Oxford School of Photography

insights into photography

Monthly Archives: May 2012

Exploring Metering Modes

Digital-Photo-School are based in Australia, this article is by a guest contributor to their site called Andrew S Gibson, he lives just down the road from us here in Oxfordshire UK, weird the way the world is so interconnected, great too.

This article is a pretty full explanation of the different metering modes available on your camera and how and when to use them.

This is the third in a series of four articles about exposure by Andrew S Gibson – author of Understanding Exposure: Perfect Exposure on your EOS camera. You can read the first lesson, which explored the reasons for using program, aperture priority and shutter priority modes, here, and the second lesson, which explained why your camera’s meter gets exposure wrong, here.”

Rankin + Hunger TV

Rankin is one of our favourite photographers over here at OSP Towers, and he has just started a new project that is a sort of online version of a magazine called Hunger TV. We wrote about the great man that is Rankin before, if you missed that go here and we also wrote about another of his projects, a tv documentary on Life Magazine here

About Hunger

“The Hunger is a biannual magazine from photographer and publisher, Rankin. Launched in November 2011 – 20 years after Dazed & Confused was founded, and 10 years after the birth of AnOther – The Hunger provides a new platform for uncompromised self-expression, innovation and discovery. Working with both experienced and emerging talents in the arts, fashion and editorial, The Hunger seeks out cultural progression and distinction. Each issue of the magazine features both a male and female cover.

The hungertv.com website launched simultaneously with the magazine, with a unique focus on video content – fashion films, behind the scenes footage and exclusive performances, collaborations, and interviews.”

This is issue 2 and here is what is contained within:

“For the second issue of The Hunger, on sale on the 10th May 2012, our cover stars are the prolific Italian actress Monica Bellucci and the young Irish actor on a trajectory to international stardom, Robert Sheehan. For our limited edition hardback, model and photographer Helena Christensen, with an exclusive silver poster of Helena included inside. Helena also contributed a shoot to the magazine.

This issue, we spoke to the finest talents in British culture. Thriving Brits: a look at the work of fashion designers Katie Eary, Henry Holland, Craig Lawrence, Louise Gray and James Long. Visualising Music, where The Hunger met with 
art directors Storm Thorgerson and Mark Farrow among others, to discuss how they created some of the most iconic sleeve artwork of our time. And Art in the East End: we journeyed around east London stopping off to chat to Polly Morgan, Tim Noble and Sue Webster, Mat Collishaw and Gilbert & George and found out about the impact the area has had on their art, and that they have had on the area. From the world of music, we spoke to The Black Keys, Theo Parrish and The Gossip to name a few.

From film, Juliette Binoche, Werner Herzog, Mark Strong, Malcolm McDowell, Annabelle Wallis, Tilda Swinton and Toby Kebbell. In fashion, we spent time with Heidi Klum, Pam Hogg, Jean-Claude Jitrois, and a host of designers, who told us why couture’s influence will never decline. We also worked with renowned makeup artists, Ayami Nishimura, Caroline Saulnier and Andrew Gallimore, the latter who showed us the future of mens beauty in Out of Darkness. Filmed interviews and fashion films are available to watch exclusively at hungertv.com.”


Photojournalist Damian Bird tells us how his online photo-essay magazine, Life Force, has literally given him his life back…MORE

In-between Days : Joseph Szabo


“Priscilla, wandering across Jones Beach, hoiking up her jeans, her cigarette dangling from her lips. Like The Pixies Surfer Rosa or Stanley Kubrick’s A Clockwork  Orange, the image has served as a cult reference for generations of youthful impudents. Chosen by the band Dinosaur Jr for the cover of their breakthrough 1991 album, Green Mind, the photograph taken by Joseph Szabo hasn’t aged a bit in the 43 years since it was taken. At the time it was shot Joseph was a young, liberal teacher trying to find ways to connect with and inspire his students.”....more of this article


Rankin, he is the man

Lawrence Schiller’s best photograph: Marilyn Monroe

Interview by in The Guardian

“‘”You’re going to make me famous,” I said. “Photographers can be replaced,” replied Marilyn'”....MORE

Marilyn Monroe in 1962 … Lawrence Schiller’s best shot. Photograph: Laurence Schiller/1996-98 AccuSoft Inc.

