Oxford School of Photography

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Daily Archives: April 20, 2012

Nikon D3200 – new dslr camera

Nikon have announced their new entry level camera the D3200. The strapline for advertising this new camera is “I am easy for everyone” when did anything good come out of it being easy. Anything that has value and worth and is satisfying requires skill and attention to the process, a camera that is easy for everyone sounds like a camera I would not want to be associated with. Why not just sell them a basic compact camera? Surely anyone with the mindset of buying a camera because it is easy would prefer something light, portable, technically and intellectually undemanding and pocketable, we have those they are called compact cameras.

A party. A smile. A memory you don’t want to forget. Capture those not‑to‑be‑missed moments with the new Nikon D3200. The D3200 is packed full of features to give you professional‑looking photos, without any of the complications. Its Guide Mode acts as your in‑built expert, giving you brilliant results step by step. While its 24.2 megapixel CMOS sensor helps you create images with incredible depth of detail ‑ you’ll soon have the photos and videos you always wanted. ” Nikon advertising

Can I ask when did having more pixels to play with generate ….”you’ll soon have the photos and videos you always wanted. “ I thought pixels were just part of the deal and the most important component of any decent image was what was behind the camera.

Nikon seem to have lost the faith; that professional looking photos come from professional photographers with professional equipment. If this camera were able to turn the unknowing into professional photographers what is the point of the super professional D3X Nikon camera at nearly £5,300 without a lens (add another £1,000)

The simplification of the use of cameras does not make for professional photography, cameras are/were simple enough in the first place. Understand aperture, shutter and ISO and you are pretty much there, how hard can it be?

If you don’t understand these basics take one of our DSLR courses

So the new D3200, what does it offer?…. this is what Nikon chose to highlight in the email they sent out

24.2 mpx

Guide Mode to ensure brilliant results every time

Full HD (1080p) Movie to always capture those special moments

Turn your images into something really special with a selection of special effects

This link takes you to the Nikon website with the details

Sorry to sound so sour but this new DSLR sounds like an over large compact camera, I am surprised it doesn’t have a button to allow for uploading directly to a plethora of social networking sites……. Too soon, I spoke too soon, while researching more about this “I am easy” camera I found details in the BJP of an accessory that “Nikon has unveiled a new accessory, which combined with the new D3200 announced today, will allow users to share their images on social networks such as Facebook and Twitter via their smartphones” I might puke. Why would you want 24 megapixels if you aim is to upload to Facebook? Further information from the BJP here

The excellent DP review has already details with the full specification here

Deadline for Getty Images Editorial Grants 1st May

Photographers have less two weeks to enter this year’s Getty Images’ Grants for Editorial Photography, worth $20,000

Image © Stanley Greene / Noor Images, courtesy of Getty Images.

Olivier Laurent reports in the BJP

“Launched in 2004, the Getty Images Grants for Editorial Photography are designed to help professional photojournalists create “compelling social, political and cultural stories.”

Each year, a jury selects five photographers to receive $20,000 to fund projects of personal and journalistic significance. This year, one of the grants will be awarded, in conjunction with The Chris Hondros Fund, for “extraordinary news coverage of a current event,” says Getty Images.

The deadline for entries if 01 May, at which time a jury that includes the directors of photography at Time Magazine and The New Yorker, as well as Barbara Giffin of Turner Broadcasting Systems, photographer Stephanie Sinclair and Jean-François Leroy of Visa Pour l’Image, will select the five winners “taking into account the caliber of portfolio, project merit and professional ability.

The winners will be announced in a ceremony at this year’s Visa Pour l’Image photojournalism festival in Perpignan.

For more details and to enter, visit grants.gettyimages.com.” This is from the opening page of the Getty Grants web page

“Getty Images Grants for Editorial Photography

Welcome to the Getty Images Grants application system. To ensure your application qualifies, please adhere to all of the guidelines and eligibility requirements or it will not be submitted to judges for consideration.

