Oxford School of Photography

insights into photography

Monthly Archives: November 2011

Depth of Field – A Photographer’s Guide – A Light Stalking Guide

Light Stalking’s First Photography Guide
And it’s FREE!

A Photographer’s Guide to Depth of Field is our first photography guide and we’re giving it away absolutely free. No catches, no tricks – just hit the download button and get it on your desktop now.. get the download here

We teach this on our Understanding Your DSLR Camera, new dates next term coming shortly

Long Exposure Photography How to Apply Long Exposure Techniques

Light Stalking’s New Short Photography Guide
And it’s FREE!

Long Exposure Photography: How to Apply Long Exposure Techniques To Your Photograph is the third in our line of free photography “quick guides.” Download it now and start learning the art of long expsure photography! Get the download here

We teach this on our Understanding Your DSLR Camera Course


Black and White Landscapes: How to Capture a Proper Tonal Range

Light Stalking’s New Short Photography Guide
And it’s FREE! Black and White Landscapes: How to Capture a Proper Tonal Range is the second in our line of free photography guides. Download it now and start learning the art of black and white landscapes!

We teach this on our Black and White Digital Course, new dates shortly

Just go here for this free download

Denver Post’s Craig Walker wins the Pulitzer Prize

One of my favourite sites for photo-journalism is The Denver Post, this series of images and story are a testament to the quality they produce. Excellent news that Craig Walker has won the Pulitzer Prize for his work

“Denver Post photojournalist Craig F. Walker, who chronicled in intimate, affecting detail a young man’s journey from a high school student in Lakewood to a soldier fighting in Iraq and then back home, won the Pulitzer Prize for feature photography Monday.”

See the full article and pictures here

Between his high school graduation and the bus ride that would begin his journey to basic training, Ian Fisher reveled once more in the civilian life that was defined by his buddies, his girlfriend and his family. But the long good-bye slowly segued into the reality of his enlistment and the difficult road ahead. June 1, 2007. 2:03 p.m. Ian returns a phone call to Sgt. 1st Class Gavino Barron, the commander at Ian’s Army recruiting office. Barron was making sure Ian was on track for enlistment. When he was 17, Ian had joined the Army’s Future Soldier Training Program, which prepares recruits for the enlistment process. Barron recalls his initial impression of Ian: “He wasn’t in it for the money. He was only in it for God and country. That’s the reason most infantrymen join.” #

June 20, 2007. 12:41 p.m. “I want to go home. It makes me feel like I have an excuse. I’ve been thinking about everyone,” Ian says. He waits to speak with Sgt. 1st Class Robert Russell, the recruiting command liaison, to outline his injury and make a new claim: A drill sergeant mistreated him for not seeking permission when he got an X-ray the night before. #

Sept. 15, 2007. 3:22 p.m. Following a long day – on top of a long week – and suffering from heat rash, Ian finds himself back at his tent, bowing his head in prayer. He explains later: “I’ve been praying that God takes this stuff off my back.” #

Dec. 10, 2008. 8:20 p.m. Ian, center, and Buthmann pull security detail for a meeting between a psychological operations team and some local residents who were near the site of a rocket attack two nights earlier. The meeting is over quickly; the team doesn’t find what it is looking for. #

See all the images and read the stories here


126 Photography Links and Tutorials

It’s that time of the week again, well it is Friday and the weekend stretches before us, time to relax and catch up on the things we are just too busy for in the working week. This weekend I get no such break as I am teaching our DSLR course tomorrow with a shoot in the late afternoon and on Sunday I am teaching again our 1 Day DSLR Photography Workshop. As this is the end of term we are busy working on dates for the next series of courses that will start in January.

So those great folks at Toad Hollow Photography have collected together a staggering 126 tutorials, links and galleries from websites, blogs and other photography sources posted in the last week. You will definitely find something to keep you entertained and interested here, this comes via Lightstalking and go here for the full list

Here is a taste of what is presented to you


How to Print HDR Photographs — Printing Tips — Prints That Really Pop – a completely comprehensive guide to final printing of images, with an eye toward HDR photography.  Very detailed, including a series of screenshots and examples, this article is guaranteed to teach you tips and tricks on how to most effectively perform this activity.  Well worth the time to read, this is a totally awesome article.

Using Symmetry in Photography – a great tutorial that discusses the use and employment of symmetry in photography.  This post includes some great example images, producing a complete article that is sure to shed some light on this practice and style of photography.

Boudoir Part 4: Implied Nude – Erik Kerstenbeck really delivers a compelling background story on this style of photography.  More centric around the history of this style with some technical tips and cues, this piece is sure to teach everyone a little something about this truly incredible photographic style.

Boudoir Part 5: Different Perspectives – a continuation from the above link, Erik Kerstenbeck shares some more really great tips and tricks for this particular style of photography.  This is a great series of posts that deliver a lot of information about applying this genre of imagery.