Brighton Photofringe Open Submission

Brighton is well known for it’s great attitude towards the arts and in particular photography. There is still time to enter the open submission for the photofringe, and let’s face it you couldn’t do worse than Alec Soth’s 7 year old daughter at the last Brighton Biennial (don’t believe everything you read even in The Guardian) ,  here are the details for submission:

Brighton Photo Fringe OPEN 2012

Open Submission Solo Photographic Exhibition

October-November 2012

OPEN 2012 Details

Brighton Photo Fringe would like to invite submissions for OPEN 2012 – an open submission solo exhibition opportunity for an emerging to mid-career photographer or lens based artist.

Deadline: 5pm Monday 4 June 2012


 Selected artist will receive

• High profile solo exhibition as part of Brighton Photo Fringe at Phoenix Brighton

• Artist’s fee £500

• Production budget

• Travel expenses (within the UK)


• Emerging and mid-career* photographic artists

• Currently living or working in the UK

• Any lens-based medium

• Existing body of work which has not been previously exhibited in the UK

Submission Fee: £15.00

 Brighton Photo Fringe supports photographers and lens-based artists by opening up spaces, coordinating participatory projects and creating opportunities. Every two years Brighton Photo Fringe brings together a city-wide festival of exhibitions and events that runs alongside Brighton Photo Biennial. OPEN 2012 will be the keynote exhibition of this year’s Brighton Photo Fringe festival and will be closely linked to Brighton Photo Biennial.

For further information please see http://www.photofringe.org or contact info@photofringe.org

Phoenix Brighton is the largest artist-led organisation in the South East. It provides galleries, community projects, education programmes and 100 artist studios.

For further information please see:


London Festival of Photography – Street Photographers

Phil Coomes writing on the BBC website today features a number of street photographers who are contributing to the festival of photography.

“The London Festival of Photography returns for its second year in June comprising 18 main exhibitions with further shows, workshops and talks going on throughout the month.

Each year it also organises three photographic competitions, one of which is the Student Street Award, and this year I was invited along as one of the judges.

Our role was to select six portfolios to go forward to the final round which are to be exhibited at Orange Dot Gallery in Bloomsbury, plus each student would be offered the chance to attend a workshop with photographer Peter Dench, whose latest work England Uncensored I wrote about recently.

The submissions ranged widely in quality, style and impact making the final selection a tough one. Some entries fell in and out of the final six as the judges debated the various entries before managing to agree. I think in the end we came up with a good mix of work and nothing too obvious. Each photographer had their own vision and way of interpreting the public space through their lens.”…….MORE

One of the excellent photographers featured in Phil’s article is

Heather Shuker

“Originally a Business Studies graduate I fell in love with photography in 2003 after spending a year volunteering for a charity in Sierra Leone. Starting with short courses at Central St Martins, followed by a post-graduate degree at the same institution and a photography MA at Brighton University, all the while taking any form of commissioned photography work available, my plans to “be a photographer” began to take shape.

As a photographer, I am particularly partial to the street, an environment where things are constantly changing and every photograph is unique, a brief moment in time when all the necessary elements come together. Working on the street is extremely challenging, both technically and physically, and requires determination and confidence.

Street photography for me is all about people; I photograph “life” and “happenings”, my approach being that of the unobserved observer, exploring everyday gestures and interactions to reveal people as they truly are. My photographic work has required me to question the boundaries between what is considered public versus private – particularly my series focusing on girls in nightclub toilets, and more recently my work featured in the exhibition on the topic of public smoking.

It has been great working with Peter Dench, as I have been an admirer of his work for some time. Peter’s tips on how to achieve better street photographs have become a real help in the pursuit of “that photograph”, such as, “if it moves, follow it – get in as close as you can” – not a bad rule, considering he has only been punched once.

Peter’s tips have served as a great guide. Street photography shapes you as a photographer, giving you confidence to carry on trying new things, new angles, and pushing for ‘that’ superior image.”

Photo by Heather Shuker
Photo by Heather Shuker
Photo by Heather Shuker
It is certainly worth seeing the other photographers featured and reading the rest of Phil’s article, find them here

Mirrorless Interchangeable Lens Cameras?

