Oxford School of Photography

insights into photography

Daily Archives: November 10, 2011

I am lucky, no I didn’t win the lottery or anything like that but I do get the chance to speak to other photographers regularly. The genesis of the business was as a darkroom and studio hire centre, we opened in 1982 and although we did a lot of developing and printing we also did a lot of talking. Photographers would hang out at our centre because they had no where else to go, we drank copious amounts of coffee, discussed other photographers, their work, put the world to rights and generally improved as photographers by learning from each other. Now I do this via the blog and other forums. We no longer have darkrooms but we do still drink too much coffee. Our profession has become more insular, we are all bunkered down with our computers in our own spaces. The web offers marvelous opportunities for sharing and that is what we do here. It is much like those old days where someone would wander in with a book by a photographer and say, “have you seen this’, and that would spark an afternoon’s discussion. Now I wander the wonderweb and find things I would just love to share with someone, that person is you.

This article, well articles comes out of that tradition, the first part called

How to Relate To and Learn From Other Photographers Written by:

“Here are some tips to help you relate to other photographers and hopefully have a similar experience to mine.

1. Keep in mind that photographers are just people and like people some are super nice and some you wish you’d never met. If you have a bad experience, don’t get discouraged. The good people outnumber the bad ones.

2. Golden Rule. Think about how you’d like to be approached by another photographer, especially one not as skilled as you are. Or another way of saying it, if you were to be introduced to Annie Leibovitz you would want to learn from her, not teach her. Talk about her work, not yours unless asked.

3. Be friendly and patient, not pushy. Don’t expect another photographer to download all their information in five minutes. I learn some little something every time I’m around other photographers. I don’t expect or even want to learn everything at one sitting.”

the full article is here

this is followed up with Part 2 – Relating To and Learning From Other Photographers Written by:

“Steve started things off excellently with his list of ten ways to relate to and learn from other photographers. So excellently, in fact, that I had to give him a hard time because he used many of the ideas I had for my own article. That’s what we do, though – in giving each other a hard time we’re really complimenting one another for raising the bar and creating a challenge.

We all have a tremendous opportunity to learn from one another, and an equally tremendous opportunity to TEACH others. A note on an experience I recently had – a photographer showed me an unedited copy of the photo you see above (Shiprock, New Mexico), and asked my advice on how to improve it. I had a really positive experience showing him how to edit the photo, talking about things he could have done to better position himself so that post-processing wasn’t necessary, and in the end was able to see how proud he was of his work once he finished following the steps I outlined.”

“My point is, being a photographer that others can relate to and learn from is just as rewarding as finding a photographer that you can relate to and learn from! So among my own items of advice, I’m going to add some things we should keep in mind if WE are approached by someone who wishes to learn from us.” want to read more of this interesting article?

Here is that picture talked about in the text

these articles were found on the Beyond Megapixel Blog site

They have other interesting articles such as

Camera Etiquette in a Crowd

We’ve all been there. We’re at an event or a popular landmark, trying to photograph a memory, and we get bumped with a camera bag. Or, we inadvertently bump someone else as we’re positioning ourselves for a shot. Or you miss the PERFECT shot because someone wouldn’t be courteous enough to move. We need to.…..more


Elliott Erwitt

This really charming piece on a blog by Adam Marelli about Elliott Erwitt at ICP is worth reading and having a chance to look at his exceptional pictures

“Lessons from a Hobbyist

For as long as I can remember, Elliot Erwitt refered to his photography a hobby.  I think every hobbyist would be pleased with Elliot’s level of success.  In interviews he downplays his role as a member of Magnum Photo, commercial photographer and a recipient of the International Center for Photography’s Infinity Prize.  But under the surface of his charming stories are useful lessons that we can use to gain perspective on our work.”

“Don’t Take Things Too Seriously

Your best picture might be waiting at home.  Elliot snapped a few pictures of his new new born daughter and wife at home in New York.  For everyone who has a child, this is a picture you can take.  He found an interesting angle on his first child, his third cat, and his first wife.”

“This was one of the first images that Elliot sold to a magazine. He loves photographing dogs. They don’t complain, they do not require releases, and they are great models. New York City, USA 1946 Elliot Erwitt”

See the full article here

12 Video Tutorials for Improving Your Photoshop Skills

You know the web is full of people who want to tell you how to do things. Photography attracts a plethora of would be tutors, they do it in text form, pod cast and video, the trouble is there are so many you can spend hours looking for the one that speaks to you at your level. I’m off to teach the 4th part of our current Intro to Photoshop course tonight and will be recommending this post to my students.

Those good people at Lightstalking have a post that has 12 video tutorials on the essentials of Photoshop use, if they recommend them my guess is the tutorials are good.

“Photoshop can really be a photographer’s best friend or worst nightmare. It all depends on how comfortable you feel in the program and whether you know the simple tips and tricks to creating photo magic. Here are 12 video tutorials for improving your Photoshop skills quickly.”

If you want to see the tutorials follow this link