Making Your Images Pop – Through Choice Of Lens – a short but very helpful post outlining a set of tips and tricks to get the most out of your photography.  This list is comprised of some simple points to follow, all of which help to achieve the desired effect.

Use Fake Rain for Intense Action Shots – a behind-the-scenes video of a photo-shoot for a famous magazine shows how fake rain was created and used in this shoot to create the desired end-effect.

Photo Food Tags: A Thanksgiving DIY Project – just in time for Thanksgiving in the US, this wonderful blog post provides an in-depth guide on creating unique food tags for the dinner offerings.  A wonderful idea, this article really takes the reader through the entire process.

The Best Way to Learn Wedding Photography – striving or desiring to be the best wedding photographer you can be?  This fabulous article outlines some key steps to ensure success in this realm of photography related services.


Learning to See (space) – Part 6 – Tom Dinning (who is a regular contributor here at Light Stalking: @tomdinning) delivers another absolutely profound piece in his latest running series.  Exquisite photography provides the foundation for this new article, and is accompanied by a truly incredible article that discusses the artistic interest in space.  This new article is guaranteed to make you pause and think deeply about the world we live in, and as photographers how and what we capture.  This post is guaranteed to leave you with a new sense of our surroundings and we wholeheartedly encourage everyone to pop over for a read.

Show Your Fall Color – right here on the Light Stalking forums resides this wonderful thread full of Autumn color!  Great shots from many of our active members grace this page, a wonderful post well worth the time to visit and check out!

Sun Devil Stadium – absolutely picture-perfect, this photograph from the studio of Scott Wood delivers a powerful and dramatic night-shot of a fireworks display over a stadium.  The facility itself is crystal-clear in this image, and the colors and details of the fireworks display really showcase Scott’s abilities as a photographer to capture challenging subjects.  Well done.

Hugh O’Neill Building – a wonderful architectural study done by Mark Garbowski really showcases this iconic building.  A very complex method was used to capture and process this image, producing a striking and strong photograph sure to delight the historically significant architectural fan in us all.

Big Box Stores Hide Historic Ranch House – a stunning and breathtaking shot of an old, weathered house on a hillside in California produces a striking and compelling image.  Renée M. Besta really delivers the goods in this shot, full of incredible textures and details to enjoy, all punctuated by the raw drama of a stormy sky producing a striking overdrop to the entire scene.

Ha’penny Bridge – an incredible photograph of a bridge in Dublin.  Fabulous details and a truly mesmerizing reflection await the viewer in this beautiful image of an iconic bridge.

The Red Light, Toronto – a wonderful image of light at nighttime from Ren Bostelaar creates a dramatic and compelling scene to enjoy.  Warm tones are punctuated by great framing to produce a great photograph in this shot.

unexpected satisfaction by ros k @ getfunky_paris, on Flickr

Nikon D800 – more information seeping out

From Cardinal Photos we have picked up this information regarding the much awaited Nikon D800, as with all rumours it might be true

Details continue to emerge about the expected Nikon D800. Reportedly a couple shooters have early versions and are confirming that the camera will indeed feature a 36MP full-frame sensor, while being smaller than the D700. At first this seems a little looney, as such a high-resolution camera is unlikely to be able to match the low noise capability the D3/D3s/D700 pack of full-frame sensor cameras have come to be known for. But maybe Nikon is crazy like a fox…

If we look at the resolution of the excellent Nikon D7000, it is 16MP shoe-horned into a DX format sensor. Full-frame, or FX, is 50% larger on each side. That means that an FX sensor as over twice the area of a DX sensor – making a full frame 36MP sensor the same pixel density as is found in the D7000. Couple that with another two years of innovation in electronics, and it is entirely plausible that the D800 will have similar, or perhaps slightly better, noise characteristics than the D7000.

Of course, that isn’t as good as the noise rejection in the D700 or D3, and nowhere near as good as the D3s, so unless Nikon has some serious magic up its sleeve in the sensor department, those hoping for the quality of a D3s sensor in a smaller form factor (me, for one!) are likely to be very disappointed. Similarly, the new Nikon D800 is rumored to be only 4fps, a step down for those used to any of the D3 family or even the Nikon D7000’s 6fps or the Nikon D700’s 5 fps.

The camera is supposed to feature Nikon’s high-end Auto-focus system, but with a 4fps frame rate, it won’t win many fans among action shooters in any case. And then there is the price. The Nikon D800 is rumored to price out at $3,900. That is almost exactly three times the price of a Nikon D7000, and over $1,000 more than a Nikon D700. For studio, catalog and portrait shooters who need to squeeze the last bit of resolution out of their cameras, the nearly $4K price tag may well be worth it, but for most photographers, unless they just want the rush of saying they have a 36MP camera, it’s hard to see a big rush to purchase.

