Oxford School of Photography

insights into photography

Monthly Archives: September 2011

Photographers Workshop St Mary’s Road Oxford

The first location of the Photographers Workshop was in St Mary’s Road, we were there for nearly 30 years. We were moved out by property developers and it stood empty for a number of years but now has another life. On Bonfire Night it is going to host a gig by one of Oxford’s new and well considered bands, Trophy Wife. Part of the Blessing Force Oxford music scene, they are probably only second to Chad Valley as the Oxford band most likely to make it to the big time. So a chance to re-visit the old Workshop and to see a band is a great opportunity, see you there. Here is all the info from their Facebook page

If you want to check out Trophy Wife music head over to their sound cloud uploads here


OXFORK & YOOF! proudly present: TROPHY WIFE and support WILD SWIM with more to be confirmed

DJ’s throughout the evening Get Your Geek On and Graphics
We are throwing a bit of a get together to celebrate the release Trophy Wife’s New EP ‘Bruxism” (out October 17th). And…guess what? It just happens to be bonfire night, lovely.

Saturday 5th November 2011.
Doors: When it goes dark. (7pm) All taking place in and around the grounds of The Old Boot Factory, a former Photographic studio and warehouse space, in the heart of OX4. Which will house also an art installation by Blessing Force artist Amy Honour (http://www.amyhonour.blogspot.com/).

Tickets are £7 (or £12 with some dinner too – see menu section)
From: http://www.wegottickets.com/event/137196
or from Oxfork (39 Magdalen Road, OX4)

Not content with delighting peoples tastes buds since we opened our permanent base, we just can’t leave our pop-up roots behindd. The underground supper club and former music promoters are now delighting your ears.
Trophy Wife are from our very own Oxford’, splitting off from Oxfork favourites Jonquil a little while back to create what they have described as “ambition less office disco” – which is nonsense!

Their music reflects an abstract and dreamy soundscape with rhythmic harmonies and brooding guitars. ‘The quiet earth’, is less glossier and sharper than ‘Microlite’, and draws a clear resemblance to Foals’ ‘Total Life Forever’, with its distant melancholic elements.

With Oxford friends Foals picking the trio as one of their main support acts on their autumn tour last year. Having released previous singles on Moshi Moshi – their New EP ‘Bruxism” is out October 17th so you’ll soon be hearing that on the Oxfork stereo.

Check them out: www.facebook.com/trophywifemusic

Wild Swim   Last time we saw them they blew us away – we had to have them play for us, simple as that. http://www.wildswimmusic.com/

Bob Dylan the new Henri Cartier Bresson….?

writes in the Guardian
“When it comes to painting, Bob Dylan may not be such an original. The 70-year-old singer has been accused of replicating several famous photographs in his new art show. The Asia Series includes paintings that seem like acrylic reproductions of images by Henri Cartier-Bresson, Dmitri Kessel and Léon Busy.”…more       I say what about the dull boring music?
The exhibition is at
The Gagosian Gallery
Madison Avenue
980 Madison Avenue
New York, NY 10075
Is this is what is meant by a cover version?

National Photography Month

Although the actual month is not until June next year, just sneaking in before the 2012 Olympics, (I am still miffed at not getting tickets), the start of National Photography Month is heralded as the care and of images to make the biggest family album. Here is something from the organisers

National Photography Month is the UK’s first event of its kind dedicated to celebrating the value of photography. Organised by the Photo Imaging Council and The Photo Marketing Association, and supported by organisations from the photography world including National Geographic and the Royal Photographic Society and leading photographic retailers and suppliers, National Photography Month, which will run during June 2012, will feature nation-wide events, celebrity exhibitions, a mobile Capture and Keep bus, and special offers from suppliers. Highlights include the creation of the world’s largest family album, as members of the public are invited to submit family snaps for a project which will be unveiled to mark the start of events, and a celebrity auction in aid of charity (further details below).

At the heart of the campaign is the message that the importance of photography lies not just in creating good images but in the role photographs have as historical records. The nation’s images represent a vast trove of personal histories. But while we are taking more pictures than at any other time, the fleeting nature of digital images means we are printing or keeping fewer of these important documents. National Photography Month aims to encourage the nation both to get more involved in photography, and to explore new ways to capture and keep life’s most important moments.”...more

I thinkwriting in the Guardian explains it better..”As the organisers put it, “Family ‘Memory Keepers’ – often mothers – no longer have the time to create albums, and the nature of modern photography means it is easy to leave images on disk or on line.”

This certainly rings true, so many pictures are left on computers that are in danger of failing with images locked on old hard disks, anything that encourages photographers – amateur and professionals – to think about long-term storage and editing is a good thing.

