Oxford School of Photography

insights into photography

Monthly Archives: August 2011

Thinking of giving up the day job and becoming a photographer?

“On a daily basis, I work with amateur photographers who are considering the jump to becoming a professional photographer as either a part-time “side job” or as a full-fledged career photographer.  Almost without exception, they ask three questions, (1) Can you help me with my lighting, (2) How can I get more clients, and (3) How do I know if now is the right time?” this is from the Improve photography site, if you are considering becoming a full time professional photographer then read on  here

Understanding Your Digital SLR Camera Course – Oxford

Each term we arrange a number of starts for this popular course, it is the spring board from which students launch themselves into photography and being a photographer. That is someone who uses a camera to express their creative view.

“a couple of my friends have raved about this course and I’m determined to learn to use my camera properly!”

“I would like to say many thanks for a fantastic, informative & interesting course! I found all the information you gave us totally compelling and inspiring which was enhanced by a charismatic & passionate teacher! I would recommend this course to anyone who has bought a DSLR for the first time and wants to understand what all the confusing buttons on their new toy do and how to take proper photos without relying on the Auto function.”

“I would like to say that I was extremely impressed with the DSLR course. I didn’t really know what to expect, but found every session very helpful. I now feel much more comfortable with the basic functions of my camera, as well as being able to photograph more creatively using the techniques that you taught. I definitely learnt more than I would have been able to from my handbook. I found the course and techniques that I learnt extremely inspirational, and am now more open minded with my approach to photography.”

Full details and specifications for this course can be found here  There are a number of start dates for this course beginning this term, some in the evenings, Saturdays and 1 Day versions of the course on Sundays. The course is generally 4 sessions spread over 4 weeks and costs £80

Gardens of Oxfordshire Photography Exhibition at Art Jericho

Photography exhibition on the subject of gardens in Oxfordshire some details here

The Ultimate Free Photography Software Download Pack

“Photography is one of the most expensive hobbies in the world and it ain’t getting any cheaper. Once you have your camera, there’s an almost never-ending need to upgrade lenses, bags, tripods, filters – the list goes on. But luckily one area of photography doesn’t need to destroy your bank balance. Photography software can be mighty expensive, but did you know that there are excellent free alternatives to even the most costly of software? This list of free downloads is designed to introduce you to the fact that you do not have to spend a fortune on photography software.”  From Lightstalking

©Keith Barnes, for Natural History products

Photography Courses Oxford – dates for autumn term announced

Here are the new dates for the autumn term photography courses we run. Full details of all the courses can be found on The Oxford School of Photography website. If you are lucky enough to live near Oxford joining us for one of our courses is a sure way of improving your photographs.

Our courses run three times a year and are always very well supported and we recommend early application for places, to do this just send us an email stating the course name and start date. we will then reserve your place and send you further information.

Understanding Your Digital SLR: 4 different start dates  – 7.9.11;  4.10.11;  2.11.11;  5.11.11
Understanding Your Digital Compact Camera -starts 1.11.11
Introduction to Photoshop and Photoshop Elements – starts 13.10.11
Composition In Photography – Seeing Pictures – starts 6.10.11
Portrait Photography – starts 5.10.11
Intermediate Photography – starts 3.10.11
Travel Photography starts 3.11.11
One Day Understanding Your DSLR – 3 different dates this autumn:  25.9.11;  23.10.11;  27.11.11

©Keith Barnes


The 8 Basic Things Every Photographer Should Know How to do in Photoshop

As  says in this article on Lightstalking, PS is a program that can confuse and irritate because of the scope of it’s options. These 8 basics are some that you should know about. I think some consideration of density controls like levels and colour controls like colour balance would be the 2 that would make it up to 10 basic things.

“Despite the name, Photoshop was created more for graphic designers, not photographers, but photographers looking to airbrush their digital files quickly adopted it as their go-to piece of software.  By the time v7 came out, specific tools, plugins and actions were being created for photographers and Photoshop could handle the RAW, or unprocessed files from digital cameras.

Anyone who’s opened up Photoshop knows it’s not exactly a straight forward application – it does take some knowledge to be proficient in it and productive.  All that aside, here’s a few tips that all photographers should know how to do in Photoshop.”

World Photography Day: send us your pictures

The Guardian newspaper today celebrates world photography day with an invitation

“Today is World Photography Day – where people across the globe are invited to share their pictures in a celebration of the art of photography. As the WPD website explains:

World Photography Day originates from the invention of the Daguerreotype, a photographic processes developed by Louis Daguerre. On January 9, 1839, the French Academy of Sciences announced the Daguerreotype process. A few months later, on August 19, 1839, the French government announced the invention as a gift “free to the world”….writes

this article continues here

World Photography Day marks the day Louis-Jacques Daguerre’s invention was recognised by the French government as a gift ‘free to the world’. Photograph: Bettmann/CORBIS

Elliott Erwitt: Personal Best – Exhibition – International Centre for Photography NYC

This major retrospective showcases the career of photographer and filmmaker Elliott Erwitt, the recipient of this year’s ICP Infinity Award for Lifetime Achievement. Distinguished as both a documentary and commercial photographer, Erwitt has made some of the most memorable photographs of the twentieth century, including portraits of Marilyn Monroe, Jackie Kennedy, and Che Guevara, as well as astonishing scenes of everyday life, filled with poetry, wit, and special sense of humor. Details of where, when etc here

There is no such thing as absolute truth in photography

“There is no such thing as absolute truth in photography. Understanding how and why photos are edited will make you a better shooter and a smarter viewer.”

I have had so many discussions with photography purists, people who believe that only what is caught in camera is valid,  that decisions or processes undertaken post camera invalidate an image and it’s worth. I have always, in the 40+ years I have been taking pictures, made decisions post camera. How I developed the film, how it was printed, whether it was toned.

This is an excellent article Written by Ben Long on the Creativepro.com site  I think I agree with everything he has to say

“Has that been Photoshopped a lot?”

“I sometimes hear that question when showing one of my photos to someone, and I have to confess that it bugs me. Not because it’s prying into my photographic process, or because it’s a technical remark rather than a response to the actual image, but because it reveals how little the viewer understands about the medium of photography.

In that question, “Photoshop” is being used to mean “edited” or “manipulated” or “altered,” and the subtext of the question is, “Has this image been edited or manipulated? I need to know because I want to know if the image is true.”

The answer to the question is always “yes” because all photos are edited and manipulated. They always have been. Even photos that are very realistic are no more an objective, “real” representation of reality than is a watercolor painting. Photography is an abstract medium, and the more you understand that, the better your shooting will be.”.….more

These 2 pictures by Ben perfectly explain his article


52 Cool Photography Articles, Blogs, Photos and Collections from This Week

Last time out it was only 29 articles that Toad Hollow recommended so when they say “The internet has been very active this week in terms of photography, and Toad Hollow Photography has been searching to find the best links to sites with great tutorials, blogs and just incredible photography to share with everyone.  We hope you enjoy this week’s list.” they do mean busy….more of the article and links here  By

Mojave Green in the Black Rock Desert by jurvetson, on Flickr