Oxford School of Photography

insights into photography

Nan Goldin: the fabulous drag queens who launched my career

As found in the Guardian

Before she was the queen of hardcore photography, Nan Goldin was a normal American girl suffocated by the suburbs. As a teenager, she had her first exhibition in her hometown Boston, full of shots of the drag queens she had started hanging out with. Now, she’s opened up her archive to share these unseen early images – the first step in a career defined by shockwaves

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More here

Links

Earlier Posts

A Record Of Real Life: Nan Goldin

Nan Goldin Photographer

Photographer Nan Goldin’s best shots

Tate

Guardian

Interview with The Guardian

Wiki

Annegien van Doorn

ANNEGIEN VAN DOORN

My name is Annegien van Doorn. I am a Dutch visual artist born in 1982 in Vlissingen, The Netherlands. In 2004 I graduated from the St. Joost Art Academy and from 2006 until 2008 I followed the Master of Fine Art program ‘Arte y Contextos Intermedia’ at the University of Barcelona.

The banal, the quotidian, the obvious, the common and the ordinary fascinate me. How do we give meaning to our daily life? I am looking for the places where we use and transform our surroundings from one day to another. The traces we leave behind with the changes in the space we occupy to give that space the features to attribute to our needs and desires. These interventions speak about who we are and who we want to be in this world……..more here

ANNEGIEN VAN DOORN

ANNEGIEN VAN DOORN

ANNEGIEN VAN DOORN

http://annegienvandoorn.com/

Like to see more, then go here or here for an interview

Sacred Trust | Steve McCurry

Sacred Trust | Steve McCurry.

There is no trust more sacred than the one the world holds with children.
There is no duty more important than ensuring that their rights are respected,
that their welfare is protected, that their lives are free from fear and want
and that they can grow up in peace.
– Kofi Annan

01844_12, Lavazza, Honduras, 2005, HONDURAS-10044NF3. A boy carrying sticks.  retouched_Ekaterina Savtsova 09/05/2014

Hazaras, Kabul, Afghanistan, 2006, AFGHN-13034NF. A father helps his son make candy. MM7424_061007_11017 Confectionary factory, Kabul, Afghanistan, 2006. Pg 234. Untold: The Stories Behind the Photographs. retouched_Sonny Fabbri 11/14/2012

00544_05. Bangladesh, 1983, BANGLADESH-10014. Young boys carry wood.  Retouched_Ashley Crabill 05/28/2013

_2SM8311; India, 04/2012, INDIA-11596

See more here

The winners of the 2015 iPhone Photography Awards – in pictures

From The Guardian

Have iPhones dumbed down or democratised photography? You decide after viewing some of the winning entries from this years competition. I think having an iphone photography award is a bit like saying flat screen tv. It is a photography award the iphone bit is irrelevant.

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Michal Koralewski from Kozieglowy, Poland, won photographer of the year with this image of an accordionist in a square in Warsaw.

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Ahmed Saeed of Cairo, Eypt was placed first in the travel section with his vibrant image of the Nubian village of Gharb Sehal at Aswan.

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Alexander Vu from Walnut, California, United States photographed Bob, who was painting a dormitory at an orphanage in Haiti and placed second in portraits.

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Heather Goss of Granf Haven, United States took first place in seasons with her image of the pier at an iced-over Lake Michigan.

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Ruiridh McGlynn of Edinburgh, United Kingdom, took this picture of a wind blasted tree in the desert in Qatar near the Saudi Arabian border and was awarded first place in the tree section.

See all the winners here

North Korea – A Life between Propaganda and Reality – Alice Wielinga

A fascinating mix of propaganda and photography. Found in the Guardian

After winning the first prize at the Photo Folio Review 2014, North Korea, a Life between Propaganda and Reality will be shown during the 2015 edition of the international renown photofestival Les Rencontres d’Arles.

As the winner of the Photo Folio Review 2014, Alice’s project will be shown in a soloshow at the Eglise Saint Blaise.

On North Korea, a Life between Propaganda and Reality:
April 2013. While the Western media follows Kim Jong-Un’s steps during his missile test launches, I travel 2,500 kilometres through the North Korean interior. Once arrived, the images I know from my advance research correspond with the scenes my guides proudly show me during their propaganda tour. But seeing these scenes with my own eyes, I gradually discover that behind everything they present to me, a different reality is hidden. While I listen to my guides talking about what invaluable contributions the greatly admired leaders made to their country, I drive through a landscape that looks haggard and desolate. During my journey I collect propaganda material and take photographs of the reality I encounter. This material is the basis for my multimedia project ‘North Korea, a Life between Propaganda and Reality’. With the found propaganda images and my own photographs I compose a story that deconstructs the North Korean propaganda.