Perhaps the editing side is the more important. Due to digital photography far too many frames are being shot, with too little thought about sorting the wheat from the chaff.”…….more

A curated album of family pictures is a wonderful thing, but photographs also look good on screen, sometimes better as long as they are in some sort of order, not repetitive and are well captioned. Electronic storage is not so much of a problem with services like Flickr and other new “cloud-based” solutions coming available.”   

I think he sums it up here “We are in danger of drowning under a mass of digital images. Here’s hoping next year’s National Photography Month will help us remember to sort the wheat from the chaff”


Advice from 35 Magnum Photographers to Aspiring Photographers

This is a really great post on the Eric Kim site

35 Magnum photographers, surely the greatest photographers agency ever, give pithy and insightful advice on being a photographer. This sort of advice should be bottled and sold, so that like water you can have it with you all the time. I have chosen just a couple of photographers to highlight and recommend you go and look at the rest. If you care about photography, if you want to be a better photographer then read this

Alec Soth

What advice would you give young photographers?
Try everything. Photojournalism, fashion, portraiture, nudes, whatever. You won’t know what kind of photographer you are until you try it. During one summer vacation (in college) I worked for a born-again tabletop photographer. All day long we’d photograph socks and listen to Christian radio. That summer I learned I was neither a studio photographer nor a born-again Christian. Another year I worked for a small suburban newspaper chain and was surprised to learn that I enjoyed assignment photography. Fun is important. You should like the process and the subject. If you are bored or unhappy with your subject it will show up in the pictures. If in your heart of hearts you want to take pictures of kitties, take pictures of kitties.

Alec Soth’s Magnum Portfolio

Chris Steele-Perkins

What advice would you give young photographers?
1) Never think photography is easy. It’s like poetry in that it’s easy enough to make a few rhymes, but that’s not a good poem.
2) Study photography, see what people have achieved, but learn from it, don’t try photographically to be one of those people
3) Photograph things you really care about, things that really interest you, not things you feel you ought to do.
4) Photograph them in the way you feel is right, not they way you think you ought to
5) Be open to criticism, it can be really helpful, but stick to you core values
6) Study and theory is useful but you learn most by doing. Take photographs, lots of them, be depressed by them, take more, hone your skills and get out there in the world and interact.

Chris Steele-Perkins’ Magnum Portfolio

David Alan Harvey

What advice would you give young photographers?
You must have something to “say”. You must be brutally honest with yourself about this. Think about history , politics, science, literature, music, film, and anthropology. What affects does one discipline have over another? What makes “man” tick? Today , with everyone being able to easily make technically perfect photographs with a cell phone, you need to be an “author”. It is all about authorship, authorship and authorship. Many young photographers come to me and tell me their motivation for being a photographer is to “travel the world” or to “make a name” for themselves. Wrong answers in my opinion. Those are collateral incidentals or perhaps even the disadvantages of being a photographer. Without having tangible ideas , thoughts, feelings, and something almost “literary” to contribute to “the discussion”, today’s photographer will become lost in the sea of mediocrity. Photography is now clearly a language. As with any language, knowing how to spell and write a gramatically correct “sentence” is , of course, necessary. But, more importantly, today’s emerging photographers now must be “visual wordsmiths” with either a clear didactic or an esoteric imperitive. Be a poet, not a technical “writer”. Perhaps more simply put, find a heartfelt personal project. Give yourself the “assignment” you might dream someone would give you. Please remember, you and only you will control your destiny. Believe it, know it, say it.

David Alan Harvey’s Magnum Portfolio


Ways of Looking – Bradford Photography Festival

Ways of Looking is a new festival of photography in Bradford and runs throughout October 2011. Exploring the theme EVIDENCE, the festival presents new exhibitions and commissions, photography in public spaces, collaborations with Bradford residents, a specially published book, and an inspiring programme of events.

Jeremy Deller

From Deller’s selection of photographs for the series ‘Poking About’

Courtesy of Bradford Museums and Galleries

“With the National Media Museum and Impressions Gallery, Bradford is a hub for photography exhibitions and its capitalising on its position this October with the Ways of Looking festival. The festival, which is held across eight different venues, includes Daniel Meadows: Early Photographic Works and Donovan Wylie’s Outposts, both of which will be on show at the National Media Museum. Turner Prize winner Douglas Gordon will be exhibiting a specially-commissioned work, Self Portrait of You and Me (Blue Skies), at Impressions Gallery, while Jeremy Deller, who has also won a Turner Prize, will be showing Poking About, an exhibition created using Bradford Museums and Galleries’ photographic archives. The festival also includes shows by Red Saunders, Diane Bielik and Simon Ford and Colin Lloyd.

