Oxford School of Photography

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Daily Archives: March 14, 2011

crowd sourced photographic monuments by corinne vionnet

This is a really interesting idea, finding images on line taken by others of the same subject (usually tourist vistas) , and then over layering them. The results are painterly and often beautiful.

“swiss/france based artist corinne vionnet has sent us images of her collection of travel portraiture. through online crowd sourcing of photogenic landmarks from around the world, vionnet has compiled several meta-portraits of around 100 images into one. exposing the consistency of how these landmarks are composed photographically but also visually capturing the ephemeral feelings of tourists into
seemingly surreal landscapes. the project serves as a study of not only the technical means available to source this material but also provides a means to analyze why so much of the same material exists. perhaps there are unspoken rules about how we collectively photograph and remember the time spent in foreign environments or simply that so many people want ownership of the same monument that we decide on similar visual experiences. vionnet says “I feel the photographs of these monuments also attest to the admiration that is brought to them. they share the excitement and emotion of the unique time spent in their midst for each of us.”

whichever be the case individually, the work provides an inspiring view of human creation and the documentation of it over time. there are more pictures here and here is the explanation and link to Corrine’s web site “Photo Opportunities
Series of photographic works entitled “Photo Opportunities”, from hundreds of snapshots of tourist locations found on the Internet.
By collecting and then bringing together successive layers of around a hundred similar “photo souvenirs”,
these images conjure up questions about representation and memory of places.”

Emphas.is Funding and support for photojournalists

This is an unusual way for photojournalists to gather funding for projects.  In the past there were many journals and magazines that supported photojournalists, providing funds and resources to enable some of the most moving events and stories to be photographed, many of those outlets have no vanished and with it the financial support. This organisation makes the funding of stories possible by inviting people, anyone, to contribute to a photojournalist to enable them to tell the story. The project is outlined by the photojournalist, a pitch is made, and you contribute if you think the story needs to be told.

“On Emphas.is you are the gatekeeper. Photojournalists pitch their projects directly to you. You get to decide whether a story is worth doing. By agreeing to back a story, for a minimum contribution of $10, you are making sure that the issues that you care about receive the in-depth coverage they deserve. In return you are invited along on the journey. Photojournalists on Emphas.is agree to enter into a direct dialogue with their backers, sharing their experiences and insights  as the creative process unfolds.”

You can investigate this further here

Right Here, Right Now: photography snatched off the streets

This year’s Format photography festival, which began at the weekend and runs until 3 April, looks set to put Derby on the map in the suddenly crowded international photography festival circuit. The title is Right Here, Right Now: Exposures From the Public Realm and the theme a timely one: contemporary street photography from around the globe.

The lineup is strong: Chris Steele-Perkins‘s intimate portraits of Tokyo street life; Raghu Rai‘s vibrant images of India‘s teeming cities; Raymond Depardon‘s outsider’s view of Manhattan in the 1980s; Giacomo Brunelli’s often unsettling shots of animals in the urban jungle. Alongside contemporary street photographers such as Alex Webb and Polly Braden, Format has also attracted two masters of the genre to Derby: Joel Meyerowitz and Bruce Gilden, the former to exhibit and host a talk, the latter to actually shoot on the streets of the city. Another excellent article by Sean O’Hagen at The Guardian, more here

Another great tutorial from Ed Verosky at About Photography

Simple Direct Flash For Effect


There’s no doubt that light modifiers are extremely useful for controlling the look and behavior of flash. Manufacturers are constantly coming up with new ways to snoot, spot, diffuse, bounce, color, and ring-light a basic flash unit. It’s gotten to the point where you rarely see anyone use a speedlite (or speedlight) these days without some extra attachment. But it doesn’t mean your flash is useless without a mini-softbox or piece of plastic on the end of it. Many people choose to use their flash units with no modifier, aimed straight at the subject.


I like to use the direct approach with my flash units for a certain look people have often referred to as “dirty.” I think of it as kind of a raw or dangerous look. Not that direct flash has to look that way, it’s just the look I like to get from it.

Last week, I did a quick set with actress Julia O’Neill. The plan was to explore darker characters, so I dispensed with my usual shoot-thru umbrellas and got these shots.

The idea for the first shot was simply to have Julia get on the floor and play the part of someone who’s had too much going on that night (use your imagination). I used a Canon 580EX II positioned on a light stand to my right, at a lower power setting, and aimed in her general direction. I used a step-ladder to get some vertical distance.


As you can see, there are hot spots and uneven lighting which adds to the amateur or “low-budget” effect of the shot. I added some vignetting in post to add to the darkened back-room feel. A spotlight or vignette look might also have been accomplished with a grid or snoot attachment, flags, or a combination of the two, but it’s just so easy to change and control this look in post I prefer to do it that way.

I’ve included a couple of images showing how I normally setup my flash on a stand. The image on the right illustrates the shoot-thru umbrella configuration, however I didn’t use the umbrella for the shots in this article.

Shot above: 17-40mm @ 33mm, ISO 100, f/4.0, 1/250 sec.


In the next shot I used two lights; one positioned hard right and one just above Julia’s head. Both were unmodified Speedlites. Again, the idea was to portray a darker character in an emotionally-charged situation. In the photo below, she moved half her face into the shadow area for an intense, partially hidden look.

B/W Shots: 50mm, ISO 200, f/4.0, 1/250 sec.


Just remember that all photography doesn’t have to be made with soft, pretty, even lighting. Lighting is a tool you can use to tell a story, not just something you need to “get right” according to what you’ve seen other people do. Check out the work of Terry Richardson and Ellen von Unwerth for great examples of harder lighting (NSFW). Experiment with your DSLR or even a point and shoot to see how you can tell a story with direct flash on, or off, the camera.


You can see more from Ed on his site, here is the link