The exhibition can be visited from July 6 till September 20 in Eglise Saint Blaise in Arles.

For more information, visit the festival’s website:
Les Rencontres d’Arles

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Harry Gruyaert: ‘I discovered how to see’

Harry Gruyaert tells Lucy Davies in The Telegraph how he turned colour photography into art.

Who? you may ask: Harry Gruyaert, born in Antwerp (Belgium) in 1941, studied at the School of Film and Photography in Brussels from 1959 to 1962. Then he became a photographer in Paris, while working as a freelance director of photography for Flemish television between 1963 and 1967.

In 1969, he made the first of many trips to Morocco.
From 1970 to 1972 he lived in London. This is an opportunity for unprecedented visual experiments: he decided to “cover” the Munich Olympics of 1972 and the first Apollo flights, on a broken TV screen he has at its disposal, by manipulating the colors.
Between 1973 and 1980, he began a long essay on Belgium first in black and white and then in color.

Harry Gruyaert joined Magnum Photos in 1981 and continues many trips including Asia, USA, Middle East and Russia.

In the 2000s Harry Gruyaert abandons film to digital photography.
Very concerned about the quality of prints made previously in Cibachrome and sometimes dye transfer, he experimented early in the inkjet printing. Better suited to revealing the rich shades found in his films, digital print opens new possibilities for his work, bringing it one step closer to his original intention, namely to give color the means to assert its true existence.

Here is the article

In Paris, in his early 20s, Harry Gruyaert would go to the cinema five or six times a week. Having been desperate to leave his hometown of Antwerp, where – in his words – “there was nothing to learn”, he had relocated to the French capital in the hope of becoming a photographer. “It could have been London or New York, but Paris was nearer and Paris had some photographers I had heard of,” he says. “But Paris also had better movies, and I learnt everything at the movies.”

The year was 1962, and in between screenings of Truffaut’s Jules et Jim and Antonioni’s L’Avventura – he watched the latter more than 10 times – Gruyaert would sit in his tatty little apartment and telephone the hippest fashion photographers of the day, hoping for an “in”.

Paris, 1985 (© Harry Gruyaert / Magnum Photos)

“I started with William Klein and Jeanloup Sieff and I asked if I could show them my work,” he tells me, when we meet in London. “Klein said: ‘Maybe, but can you charge a camera battery?’ I was so excited, but all I could think when I met him was ‘Jeez, this guy looks and behaves exactly like his photographs.’ It was the most important lesson I learnt, because it showed me right away that photography is all about personality.” READ MORE HERE

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When by your pool….

Take a dip: shimmering pool-scapes by Karine Laval

Found this in The Telegraph

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Paris-born, New York-based photographer Karine Laval has always been fascinated by water. “We often take it for granted and think of it as a simple, common substance,” she says, “but it is mysterious and complex, with many implications in our lives….I find [it] appeasing, meditative and exhilarating. It speaks to the senses and it can be a vehicle for transformation and self-reflection, too.”

Between 2002 and 2006 she travelled throughout Europe photographing outdoor swimming pools, in part in to revisit memories from her childhood. Next she took a break from working in New York and visited a friend in the Dominican Republic. “In this tropical setting, by the pool, I became fascinated by the liquid landscapes appearing and fading away like dreams…it seemed to echo my shifting states of mind, and I couldn’t resist trying to capture them.” When she returned home, she expanded the series to include include private American pools in Los Angeles and Palm Springs, and in Fire Island and Long Island.

“I see the pool as a metaphor,” says Laval, “a mirror whose surface reflects the surrounding world but is also a gate into another, dream-like world.”

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See the rest of these enchanting pictures here

Adding an Off-Camera Flash to Create a Winning Image

Found on DPS an in depth tutorial on how to use off camera flash for stunning results A Post By: Bruce Wunderlich

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This image, titled “Star Gazers”, won Grand Prizes at the 2015 Shoot the Hills photo competition. Held in the Hocking Hills region near Logan, Ohio, this competition takes place the 3rd weekend every April. 160 photographers from several states participated this year.