Ways of Looking opens on 30 September and will be staging special events throughout the weekend. Photography on Trial at the Victorian Courthouse, City Hall will see Stephen Bull and Nick McGowan-Lowe debate the pros and cons of copyrighting images at 2.30pm on Saturday 01 October, while Disco Politik will be playing at the Bradford Playhouse on Friday night.The festival is organised by Impressions Gallery, National Media Museum and The Culture Company, with Bradford Museums & Galleries, Bradford Grid, Fabric, Leeds Met Gallery & Studio Theatre and Gallery II, University of Bradford.” Author: Diane Smyth at the BJP

The 2011 British Wildlife Photographer of the Year

As with the International Garden Photographer of the Year ,this competition to find the British Wildlife Photographer of the Year, shows what fantastic talent and skill is out there. The results of this competition are again beautiful and revealing.

” The winning image of a jellyfish was captured by Richard Shucksmith. His photo was taken at Sula Sgeir (meaning Gannet Rock) a small uninhabited Scottish island, 41 miles north of Lewis. The inhospitable area is home to exposed islands sustaining an astounding variety of marine life. The remoteness of these islands, as well as the challenge that comes with visiting them, makes Richard’s incredible photo all the more special. “.…more

2011 Winner: Animal Portraits  Mark Smith

Mystical Mist (Fallow Deer, Dama dama) Surrey, England

2011 Winner: Habitat   Ian Paul Haskell

Hare in Morning Light with Hoar Frost (Brown Hare, Lepus europaeus) Norfolk

Spooked starlings make a hasty exit from a tree in Bayston Hill, Shropshire. David Biggs opportunistically took this photo from his house, and subsequently won the Urban Wildlife category Photograph: David Biggs/British Wildlife Photography Awards
The Young British Wildlife Photographer up to 11 years category was won by Walter Lovell, 8, who again waited patiently for this photo of a frog checking its frogspawn in his garden in Painswick, Gloucestershire Photograph: Walter Lovell/British Wildlife Photography Awards

Portrait Salon des Refuses

Whilst alerting you to some tangential stuff that is out there, this is also interesting and definitely has a photographic link

“Portrait Salon is a form of Salon des Refusés – an exhibition of works rejected from a juried art show – which has a long tradition as a fringe way of showcasing artists’ work that may otherwise go unseen. Devised by two portrait photographers, who are both based in London and are professionally involved in the city’s photographic community, Portrait Salon aims to show the best of the unselected entries from the National Portrait Gallery Photography Prize. We figure that, out of the 6000+ rejected entries, there must be some damn fine portraits which deserve to be shown.

We want to see these portraits, and we want to celebrate their brilliance with a projection (time and place to be confirmed) which no doubt will be accompanied by a little bit of a party. The projection will be curated, so we will be selecting the best portraits that we receive. But we expect to show a much higher percentage of work than at the National Gallery.

If you submitted work to the National Gallery Photography Portrait Prize and got rejected, please email a jpeg of your submission to portraitsalon@hotmail.com. The images need to be jpegs, at 1000 pixels on the longest edge. And please spread the word about this… we want as many submissions as we can!”

“We are two portrait photographers based in London and are professionally involved in the city’s photographic community. Our aim is to show the best of the unselected entries from the 2011 Taylor Wessing National Portrait Gallery Photography Prize. We figure that, out of the 5,973 rejected entries, there must be some excellent portraits which deserve to be shown in a show. Portrait Salon is a form of Salon des Refusés – an exhibition of works rejected from a juried art show – which has a long tradition of showcasing artists’ work that may otherwise go unseen. “
So unless your images were selected for the Taylor Wessing NPG Portrait competition here is a great chance to cock a snook at the establishment.

For more information go here

Pictures by Adrian Nettleship, the second by Manuel Capurso













“Devil’s Dinner Party” a chance to win £7,000

At the risk of departing too far from my remit of bringing you excellent photographic articles, tutorials, reviews  and images from the web I thought some of you might be interested in this. Just don’t blame me if you end up looking an idiot.

Sophie wrote to me from ITV with this opportunity,

“I am working on an exciting new show called the “Devil’s Dinner Party”- from the makers of Come Dine with Me  and we are especailly looking  for successful,  creative  individuals  from Oxford to take part  and we would love to get some  of your photography group on board! 

 We’re looking for people to come to dinner and play a game where they have to read other people and use their intuition to guess the answers to questions with the winner receiving up to £7,000 at the end of the night.




 ITV Studios (Come Dine With Me, I’m a Celebrity) are looking for confident, charismatic and outspoken guests to come together and dine at The Devil’s Dinner table.