To ensure fair and unbiased selection, all proposals reviewed by the independent panel of judges remain anonymous until the judging is complete. Submissions that contain a photographer’s name and/or contact information within the caption field or the proposal will be deemed ineligible.

Please contact us at grants@gettyimages.com with any questions.

Before you begin to register and apply please prepare the following:
  • A proposal mapping out the scope and purpose of your project in 500 words or less.
  • A bio, maximum 500 words.
  • 20-25 portfolio images, sized to 3000 pixels at the longest dimension, 300 dpi, saved as JPG with standard compression no lower than 8 on the JPG scale.

Important notes: There is no fee to apply to the Getty Images Grants and applicants retain all copyrights to their imagery submitted for the judges’ review.”.…MORE

Cairo Divided

An unique text and photo essay explores Egypt’s sprawling metropolis as it undergoes one of the most dramatic transformations in its history. Released as part of a new project bringing writers and photographers together on in-depth works, it is available for free in a one-off newspaper format – order details are below.
For fourteen centuries, Egypt’s capital has risen within a pair of stubbornly-persistent natural boundaries – the Moqattam clifftops to the west, and the Saharan desert to the east. Now for the first time Cairo is bursting its banks, sending boutique villas and water-hungry golf courses tumbling into the sand dunes, and reshaping the political and psychological contours of the largest megacity in Africa and the Middle East.Amid an uncertain tide of political change, the controversial ‘satellite cities’ project is dramatically transforming peripheries into new urban centres and consigning old focal points to a life on the margins. Against the backdrop of national revolution, photographer Jason Larkin and writer Jack Shenker collaborated for two years to produce ‘Cairo Divided’, a free hard-copy publication exploring the capital’s rapidly-mutating urban landscape.


Jason Larkin is a documentary photographer and part of the Panos photo agency in London. Previously based in Cairo, his career has seen him shooting for international periodicals across the Middle East, Africa and Central Asia. His work has been recognized with multiple awards, including the prestigious PDN Arnold Newman Portraiture prize. He is currently based between London and Johannesburg – http://www.jasonlarkin.co.uk.

Jack Shenker is a London-born writer who has reported from across the globe, with work spanning Central Asia, the Indian subcontinent, Gaza and the Mediterranean. Since 2008, he has been Egypt correspondent for the Guardian, and his coverage of the 2011 Egyptian revolution won the Amnesty International Gaby Rado award for excellence in human rights journalism. He is currently based in London and Cairo – http://www.jackshenker.net.

Hard copies of ‘Cairo Divided’ are available at no cost beyond postage and packaging fees. Full details here

Olivier Laurent writing in the BJP has this to say

Jason Larkin: Cairo Divided


Cairo Divided © Jason Larkin.

Divided is a two-year investigation into Cairo’s social and architectural changes, self-published for the first time in its entirety in newspaper form.

Jason Larkin had been working for two years on Divided when he and journalist Jack Shenker decided to publish it in newspaper format. “We never thought about how it was going to end up,” Larkin tells BJP. “Jack was writing long essays, but when they were published in The Guardian or other titles, they were condensed. We thought it would be nice to publish unabridged essays.”

Divided is the story of how the megacity, Cairo, is turning itself inside out. “The project started when I was living very close to the American University of Cairo,” says Larkin. “I remember when the university announced it would be moving to the outskirts of Cairo, a lot of people were surprised. The university sees a lot of students from abroad thinking they would be studying in Cairo, but instead they’d find themselves in the desert.”

Larkin checked the situation out for himself, visiting the construction sites of these huge, new compounds. “There was a lot going on, but no one was speaking about it in Cairo,” he says. “I started investigating, and found these huge developments.” Quickly he realised that once completed, there would be a massive exodus of people from the city to the outskirts.

But these new cities lacked “all the bits they need to function as normal cities,” he explains. “There are huge compounds, ministries, headquarters, office blocks, but no social housing.” The poorest and working classes wouldn’t be able to move to these new towns, in effect dividing Cairo’s population, he says. “I was alarmed by that. I wondered how Cairo was going to change when people start to move there.”

