Oxford School of Photography

insights into photography

Daily Archives: April 7, 2011

Tom Dinning’s Images The Abstraction of Macro

Tom is a photographer and teacher in Darwin, Australia, he always has something interesting to say, this is from his current post

“Over the past few days I have been out with the macro lens attached.
I’m a bit of an extremist when it comes to using this lens which, I might add, I like using for all sorts of things.
But its main function, I see, is to enable me to get close. So I do. Instead of selecting a subject and focussing in on it, I set the focus on the lens at ‘closest’ and move in with the camera until the images start to appear sharply before me.
This is when the world takes on a new and mysterious appeal and I start hunting for shapes, forms, lines, shadows, colour, texture, anything this tiny world has to offer me.
The frame becomes my window into this world. I find myself quite mesmerised by it all.”  I definitely agree with the idea of not letting auto focus decide what your picture is going to be  more here

Tilt and shift in Photoshop

Have you seen images that look like pictures of models, very shallow depth of field over a plane of focus that might be on a diagonal. In the long distant past when we used view cameras, the type that looked like the things the Victorians used in the early years of photography, we were able to create this by tilting and shifting both the lens plane and film plane. Now my old Sinar 5 x 4 gathers dust in it’s box, probably never to be used again, but the images I used to make can be recreated using Photoshop. Here are some examples of what I am talking about

I have played with this for years and find the model like qualities beguiling, it seems to work most effectively where the subject is shot from above, my aerial pictures are perfect for that, but you do not need to be in a plane to get similar results. You can also use it in portraits, not for the model effect but just to create a difference, this picture from yesterday’s excellent tutorial from photo.tuts on headshot photography, just altered using tilt and shift

If you would like to have some fun trying this on your pictures I have found a good video tutorial that explains it in simple detail


You might also like to take our Photoshop course, the next one starts on 4th May

Photography Internship at Earthwatch

Long term friend of the Photographers Workshop and OSP Crispin Zeeman, who works for Earthwatch, asked if we knew someone who might benefit working at Earthwatch for a bit in a photography related capacity. Here is what he said

The opportunity:

To work with Earthwatch, one of the world’s leading environmental charities, helping develop a new image library for their global research programmes. Earthwatch is a pioneer of ‘citizen science’, bringing scientists and volunteer individuals together to resolve pressing issues affecting ecosystems worldwide. The intern will be joining the international Marketing and Communications team, working out of the Oxford office in Summertown, North Oxford. This is an excellent chance to learn how an organisation like Earhwartch works, how the power of photographs can be used to promote a wider understanding of issues such as climate change, and help communicate the action needed for a sustainable environment. An internship position with Earthwatch is an invaluable career-development experience for individuals.  Here is the full specification of the opportunity




Dale Curtis

Zoe Gamble

Andy Russell