains nudity.

Also on display, in Room 39 is Hana Knizova′s portrait of Olivia Colman which was commissioned as part of the John Kobal New Work Award 2013. 13th November – 22nd February 2015

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Longlisted imageArvi, by Sami Parkkinen. Photograph: Sami Parkkinen/National Portrait Gallery

and just to prove how wrong I can be here is one that incorporates a smile, still a bit doubtful as a portrait though, more street scene

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Longlisted imageVijay Rudanlalji Banspal, by Karan Kumar Sachdev. Photograph: Karan Kumar Sachdev/National Portrait Gallery

Here are the links you will need

The Telegraph for an appraisal

The Guardian for a selection of images in a nice gallery format

A review and explanation in The Guardian

More of the same from the BBC

Good luck

Take a View Landscape photographer of the year 2014

The winners of this year’s Take a View landscape photographer of the year awards have been announced. An exhibition will run for nine weeks starting 1 December on the mezzanine level of Waterloo station in London  The exhibition will run for nine weeks from 1st December 2014 to the 31st January 2015Admission is free

Congratulations to Mark Littlejohn, who becomes the eighth holder of the title, ‘Landscape Photographer of the Year’. Mark’s image of a transient stream flowing down the side of a mountain in Glencoe during a heavy rainstorm captured the attention of the judges and won Mark the title and the £10,000 top prize.

Mark also had two images of the Lake District ‘Highly commended’ by the judges and one ‘Commended’

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University of Sheffield, The Arts Tower, winner of the urban view category Photograph: Daniel Cook/Take A View/PA

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Bowdown berries – Newbury, Berkshire – which won the your view category Photograph: Robert Oliver/Take A View/PA

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Heather in bloom, Roseberry Topping, North Yorkshire, winner of the countryside is great category Photograph: John Robinson/Take A View/PA

The Guardian has more winners here

and there is a full set of winning entries and commended here

 

 

André Kertész: the photographer’s photographer – in pictures

Henri Cartier-Bresson said: ‘Each time André Kertész’s shutter clicks, I feel his heart beating.’ Now, the Hungarian artist who pioneered photojournalism, influencing Cartier-Bresson and Brassaï, is back in the spotlight. To mark the 120th anniversary of his birth, France’s Artcurial is auctioning some of his most notable images – from a candid shot of Colette to a bricks-and-mortar view of the Eiffel Tower

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See more in The Guardian

The poppies at the Tower of London

On the BBC site we found these images of perhaps one of the most emotive memorials associated with WW1 as expressed in this anniversary year

Nearly four million people are expected to have visited an installation at the Tower of London to mark the centenary of the start of World War One by 12 November.

Blood Swept Lands And Seas Of Red by ceramic artist Paul Cummins has proven so popular there have been calls for it to be extended.

London Mayor Boris Johnson is among those to have suggested the dismantling of the installation, due to start the day after Armistice Day, could be postponed. Thousands of people have also signed an e-petition calling for the poppies to remain.

To allow as many people as possible to see the installation, the hours that the site will be illuminated will be extended. From Friday, the poppies will be lit from 04:30 GMT until dawn and then from dusk until midnight.

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See all the images here

7 Tips for Photographing Groups

I found this Post By: Karen Quist on Digital Photo School and thought it might be helpful to you if you plan to photograph your family or friends in the lead up to Christmas

Whether you’re an amateur or professional photographer, whether you usually photograph people, products, landscapes or insects, the time will come when you will be asked to photograph a large group of people.

Image H smaller family group

Of course large is a relative term. If you are used to photographing couples or taking individual portraits, large could mean a group of five people. In general, I consider large to be a group of seven or more.

The festive season is fast approaching, and this is the time of year when you are most likely to be asked to photograph large groups. During this season, families tend to congregate in one place, some travelling far and wide for the privilege of togetherness. Sports teams, dance clubs and social groups start winding down for the holiday season, and love to have an annual or seasonal record of their group.

Wedding and school photographers are the true experts in group photography. I am neither of those; I’m a family and children’s photographer, and I don’t mind admitting that I’m a one-trick pony.

However, over the past few months and for one reason or another, I have been asked to photograph an increasing number of large groups. Sometimes the lessons we need to learn find us, and it has been said that we best teach what we most need to learn. With that in mind, I’d like to share some of the lessons I’ve learned along the way, both through my own trial and error, and through tips for photographing large groups, passed on to me from other photographers.

 

Photography Exhibitions November 2014

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