 Over delicious food and fine wine you’ll play a psychological game of the Devil’s devising, answering revealing questions and using your intuition to judge your fellow diners. The better your instincts, the more money you’ll earn. BUT, only the most popular diner will leave the table with the prize money…

Itll be a hell of a time.

 If you’re 21 or over and would like more information and an application form please email: ddp@itv.com  Were casting now so contact us ASAP to be considered!

If you like traveling, photography and learning from the best, read this!

I found this on twitter and it looks to be a fantastic opportunity. There are some questions posed by the information and below are some answers but do have a look at the site for full details, the link is here  It is difficult to completely understand what is being offered here, it maybe something to do with a tv show so check it out carefully if you are interested

This year Yuri Arcurs Photography is putting together an elite international academy program in the hope of producing the most competent and gifted photography class of 2015. This private funded program runs for three years, during which participants will be given a once in a lifetime opportunity to experience travel to exotic locations, a first-class photography education from some of the industry’s leading experts, and working experience through interactions with real projects, clients and top models.

We are looking to recruit 10 – 15 candidates, who will have to prove they are motivated, ambitious and bright. You will be given the opportunity to prove you have what it takes at our two-week long photography boot camp in January 2012. Very little photography knowledge is needed, we will equip you with what you need to know.”

Q & A

Yuri Arcurs said on September 23rd, 2011 at 9:32 am  (Quote)

Offered a job after graduation?After graduation of the boot camp or after graduation of the three years?Is the “job” paid?

1. Is there a specific place we have to stay while we’re in Cape Town?

2. I’d be totally cool with traveling for half the year, but how would the six months be divided?Would it allow for us to have a part-time job for the time we’re not traveling?

3. How intense would the filming be for the reality TV show?24/7 or just a few hours a day?

4. How many people do you expect to sign up for the boot camp?!0 or 100?Is there a cap on how many you will let into the boot camp?

5. Is there a tentative list of the other photographer teachers who might participate?

I think this sounds pretty darn cool, but I wish there was more information.

If you finalize with a good exam you will be offered a job. :)
1. You can stay anywhere in Cape Town. You must just be able to show up at our headquarters every day for classes.
2. At least half a year. And those six months you might be three in Denmark, two in Australia, 1 in Japan. Etc. But you will be all over the place.
3. Pretty intense if we get the contracts. This is not settled.
4. We expect about 500 applications and will select 100. Out of those we expect 10-20 to pass for the class. This is elite. Only the best of the best, but don’t let this stop you. The adventure of the bootcamp will be a thing of itself.
5. Yes. But we have to keep that secret. Our education is aimed a real life. Surviving as a photographer in today’s world.

Amazing Photography Links, Tuts and Images You May Have Missed

Bad day today, going to say farewell to Paul.

So just one post but a piece so full of goodies it will keep you occupied all weekend.

“It has been a very active week online in the world of photography, and Toad Hollow Photography has been interacting with photographers and combing for links to the very best content to share with everyone here.  This weeks list contains a great series of tutorials, photography and blogs to enjoy by some of the industry leaders.  We certainly hope you have a great time going through this list.”.……more  By via Lightstalking

Here is a little taste


TWiT Photo, Episode 24: Alex Koloskov and liquid photography – one of the worlds leading professional product photographers, Alex Koloskov, shares with us two just incredible images, one taken under pressure in less than 10 minutes; all the time while being on the TWiT episode live.  Links are available to take the visitor to a video tutorial on how he does this style of work, and is sure to amaze everyone.

Cloned Self Portraits: How I Do It – this incredible blog post is not new this week, but hit our radar and we thought it was a fabulous tutorial well worth sharing with a wider audience here.  A very complex and tricky method is discussed by Viveca Koh, describing in great detail how to go about creating this very different and interesting style of imagery.


ECVB – Organ Pipes – Mark Blundell delivers an absolutely breathtaking 360* panorama shot composed of 162 individual images; one of the highlights of the weeks list.  This industrial urbex presentation is unlike anything widely seen before and is absolutely guaranteed to amaze!

In The Beginning… – world-class photographer and writer Tom Dinning shares with us a poignant and profound piece sure to stir the human being within us all.  Extremely inspirational and a call to action this blog is sure to speak to the passion found in incredible imagery.


Food for Thought: Hungry in New Mexico – a new blog from an absolutely incredible photographer, Jim Hunter, that showcases a really wonderful cause to get behind.  His new project is just getting off the ground and we are looking forward to following along as the story unfolds.

The Climate Reality Project–Are these natural disasters caused by climate change? – the explosion of a Chilean volcano creates the setting for this amazing set of photographs.  The results of this natural disaster are documented and shared in this blog post.

As the warmth of the sun leaves my back… by Jack Batchelor, on Flickr