Oxford School of Photography

insights into photography

Monthly Archives: May 2011

Photography Competition “People”

Whilst looking at photography competitions I found this competition that has a decent prize and is accessible to everyone, especially if you have done our Portrait Course and so now make fantastic portraits.

“Win a Four Day Portrait & Wedding Workshop and learn from award winning photographers & tutors including Bjorn Thomassen, Crash Taylor, Gordon McGowan, & Ryan Browne. The location for this fantastic prize is the beautiful Chatsworth House & Gardens in Derbyshire. Learn how to shoot portraits like the professionals, this course will also teach you how to shoot a wedding from start to finish as well as all the sales & marketing skills you need to have to build up a successful client base. Who knows this may be the start of you becoming a professional photographer and starting your own photography business.” more details here

A selection from some of our students work

Travel Photographer of the Year Award

TPOTY is the photo contest that’s run by photographers for photographers. It’s open to photographers from all countries; amateur or professional, beginner or expert, young or old, we have categories to suit you all! And it’s judged by leading photography experts and offers fantastic prizes from our very supportive sponsors, including travel adventures, photographic equipment and photography tuition.

But it’s not just about prizes – TPOTY is about getting amazing international exposure for your work. Winning and other highly-placed images appear in the beautiful TPOTY ‘Journey’ series of books and are exhibited at our exhibitions at the Royal Geographical Society (with IBG). There is a BBC video with winning images including this from Luke Duggleby

The winning images from the 2011 will be exhibited at the Royal Geographical Society (RGS-IBG) in London during June and July 2012 as London prepares to host the 2012 Olympic Games. The Society gallery is situated close to Hyde Park on the newly pedestriaised Exhibition Road, adjacent the Science, Victoria & Albert and Natural History museums. It will provide a fabulous, high profile international showcase for the winning photographers. More information is available here

Remember we run a Travel Photography course starting 9th June, this might be just what you need to be one of the  winners of this fantastic competion

37 Impressive Photos of Buddhist Monks

From those clever people at Lightstalking, “The bright colours that Buddhist monks wear often mean you can get a great opportunity for a portrait if you’re in the right place at the right time”.…more

36 Strong Compositions That Use Railway Tracks

Railway tracks provide an excellent subject with which to practice using leading lines in photography. If you can mix the obvious compositional advantages of the long lines with other good photography techniques, then you can get some great results. These photographs have largely managed to do that, many in an eye-popping way. So enjoy the collection and use it for ideas for your own leading lines shots. This article from those nice people at Lightstalking

For a master in composition, mystery, suspense and use of lines Henri Cartier-Bresson

Making better pictures by closing your eyes

Gerry van der Walt over at Photo-Africa has an interesting technique that he teaches to his students to help them discover the point of interest in their images or where to find it in a scene. He calls it ‘discovering the visual mass’. His suggestion is that when looking at a picture, or a picture to be close your eyes, when you open them again the thing that you look at first is your point or visual mass. Interesting idea, here is the full article

We like Gerry’s practical approach to teaching photography and you might want to look at some of his other tutorials, we have featured some here and there are more on his site

Featured photojournalist: Mario Tama

Mario Tama joined Getty Images in 2001 and is based in New York. Here, he covers Mississippi river floods, courtesy of the Guardian 

Photograph: Mario Tama/Getty Images

Reviewing pictures makes you a better photographer

One of the things we encourage on our courses is looking at other photographers’ work and trying to understand why they have photographed a particular subject in a certain way, this is a great way to learn. During our Portrait, Intermediate, Travel, Composition and Black and White courses we set up blogs where our students up-load their pictures for review by their classmates. This sounds a bit scary but everyone benefits.

I found this site, focussion which sets out to do the same but to a much wider audience and participants, as  Michiel and Aljan, two Dutch photographers, who set up the site say “We love photography! And have been taking photos for several years now. We aren’t pro, though we want to learn and improve. Learning works great by getting feedback from other photographers. We noticed getting feedback on other photography websites can be very hard. So we wanted to build an community where we encourage to give helpful feedback. That’s how Focussion was born! ”

You might find this useful and enjoyable

Camera and accessory tutorials

Dave Hill’s extraordinary HDR Photography

So often the term HDR sends me into a spasm of frustration, used well it can be a terrific aid to digital photography  just have a look at CambridgeInColour.com to see what I mean.  Dave Hill also uses HDR, not as CIC to make something look more realistic but to give the image a different quality whilst still managing to avoid the HDR overkill.  David Hill, a well-​​known com­mer­cial pho­tog­ra­pher and artist uses HDR to good effect. The visual impact and dis­tinc­tive post pro­cess­ing look of Dave Hill’s work is very strong, which has become to be known as “The Dave Hill Look”. His work doesn’t come from a 2 minute pro­ce­dure in Pho­to­shop. I think this is can not be done by sim­ply using an action. It seems Dave spends hours on his pho­tos to get that stun­ning result, there is just too much detail on every image, his light­ing setup isn’t com­mon, it’s specif­i­cally apply as a fin­ish­ing touch for image. So with­out fur­ther ado, we present you with 18 Aston­ish­ing HDR Pho­tog­ra­phy of David Hill. Btw, don’t for­get to visit Dave Hill‘s site to see more of his work. There is more from this article here

Martin Parr to create instant exhibition

People who attend this year’s Port Eliot Festival in Cornwall will stand every chance of being featured in a new exhibition by Magnum photographer Martin Parr.

Martin Parr’s rich colour photography has long revealed the character, eccentricities and humour which exist in everyday life. Now he will turn his attention to the life of a four-day festival, examining the goings-on as several thousand people converge to perform, work and relax alongside each other.

Martin Parr will spend the four days of the Port Eliot Festival shooting and documenting all aspects of the event at the ancient estate in south-east Cornwall. Along with his studio team, he will produce The Pleasures of the Immediate, an exhibition of around fifty photographs which will be evolving and updating constantly as the festival continues. The exhibition will take place in the basement of the house at Port Eliot, the oldest continually inhabited dwelling in the country..…more from Photography Monthly