Oxford School of Photography

insights into photography

Monthly Archives: December 2010

William and Kate: Mario Testino fails his history test

From The Guardian, a commentary on the success or otherwise of the royal portrait by

Mario Testino

“If the royal family must commission official portraits, let’s have some stiff formality – not this 80s sofa warehouse effort”


So could you have done better, well if you had attended our portrait course I think probably so, this stale and vague portrait has nothing that one expects from a photographer of such standing, what do you think?

Unicef Photo of the Year 2010

Unicef Photo of the Year 2010

The winners of this year’s Unicef Photo of the Year contest have been announced in Berlin. The prize is awarded to outstanding photos that best depict the personality and living conditions of children

First prize: Ed Kashi, Agency VII, US
Title: Vietnam: The legacy of war
The Vietnam war ended in 1975. The US withdrew their troops and north and south Vietnam were reunited. But for the Vietnamese people the legacy of American warfare continues. US forces used the herbicide Agent Orange to destroy foliage that the north Vietnamese were using as cover. Agent Orange contains dioxins that are known to cause cancer and damage genes. The effects of the toxic substance can be seen among Vietnamese people to this day, such as cancer, immune disorders and severe deformities. According to official estimates, 1.2 million children, including nine-year-old Nguyen Thi Ly, are disabled. In rural areas, the percentage of disabled children is significantly higher than in urban areas

Second prize: Majid Saeedi, Getty Images
Title: Afghanistan: The devastating consequences of civil wars
Approximately 4 million refugees have returned to Afghanistan from Pakistan and Iran and are now trying to settle down again in their home country. Among these refugees was the family of eight-year-old Akram. His family had looked for shelter in the Pakistani city of Peshawar and Akram tried to make money by collecting scraps on a rubbish dump in the city. While rummaging through the rubbish, he accidentally touched a non-insulated cable, which caused severe burns. Both his hands and arms had to be amputated. Akram’s family have now returned to Kabul and he received arm prostheses thanks to the help of the International Red Cross Photograph: Majid Saeedi/Getty Images/UNICEF
Photo of the Year 2010
Third prize: GMB Akash, Panos Pictures
Title: The oldest profession in the world destroys the lives of young girls
Bangladesh-based photographer GMB Akash shows the plight of child prostitutes in Bangladesh, some of whom are extremely young. Young girls in the brothels of the Faridpur region have to take a steroid daily to “plump up”, so they appear older and presumably more attractive. It is the same drug that is also used to fatten cattle. It was originally intended for use by people suffering from arthritis, asthma or allergies. Yasmin, 20, has a puffy face because of the steroid. She has lived in this brothel since she was a child – just like her mother, who worked here as a prostitute for 30 years Photograph: GMB Akash/Panos Pictures/UNICEF Photo of the Year 2010

2010: the year in pictures

2010: the year in pictures from The Guardian

It was a year of protests, floods, astonishing political moments – and a spot of ballroom dancing. Here are some of the best images of the year and an insight into how they came about.

Photograph: Daniel Berehulak/Getty Images

Photograph: Brian Snyder/Reuters


Both of the photographers I have featured here have excellent portfolios and if you are interested at all in photo-journalism have a look at their work through the links on their names. Enjoy

10 Most Popular PetaPixel Posts of 2010

20 Top posts

This is a link to a blog site that you might find useful. It is aimed at those interested in photography but unlike our space is almost entirely devoted to equipment. We are more interested in the ideas surrounding photography than the kit involved. This site offers technical information as well as reports on the hands on experience of shooting with particular types of cameras.

Here is a list of the top five posts

Light Painting 3

As we continue to get response to our posts on Light Painting it seems worthwhile having a look at what else is out there to stimulate you. Maybe this interest is because it is so dark and dull all day here in the UK.

Light painting, also known as light drawing or light graffiti is a photographic technique in which exposures are made usually at night or in a darkened room by moving a hand-held light source or by moving the camera. In many cases the light source itself does not have to appear in the image. The term light painting also encompasses images lit from outside the frame with hand-held light sources. The first known photographer to use this technique was Man Ray in his series “Space Writing” created in 1935. Photographer, Ellen Carey, discovered Man Ray’s signature signed by penlight nearly 74 years after the pictures had been taken.” here a a couple of Man Ray images from about 1935














The first point of call today is


“Light painting, or painting with light is the art of lighting a photograph with a hand-held light – usually a flashlight. If you’ve ever written your name in the air with a sparkler, you’ve got the general idea.After many years of light painting on my own in dark, lonely studios I’ve decided to relaunch LightPainting.org as a community site. We have forums, galleries and articles to help you get started. Membeship is free and you can sign up here: Register.” There are tutorials, forums, blogs and galleries.

There is also advice on making light painting images even if you do not have expensive equipment






Abduzeedo also has a tutorial page with images that you will find useful, you can never have too much information!



Got a new camera? Techniques and Rules All New Camera Owners Should Know

Did the holidays find you the proud owner of a new camera. You may be well versed in the details and techniques of digital cameras but if not then these tutorials will be very useful to you. You might also want to consider taking one of our courses scheduled for the new year. Starting towards the end of January we have a range of camera and technique based courses that if you are lucky enough to live in Oxford you might want to take.

How to Photograph Fireworks Displays this NYE

Do you want to know how to photograph fireworks? with NYE just days away I thought I’d refresh this article in which I give 10 Fireworks Photography tips to help you get started. From Darren Rowse at Digital Photo School, the fireworks over Sydney Harbour are always spectacular on NYE but you may have more modest fireworks to celebrate with and photograph, these tips may help you to do better. DPS is based in Melbourne Australia, I should think Melbourne is a pretty glum place after the last Ashes match so they need some fireworks to cheer them up.

Photography Assistant Wanted Oxfordshire

Photography Assistant

Company: Mark Brome Photographer

Description: Hi, I am looking for an assistant to help out on a location promo shoot for a theatre company in Oxford on the 30th Jan 2011 as my regular assistant is away on holiday. Around 5-6 hours work for £100 fee. Would suit a photography student looking for some hands on experience of a hectic location shoot. A love of imaging, fantastic with people and their egos, and knows their way around a camera is more important than experience. Email only please and tell me why you would like to be considered.

County/Area: Oxfordshire

Contact: Mark Brome
Website: www.markbrome.com

Date Posted: 22/December/2010

The ecstasy of street photography

“Some feel that street photography robs people’s privacy, but to me the thrill of the hunt felt more like creation than theft” From The Guardian

Street Photography Now Project is a collaboration between The Photographers’ Gallery, London and Sophie Howarth and Stephen McLaren, authors of Street Photography Now (Thames and Hudson).

Each week from 1 October 2010, a leading contemporary street photographer will issue a new instruction, written to inspire fresh ways of looking at and documenting the world we live in.

Over the following six days, photographers around the world are invited to upload one photograph in response, to a special Flickr Group. After six days the next instruction will be issued. See the Take Part section of this website for more details on how to contribute.

Many people hold the great French photographers, Cartier-Bresson, Doisneau or Ronis as the ideal of street photographers

Willy Ronis

Robert Doisneau

via The ecstasy of street photography | Sarah Bakewell | Comment is free | guardian.co.uk.