Once there were compact cameras and DSLR cameras, then we had bridge cameras and now MIL cameras If you don’t know what is being talked about these are examaples The Panasonic Lumix G Series ,the Lumix DMC-GH2,  the Sony NEX and the Olympus Pen Series. Pentax is also taking grip on the market with it’s oddly designed Pentax K-01.

Here   at Lightstalking explains what, how, why

While not an entirely new technology, mirrorless cameras manufacturers have been enjoying a steady rise in interest of the compact cameras among amateurs and professionals alike. Initially marketed at serious amateurs who were looking for more from their point-and-shoots, but were not interested in a DSLR, the mirrorless camera, has helped fill a gap in camera technology. Their lightweight design offers users the comforts of carrying only a compact camera and their DSLR sized sensors produce images which rival some of the most popular DSLRs on the market..….MORE

How to Do Wonders With Taking Sunset Photos

From those good folks over at Lightstalking a little bit of advice when taking sunset pictures. I would add to what they say; always having a subject to the picture, never just sky, try using a neutral density graduated filter to enhance the sky and retain detail in the foreground and edit your pictures after the shoot, you really do only want one or two examples of that fantastic sky. If you end up with dozens you will still only ever look at one or two and skip over the rest.

Here is what Lightstalking has to say

Everyone loves a good sunset photograph. The problem is that a lot of sunset photos are a little clichéd and one photo just kind of blends into another. Here are some ideas for getting a great sunset shot that stands out from the crowd.

1) Wait Until After Sunset – While many photographers start clicking away as the sun is setting and hitting the horizon, there is a lot to be said for hanging around 20 minutes after it’s actually gone down. This little bit of time means the lighting isn’t so harsh, and some spectacular colours star to come out that can be captured with a timed exposure.

Two columns

Photo by Sergio Tudela

Photography Event Project – Dizzy Dogs

Here over at OSP Towers we get lots of requests to support, recommend, provide, find, you name it anything photographic comes our way. In general for anything that is even vaguely commercial we tell the sender in no uncertain terms to use a professional photographer and pay them. Everyone needs to earn a living and it is tough for photographers these days. You would, I am sure, be amazed how many requests we get for a student photographer to cover a wedding, to ‘help them with their portfolio’ yeah right! Who would use someone with no experience, amateur level cameras, no back up equipment,  and nothing to lose if it goes wrong to photograph the most important day of their lives. Cheapskates.

Sometimes we get a charity which genuinely needs help, and maybe offers something that would be more of a project than a commercial photography job. On our Intermediate Photography course we ask our students to find an event and offer their services to record and document, this is valuable to the student and may help the charity.

Today we were asked to help out with Dizzy Dogs Day (tail chasers I suspect), the request comes from Kat, so I guess she will be running around on the day, perfect name for a dog’s day out. Anyway all the information is on their website, if you feel like offering get in contact with Kat. dizzydogsday@hotmail.co.uk

Joe Raedle: Featured photojournalist

Showcasing some of the world’s best photojournalists.

“The Guardian receives many thousands of pictures every day, some days more than 20,000. Of these, many are publicity hand-outs, soft paparazzi images and material for the sports pages.

However, among all these photographs there are some real gems. The agencies that the Guardian subscribes to – AP, Reuters and Getty Images, among others – have some truly great photojournalists on their staff and under contract, although they probably would be too modest to describe themselves as such. We would like to recognise some of these unsung heroes by presenting their work in galleries, rather than publish them in the usual, one-off, spot news format.”….MORE

Joe Raedle

“Joe Raedle was a student at the Maine Photographic Workshop in Rockport. He was hired as a staff photographer at Fort Lauderdale’s Sun-Sentinel in 1987 and his 11-year tenure there took him across the globe. He joined Getty Images in 2000 and is now based in Washington, DC. Here, he returns to Joplin, Missouri, to cover the city’s regeneration on the first anniversary of a devastating tornado”

See more from this gallery here

Big picture: Blow Job, by Tadao Cern

From the Guardian by Words: . Photographs:

“With a leaf blower pumping at full tilt in front of you, what would your face look like? Contorted, distorted and, in most cases, hilariously funny, as photographer Tadao Cern found out, and created an internet sensation in the process”.…MORE

More by Tadao Cern