His images, with Shenker’s essays, have now been released in a 32-page newspaper self-published by Larkin in association with Panos Pictures. “There were many reasons for choosing this format – the first one was because of the elections in Egypt. I really liked the idea of coming out with something free that I’d be able to pass on to universities or people learning the politics or the language of this country. I thought it would be a great way to reach people. Egypt is in a very complicated situation and I think a lot of the time people miss out on the real context of what is going on. They are just hearing the daily news. I thought it would be great if people were able to pick up a copy of Divided and have a better understanding of what is actually going on in Cairo and in Egypt.”  ..….MORE

Cairo Divided © Jason Larkin.

TEDxGranta — David Constantine — The Chair That Changes Lives

My great friend and photographer David Constantine recently recorded a talk for the TED talks people at their conference at Cambridge. Here is a link to one of David’s websites where you can see his exceptional images. http://www.sittingimages.com/

Invest a Few Hours With This Huge Collection of Photography Links

From Toad Hollow Photography via Lightstalking

Another incredible week rolls by and we find the Toad busy hopping all over the internet searching for tutorials, great photography and interesting blogs to share with everyone.  This week’s list presents a serious compilation of the best links he could find from some really incredibly talented photographers and artists.  We really hope you enjoy checking out these great works as much as the folks at Toad Hollow Photography enjoyed bringing them to you.

The Toad is busy writing his second eBook, and it is due to be published very soon!  For your free copy, please head over and sign up for exclusive Free HDR Guides, Tips and News as they become published!”

Here is a taste

Stripes by DigitalArtBerlin, on Flickr


Topaz DeNoise For HDR – a 10 minute video takes us on a tutorial by Blake Rudis that shares his favorite presets for achieving the wonderfully photography work that he produces.  This presentation is particularly useful for photographers working in the realm of HDR imagery, as noise is a common and difficult problem to deal with.

Studio Photography Insights : shooting liquid, glass, how to deal with reflections on the glass and much more! – Alex Koloskov shares so much back to the photography community, it’s not even funny.  This is a great presentation that once again takes us behind the scenes on how to perform breathtaking product photography in a studio setting.

Portraits Using Ambient Lighting – a brief but very interesting post discussing the use of ambient lighting for portrait photography.  Doug Pruden shows us how to achieve a really great outcome with the simplest of equipment and lighting.

Photomatix HDR walkthrough – Tristan Jud delivers a great presentation on some of the basics of using Photomatix, one of the #1 HDR merging and tone-mapping applications out there.

Concert Photography Tips: Shooting Concerts Like a Pro! – a concise post that gives us a few important behind-the-scenes pointers on how to achieve great concert photography.  This is a tricky venue to master in photography, and each tip provided can really help with getting the results you want.

How to Engage Your Viewers by Creating a Moment of Discovery – a great article that discusses compositional techniques to achieve stunning and unique photography.  This is a very well-written piece, and is guaranteed to shed some light on this topic for readers of almost every skill level.


Adentrándose en Los Cerros – our very own @astaroth here on Light Stalking takes us on a journey exploring a vast park in his country.  Wonderful perspectives are shared here as well as some insights into his work.  This is a great post, one that is truly a must-see on this week’s list.

Asylum – an old abandoned asylum holds the keys to a wonderful mystery in this great video composed of a series of still images.  This is the culmination of a 7 month project with over 35,000 still images.  An absolutely epic piece, sure to mesmerize all who view it.

Caesars Atlantic City – some really great shadows and rich colors are presented in this architectural study of this famous location.  Jimi Jones captures a great and unique shot, sharing it here for everyone to enjoy.

Vibrant Music – Radio City Music Hall delivers some truly striking details and contrasts to enjoy in this top drawer image from Dave DiCello.  Great details emerge for the viewer as they spend time taking in the image, producing a mesmerizing image.

Flying In Ink – another unique image from the studio of Aaron Barlow showcases his special technique for the creation of images.  In this shot, a mighty heron is captured, resulting in a really wonderful photograph.

Asakusa,Tokyo by t-miki, on Flickr