Video recording will be improved on the D800, which makes sense as Nikon is still playing catchup with Canon in that area. Of course all this is still in the rumor stage, and with the lingering effects of the tsunami in Japan and the current flooding in Thailand resulting in delays to the D800, there might well be more changes in store before the time it is actually available.”

This is what the ever useful Nikon Rumors site says

“Supposed pictures of the upcoming Nikon D800 have been leaked to NikonRumors, and show the camera is slightly smaller than its predecessor, the Nikon D700.

The D800 has been anticipated for release from Nikon for several months, with several rumours circulating that the recent floods in Thailand have pushed back the official announcement date.

Specs have been emerging from the upcoming camera for several months now, with the new pictures revealing little that wasn’t already known. A 36 million pixel sensor is thought to be on board, along with 4fps continuous shooting and full HD video recording in 30p.

If reports are to believed, the Nikon D800 has been extremely unlucky in coming to the market, first affected by the Japanese earthquake and recently affected by the Thailand floods.

Nikon has one of its key factories in the affected area of Thailand, and has suffered profit losses as a result of the damage caused.

Key specs

Other specs of the D800 include a larger display, dual Compact Flash and SD card memory slots, an autofocus system identical to the D3 and D700 and a sensitivity range of 100-6400, expandable down to ISO 50 and up to ISO HI-2 at 25,600.

Some reports have also suggested that there will be two versions of the D800, one with the anti-aliasing filter removed. It seems likely however that even if this were true, they would share the same body construction and shape.”

The pictures of the camera could be almost any Nikon really but here they are courtesy of Nikon Rumors


The 7 Deadly Photo Mistakes

Not sure why deadly, and that there are only 7 but the cheeky chaps over at photoformula.com have put together a free downloadable pdf that has seven essential points you need to think about as a photographer.

It’s a work of love to an extent.  Here are just a few of the things you can learn from it:

  1. What 4CS is!  (This is a little technique, that when I tell you, you won’t believe how simple it is).  But honestly, when I was told about it, I had a HUGE “ah ha” moment.  From that moment on, I haven’t looked through a camera viewfinder the same way
  2. How to make every portrait pop and look BEAUTIFUL!  This again is so simple, but hardly anyone does it (can anyone say webcam photos).
  3. How to get “tack sharp” images and how to forget about noisy images
  4. The proper settings you should be using on your camera (it’s not what you might think)
  5. How a 2 second photoshop correction can make sure your photo is NEVER passed over.
  6. How not to be a complete fool like me, and make sure you never leave the house without a memory card (I’ve seriously done this numerous occasions)
  7. …and many more tips, instructions, settings and all around goodness!!!

Whilst there getting your free download have a look at his images, great looking photo-journalism and street shots plus lots of sports including David Beckham playing “soccer” in the US

The link again for the pdf is here

Photography Tutorial: Seasonal weather

Canon offer a series of tutorials on their website that, understandably are aimed at the use of Canon cameras, are accessible for photographers using any make of cameras. The tutorials are a guide and insight into some basic, but often misunderstood or unused techniques and controls. This current tutorial is featuring taking pictures in the type of weather we have in the UK at the moment. Beautiful morning here, driving into Oxford from the west, following the line of the river, deep rolling mist with bleached skies and the sun breaking through creating stunning shafts of light between the trees.

“Are you a fair-weather photographer? Does your camera only come out with the sun? If so, you are missing some wonderful opportunities for photography.Mist, rain, frost and rainbows – bad weather is good for your image, helping you to create dramatic effects. Keep an eye on the forecasts and start going out when everyone else is coming in. “

This tutorial covers:
• An early start
• Rainy days
• Rain at night
• Dramatic skies
• Rainbows
• Frosty mornings

Go here for the full tutorial

The Fog, You Connect member Marek Grum, Canon EOS 450D

A Basic Introduction to Studio Lighting – 2 hour video tutorial

Extreme Dogs lifestyle

I am really pleased to have found Intelligent Life, no I haven’t been ‘visited’ or ‘taken’ but by sheer chance discovered an excellent on line magazine, this article is about dogs. If you want to see all the excellent photo galleries on Intelligent Life then just go here

“I like to use photography as a way of extending people’s experiences,” says Tim Flach. To encourage viewers to see things differently, he takes pictures of animals from below, through a glass floor, he uses extreme close-ups and photographs horses underwater or using X-rays……Flach is best known for abstract images of animals. His book “Equus” (2008) lingered over swirling manes and made the swell of horses’ backs look like mountain ranges. “Less is more,” he says, quoting the architect Mies van der Rohe. But Flach uses abstraction in a surprising way.….more

All pictures by Tim Flach