Oxford School of Photography

insights into photography

Daily Archives: April 26, 2011

Flirting with film

Ed Verosky at About Photography has a gentle tilt towards shooting film, here he describes the experience in a reflective way

“It’s not uncommon to hear photographers talk about digital as something they really appreciate for its efficiencies.  But when you bring film into the conversation, sometimes it’s like mentioning an old flame to someone stuck in a marriage of convenience.  Some photographers just love film, even though they know they have to spend most of their lives with digital now.

Compared to digital photography, film can take on the allure of novelty, the tactile senses, and authenticity”.……..more

I am less convinced by the need to return to film, I spent 40 years of my life shooting, developing and printing film, black and white and colour, and everything in-between, yes there is an in-between. I think the appeal of film is the reduced number of decisions you have to make by comparison with digital and the need not to learn more stuff. But I love learning new stuff, digital saved me from a life of having been there, seen it, done it. I also love not smelling of fixer and having stained clothes. When I speak to young photography students and am told that their tutors insist they start off by learning about black and white film I wonder if the tutors are just too lazy to fully engage with digital, in the end for me the image is everything getting there is a journey and digital offers more opportunities to leave the highway and to explore. Having said all of that the majority of the best pictures ever taken were shot on black and white film, here are some

Irving Penn

Alfred Steiglitz

Richard Avedon

We run a Black and White Digital course starting 13th June, details are here

The big picture: Henri Cartier-Bresson in 1950s Moscow

Henri Cartier-Bresson visited Moscow in 1954 to document daily life under communism. Cartier-Bresson sought to capture with his camera what he called decisive moments, coincidentally graceful arrangements of people or objects that other observers would have overlooked. He wandered through foreign cities like a libertine on the prowl, poised to take advantage of any opportunity for visual seduction. The taller soldier here, whose lips curl into a raffish smirk as he strides towards a possible conquest, might be a mirror-image of the invisible photographer. You can feel the frisson of sensual anticipation that accompanied the click of the shutter.…more

If you want to see more go to this rather excellent site, here are some pictures from there

US photographer, Bruce Davidson, seeks British girl he captured on film in 1960

The great American documentary photographer Bruce Davidson is in the UK this week to receive a major award, and has spoken of his hopes of trying to find out what happened to the subject of one of his favourite photographs……well is this you?

10 Things I Learned Shooting Corporate Events

“I’ll never forget the day I shot my first corporate event. I rented a Nikon D2h and an 80-200 2.8 lens.  An hour into the shoot my neck was already killing me and the client had already told me to stand in the back because my camera was “making too much noise.”  It was there, at some Economist Conferences Event, that my life as an event photographer began.” Brian Friedman

This interesting and useful article appears on the Picatge site, which in itself is worth a visit, here are Brian’s 10 tips