Oxford School of Photography

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Daily Archives: July 21, 2011

Canon EOS 1D MkIV Review

An in depth review of the Canon flagship camera by Bob Atkins and Theano Nikitas

The Canon EOS 1D Mark IV is the latest in Canon’s 1D series DSLRs. The 1D series is unique in its use of an APS-H format sensor (28.1×18.7mm). The sensor is larger than APS-C and so can yield higher image quality, but is smaller than full frame, which means that the file size is smaller and the reflex mirror can be smaller and lighter and so the camera can operate at higher speeds (10 frames per sec). The high speed operation of the 1D series cameras has made them the first choice for many sports and action photographers. Like other 1D and 1Ds series cameras, the EOS 1D MkIV has an integrated grip with a second set of controls for vertical shooting, a high capacity battery pack, high strength construction and the body is weather-sealed for operation outdoors in the rain.….more

1D MkIV Major Features


  • New 16.1 Megapixel APS-H CMOS sensor
  • 10 frames per second continuous shooting
  • Up to 121 large JPEG images in a single burst
  • New 45-point wide area AF with 39 cross-type sensors with f/2.8 sensitivity
  • New upgraded AF system designed for high speed tracking of moving subjects
  • High-speed Dual “DIGIC 4” processors for fast operation and high image quality
  • 12,800 high ISO expandable up to 102,400
  • Full HD movie recording at 30, 25 and 24 frames per second (fps)
  • 3.0″ Clear View II LCD with Live View mode
  • Durable dust and water resistant body with 76 rubber seals
  • 1/8000s shutter with 300,000 cycle rating and 1/300s sync


For Better Photos, Learn How to Recognize Good Light

Understanding the power of light is more important than a fancy camera or expert Photoshop skills. Learn the best times of day to photograph and why the way the light hits your subject matters more than the subject itself..……more

This is a really good article and an interesting read

Written by Ben Long

“This shaft of light on the ground was a noteworthy compositional element because of its shape and its interplay with the shadows in the background. But I knew that the image needed a subject, so I waited until someone walked through the light shaft. I got lucky (and luck is often a big part of good photography) because the light shaft was tall enough that it highlighted the man’s shoulder and head.

There was nothing about this alley or the man that caught my attention. I started with the light and made an image from that.”





Olympus PEN E-P3, PEN Lite E-PL3, and PEN Mini E-PM1

Olympus Pen camera

Image via Wikipedia

This preview of the new Olympus cameras is full of information and useful data if you are interested in the new Four Thirds type cameras (does anyone else find Micro 4 thirds an odd idea, if it is thirds how can there be 4 of them?) The preview is by Josh Root on photo.net

“In 2009 when Olympus revived the iconic line with the digital PEN E-P1. The new PEN camera was the first body to use the Micro Four-Thirds mount, which allowed a far more compact body design than previous Four-Thirds cameras. The E-P1’s aesthetic look was reminiscent of the older PEN cameras, particularly the PEN F. The E-P1 was followed in 2010 by the updated E-P2 and the more compact E-PL1. In turn, those cameras were followed by the E-PL2 body in 2011.”...more

Exhibition by Norman McBeath – Edinburgh Arts Festival

Norman McBeath, one time photographer in residence in Oxford and now based in Edinburgh has a photographic exhibition starting next week as part of the Edinburgh Arts Festival.

Yoam. © Norman McBeath

Thursday 4 August– Friday 9 September 2011
Daily 10am-5pm
Studios C3 & C4, Edinburgh College of Art, Main Building
Free admission

Visit the gallery website for more information

“Simonides’s best works are body bags. Zipped into them are what is left of human lives. This installation is a collaboration between one of the country’s leading poets, Robert Crawford, and the highly acclaimed photographer Norman McBeath.

The installation connects writing from over 2,000 years ago with contemporary wars in the Middle East and with acts of remembrance. Raising questions about the status of a so-called dead language, it also invokes issues such as counterterrorism measures and ordinary people’s experiences during conflicts.

It features black and white photographs paired with Scots (and English) translations of epitaphs by the ancient Greek poet Simonides. These epitaphs were written for civilians and soldiers killed during the Persian Wars (492–449 BC) in celebrated battles such as Thermopylae and Salamis. The texts have a short, sometimes fragmentary eloquence. Classical sculptures from Edinburgh College of Art’s historic cast collection feature in the installation.

Links between ancient and modern are highlighted and given original and elegant expression through the exquisite black and white photographs by Norman McBeath. These square-format, contemplative studies are not war photographs but scenes from everyday life – details of which thread through much of Simonides’s work. They deliberately avoid any descriptive or literal link to the texts – the relationship between photograph and epitaph is evocative and tangential. A beautifully produced hardback book, Simonides, containing 25 black and white photographs and paired texts will be available.”

There is a beautiful book accompanying this exhibition

How to Set Up a Lighting Studio for Macro Flower Photography

More from Lightstalking and a tutorial by the much admired  , as Tom says “Like sunsets and the grand-kids, flowers are up there as a popular subject for photographing. They also suit close inspection with the macro lens, extension tubes or whatever you use for your close-up work.” He is so right I have to ban students in some classes from handing in flower shots just to ensure there is some variety; my current bans for the summer school I am teaching at Lady Margaret Hall College here in Oxford, are no flowers, no ducks and no pictures of friends goofing around.

A Comprehensive Guide to Photographing Youth Sport

If you have kids who do sport or even if you just like watching amateur sport and photographing it this tutorial will give you some valuable tips. On the Lightstalking site By you will find all sorts of advice that makes good sense.

“The soccer ball being dribbled down the field, the baseball being hit, the puck flying across the ice all help tell a story.  The shots tend to happen in a fraction of a second and require knowledge of the sport, anticipation of the play … and a lot of luck!  High speed burst mode really helps the cause as well.  Action can be shown with motion blur, the capture of the kicked up dust or by composition.

Most sports don’t have action that can easily be followed by panning, so you might have to depend on one focus point and let the action happen around it.”

and don’t forget the team picture