Oxford School of Photography

insights into photography

Daily Archives: December 7, 2010

Why you should own an external flash

If you have ever used a camera before then you have probably also used a flash as well. Almost every camera these days (compact, DSLR, etc) comes with a flash built into it. Most people who own a camera also leave there cameras on full auto and let the camera decide when to use it as well. This results in many shots in low light where a flash is needlessly being fired and also leaves less than desirable results.

Then you see people with these big bulky flashes that they attach to the top of there camera. Are these really that much better than the flash you already have? Well the answer here should come as no surprise when I say yes…. yes it most certainly is better…. night and day better in-fact. But why? read more here

Format11 International Photography – Magnum Photos organise street photography workshop in Derby

Magnum Photos is organising a “five-day intensive, practice-oriented workshop focusing specifically on the popular theme of street photography,” to coincide with the Format11 International Photography Festival in Derby, a biennial of contemporary photography.

The workshop is aimed at photographers “with a good understanding of photographic practice,” says Magnum. “Each Magnum photographer will lead intimate groups of twelve individuals through an intensive program of shooting, daily reviews, group critiques, mentoring, editing sessions and the opportunity to learn amongst peers.”

The workshop will culminate in a public projection of candidate’s work and the production of group books, sponsored by Blurb.

Michael Freeman Books

I have just received 2 books I had ordered by Michael Freeman, one of the better writers in the vast world of photography books. The first

The Photographer’s Eye: Composition and Design for Better Digital Photos

Deals mainly with composition and design and is a cut above the average. This review on Amazon reflects my thoughts although it has many images to explain the ideas it is a word driven and intelligent, almost academic book so if you are not into reading it might not be for you. “This is the best single volume on visual design and composition in years. Painters need a book this good. Freeman’s earlier book from the 1980s, “Image,” had long held the status, IMHO, of being the best single volume. His new book surpasses the older one by a significant margin.”  It is only about £10 on Amazon and obviously a bit more elsewhere so a great present to ask for that is not embarrassingly expensive like a 70 – 200 f2.8 zoom from Nikon or Canon.

The second book is more, well academic, it is about the thought processes involved with image making, aimed at people whose first instinct when confronted by a sunset is not to reach for a camera, although in the opening chapter Freeman deals with why we are so drawn to photographing red skies. Interesting, revealing and intelligent.

The Photographer’s Mind: Creative Thinking for Better Digital Photos

These are books for people who realise that owning a camera does not make you a photographer and that how you think about and create images is what makes you a photographer. Even if your intentions with your pictures is attractive, harmonious images rather than some deep concept as to why, how and the meaning of life you might benefit from spending time after lunch on the 25th enjoying a quiet couple of hours indulging your love of photography.