Oxford School of Photography

insights into photography

Daily Archives: March 17, 2011

Is photography a dying profession?

There used to be a joke about photographers….”how many photographers does it take to replace a lightbulb?……….25  one to do it and 24 to say I could do that”, I think you would now struggle to find 25 professional photographers who could gather together even to change a light bulb. The profession of being a photographer has been under attack from many sources for some years now, this article goes some way to explaining why this might be the case from the expectation of clients that images are free, that copyright no longer has any currency and that reproduction fees do not apply to them. These factors accompanied with the introduction into the professional market of an endless supply of people with cameras who would like to earn some money from their investment means that except in specialist areas it will be more than difficult to earn a living from making images in the future. Read the article here…………….“I was reading a thread on a forum for professional photographers. Many of the posters, talented full time pros, were conveying just how tough the market is for them right now. Client’s perceived value of photography is being driven down, and costs are being driven up. In a time of recession it is expected that we may struggle for custom or be expected to do more for less, but in reality the problem goes a lot deeper than just the economic climate.

It seems incredibly common for pros in 2011 to be asked to provide services at prices that are untenable as a profit making business. Many report the average client is in some cases expecting a pro to effectively work for free. Modern couples are looking for someone to compete on price, with a cash in hand part timer using an entry level camera. Pros are hanging up their cameras, they claim they can’t make a living anymore. The reason they state? A huge influx of Uncle Bob’s (tongue in cheek term for photography enthusiast without a business) and new photographers entering the photography market part time. These photographers don’t need to make a living and thus can charge prices that would be unrealistic to a successful business that would pay at least one wage. Is this true? Is this all there is too it?”

Gone and forgotten

The new joke about being a photographer is ……….”how do you make money out of photography………..sell your cameras”

Graduated Neutral Density Filters for landscape photography

One of the things I teach in our Understanding Your DSLR Camera course is the use of graduated neutral density filters. There are very few filters that we need for dslrs probably a gnd and a polariser are about it. This excellent tutorial from Sean McHugh at Cambridge in Colour explains how and why you should be using a gnd. more here…….. If you would like to read Sean’s tutorial on using a polariser go here

In camera flash – improving the results

Almost all dslr cameras now have a built in flash, although this is a great convenience the results are often disappointing because the light is direct and harsh so creating hard shadows both on the subjects face and backgrounds.

I found this attachment that looks as if it might be the answer and allow those who do not own an external flash still to utilise bounce flash techniques. I haven’t seen the product, let alone tried it out but it might be very useful for you

Lightscoop® is a smart low-tech device that creates soft, flattering light by redirecting your camera’s pop-up flash to a ceiling or wall.

Don’t let your convenient little pop-up flash ruin your photos with evil red eye, ugly shadows, hot spots, bleached out faces, underexposed colors, and blurry movement that exist only in your photographs, not in the real world.”