Oxford School of Photography

insights into photography

Monthly Archives: January 2011

4 Concepts for Collages, Diptychs, Album Pages,

Combining images for display in any form often creates a result that is greater than the sum of the parts.   We teach making collages in Photoshop on our course starting 7th March. When you assemble a book template, diptych, triptych or collage in Photoshop (or other editing software), do you arrange them so they work together or do you just pop them in? In this post, I want to talk about the things to consider when assembling an attractive collection of images that can work together nicely…..more

New Nikon D800 release?

A Breathtaking Coastal Photography Collection

Coastal photography collections are always among the most visually breathtaking and popular that we put on Light Stalking. After our well received article on using ND Graduated filters by Chris Gin which goes into the technical aspects of taking photographs like these ones, we thought we would offer another collection around this fantastic theme. Here are some great examples of a beautiful subject at the right time of day taken with the right gear.

Second Edition of The Julia Margaret Cameron Award

The Julia Margaret Cameron Award is addressed to professional and non professional women photographers worldwide, who will compete together with single images and/or portfolios.

The Worldwide Photography Gala Awards (WPGA), with the sponsorship of Save the Children and ZOOM Magazine invites women photographers worldwide to submit images to the Second Edition of The Julia Margaret Cameron Award.
The winner images will be published in ZOOM Magazine. As in other contests organized by WPGA who partner with Save the Children, sales of works in exhibitions will be donated to that humanitarian organization.

WPGA will be inviting in this occasion photographers working in all mediums, styles and schools of thought. Traditional, contemporary, avant-garde, creative and experimental works that include old and new processes, mixed techniques, and challenging personal, emotional or political statements will be welcome.

See the winners here

Julia Margaret Cameron (11 June 1815 – 26 January 1879) was a British photographer. She became known for her portraits of celebrities of the time, and for photographs with Arthurian and other legendary themes.

Cameron’s photographic career was short, spanning eleven years of her life (1864–1875). She took up photography at the relatively late age of 48, when she was given a camera as a present.[1] Although her style was not widely appreciated in her own day, her work has had an impact on modern photographers, especially her closely cropped portraits. Her house, Dimbola Lodge, on the Isle of Wight is open to the public.

London as found by Martin Plonka

This set of images has something about a nether world, hard to pin down, some are really well seen and fascinating, definitely worth 5 minutes of your time, by Martin Plonka

Motivational Tips to kick start your photography this year

If one of your new years resolutions was to take more and better photos, you’re not alone. I say exactly the same thing every year and happily I can report that it’s one resolution I stick to. So what’s my secret?

As with any new years resolution the key in hitting your goal is planning and enjoyment, so here are five of my top tips for making 2011 your best ever photo year.If one of your new years resolutions was to take more and better photos, you’re not alone. I say exactly the same thing every year and happily I can report that it’s one resolution I stick to. So what’s my secret?…from

Gavtrain – Photography Training

British Wildlife Photography Awards 2011

The competition opens on 1 February 2011, with a prize fund of up to £20,000. The British Wildlife Photography Awards in 2011 are your chance to win a prestigious photography award and cash prize of £5,000.

Wildlife Photography: Hints and Tips

  • When looking through the viewfinder, ask yourself the question, “How would I caption this image?” If the only answer is the species name, then wait for a more dynamic composition.
  • Remember the technical must haves: in focus and well exposed.
  • The best compositions are simple and uncluttered. Photography is a form of communication and the best communication is unambiguous. Think about the nature of your subject and make sure that any visual elements in the picture space add to the composition and don’t detract from the main subject.
  • Be original. The judges will be looking for images that reveal the unexpected.
  • With some exceptions, high ISO ratings in digital cameras may reduce image quality.
  • Know your subject – the better you know your subject the easier it is to predict behaviour and capture original images.

The 2010 competition’s winning photograph of a herring gull taken by Steve Young shows a familiar bird in its conventional setting, but the visual impact is extraordinary. The judges were looking for the one image that stood out, among thousands of entries, as the most memorable.

Competition judge Greg Armfield from WWF said: “This is a unique and striking image. One that captures perfectly the power, chaos and intensity of the ocean as it surrounds the majestic gull.”

Tom Hind, competition judge from Getty Images, added: “I like the defiance in this shot – the gull’s refusal to be moved in the face of this crashing wave seems to sum up a peculiarly British stoicism! It’s also a great example of how the commonplace can be transformed in a judicious moment.”

© Steve Young, Herring gull in wave

A Flash of Light: The Dance Photography of Chris Nash at the V & A London

Theatre and Performance Gallery, room 104

Victoria & Albert Museum


Free admission

Showcasing Nash’s fascination with movement, light, colour and composition, this dazzling display will feature three decades of the dance photographer’s most significant work. A Flash of Light will explore Nash’s collaboration with the foremost figures in contemporary dance, including the Rambert Dance Company and Javier de Frutos. By including over 60 prints, the display will document 30 years of Contemporary British Dance and the vision behind Nash’s process, combined with a specially commissioned behind-the-scenes film of his work.

How to Shoot Landscapes With Bright Cloud Cover

Back to home, dull, overcast and grey skies.

A common problem for landscape photographers is shooting during overcast conditions in which the cloud cover is effectively a light source. White or bright overcast cloud throws up the issue that the ground and the sky require two different settings in order to expose both properly. Expose for the ground and you get a washed out, highlighted sky. Expose for the sky and you get an under-exposed ground…..more

Portfolio Magazine last edition

Portfolio has decided that, after 22 years of continuous publication, this will be our final issue of Portfolio Magazine. More information is contained on the Editorial page of this website.

Between 1988 and 2010, Portfolio Magazine collaborated with photographers and writers to present the most important developments in contemporary photography in Britain. In the early years Portfolio also staged workshops and courses in practical photography from our studio premises in Edinburgh, and from 1988 to 2001 Portfolio Gallery presented up to twelve exhibitions a year, with sales of photographic prints. Between 2003 and 2008 Portfolio organised the annual Jerwood Photography Awards, selecting five Award winners each year from over 500 applicants, whose work was then published in Portfolio Magazine and presented through UK touring exhibitions. We have decided that, following publication of Issue 52 in November 2010, the time is right to end this extensive project.”