I initially came up with the idea for this shot over a year earlier, but my first attempt at the image failed miserably. (see below)

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What mistakes did I make?

If I would have checked the histogram I would have seen that all of the image was extremely under-exposed with all the data pushed up against the left side of the histogram.

  1. The image was under-exposed, because I failed to check the histogram. In the dark the image looked great on the LCD on the back of the camera!
  2. With the long exposure (30 seconds) there was no way for the subjects in the image to remain still enough to avoid blurring.

The Solutions

  1. The solution for the exposure was simple. First I turned down the brightness of the camera’s LCD screen. Then I used the histogram to determine my exposure.
  2. The length of exposure time was the main problem I had with this first attempt at capturing the image I had planned. It is nearly impossible for a live model to stand still for 30 seconds to prevent blurring. An off-camera flash was added behind the models to create the rim lighting in order to freeze their movement. Adding this flash was the major difference-maker from my earlier attempt of this image.

 

Want to read the rest of this article? Go Here

We teach about this on our flash course, 

5 Simple Ways to Manage Your Photos While Traveling

From Jason at Lightstalking we get this article addressing the problems of image storage when travelling. I think all his options are good, as with everything to do with photography all options are ultimately a compromise of some sort. I have found that travelling with a card reader and a stack of data sticks is the answer. They are suitably cheap now, 7 Day Shop have 64gb USB sticks for less than £13, I usually download in an internet cafe or hotel computer and put my images on 2 sticks for back up and keep them in different places in my luggage. Anyway here are the 5 suggestions from LS

Travelling with your camera is one of the great pleasures in life. Capturing the sights and emotions of far flung cultures is a great way of learning and understanding the world around you. When you are travelling, photography seems somehow easier, you take more images and often lose the self consciousness that you may have at home. However, with this glut of new shots, how can you manage them whilst on the move? I am sure many of us have experienced the pain of a failed card or drive, a pain that would be intensified if it were to happen on a trip of a lifetime. So what are your options?

Laptop and a Spare Drive

This is perhaps the most efficient option but also the heaviest and, of course, there is the risk that your laptop could get stolen. However, with small form factor and powerful laptops available such as the Apple Air series, combined with software such as Lightroom and a spare external hard-drive to back up to, this can be a great option. Some of the advantages here are not having to worry too much about hard drive space, the ability to catalogue and keyword your shots whilst away and being able to do some image post production work, the last two being significant time savers for when you return home.

Photo printers vs online photo labs: which delivers the perfect print?

A question I am asked regularly in class is what is the best way to get prints. In my experience getting someone else to do it is always cheaper and as long as your monitor is calibrated usually reliable. So this article on Digital Camera World opens up the discussion and is well worth a read if you are thinking about printing

Is it better to print your photos at home or have them created in a pro-level lab? We weigh up the pros and cons in our photo printers vs photo labs head-to-head test…

Photo printers vs photo labs: which delivers the perfect print?

Home printers on test
Canon PIXMA MG7550/MG7520, £150, $150
Canon PIXMA Pro-10S, £600, $770
Epson Expression Photo XP-950, £240, $275
Epson SureColor P600, £570, $790

Online labs (UK)
Loxley Colour
Whitewall

Online labs (US)
AdoramaPix
WHCC (White House Custom Color)

We’re the instant generation. We want it all, and we want it now. Instant coffee, fast food, streaming movies – everything’s accessible on demand, no need to wait. Digital photography is no exception.

Press the shutter button and you can review the image a split-second later, right on the camera. There’s no indeterminate wait until you’ve finished the roll of film, then had it developed and finally picked up your proof prints.

Indeed, printing your images at home can be similarly speedy. Some desktop photo printers can output a 6×4-inch print in as little as 20 seconds, which is great for the impatient among us. But hang on just a minute.

Faster isn’t always better. Think fine dining and, chances are, you’re not thinking of a microwave dinner. And many would rather splash out on a posh coffee rather than gulp down a mug of instant.

Again, digital photography is no exception. Sure, a simple press of the shutter button is all that’s required to capture the image, but a lot of work and effort will often go into setting up the shot, matched by painstaking image enhancement at the photo editing stage.

Similarly, if you’re creating a photo print to last a lifetime, it’s worth spending a little time to make it look its best. That’s where the important choices come into play.

Read on here

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