Oxford School of Photography

insights into photography

Monthly Archives: May 2012

London Festival of Photography June 2012

In June 2012, London’s most celebrated venues (Museum of London, British Library, British Museum, Tate Modern, the V&A and more…) will play host to a world-class, city-wide celebration of photography as the London Festival of Photography returns for its second year.

Encompassing street, documentary and conceptual photography, the festival includes 18 exhibitions and 30 satellite events including workshops, talks and screenings.

Exhibitions will vary in style and format, presenting a comprehensive mixture of disciplines with work from both established and emerging photographers. Content will be curated around the theme, Inside Out: Reflections on the Public and the Private.

The festival opens to the public on 1 June 2012 (many exhibitions are open during the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee bank holiday weekend 2, 3, 4 & 5 June)

The Great British Public – Various

The New Forest and Hampshire County Show 2004 Photograph: Arnhel de Serra

Dates: 01 June to 24 June 2012
Venue: Dog Eared Gallery
Address: 25-28 Field Street, London, WC1 X9DA
Disabled Access: This event DOES NOT have wheelchair access
Map: View
Opening Times: 10am-6pm, 7 days per week. OPEN bank holidays 4 & 5 June.
Price: £6.50

Embracing the spirit of patriotism with the upcoming Olympics and the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee, this show will present images from photographers working the length and breadth of the British Isles documenting the daily life, work and rituals of the British in their many incarnations.mage © Nick Cunard

More about this exhibition here

The Gaddafi Archives – Libya Before the Arab Spring

Dates: 21 June to 29 June 2012
Venue: Slade Research Centre (The Warburg Institute – entrance to the left of the main entrance)
Address: Woburn Square, London, WC1H 0AB
Disabled Access: This event has wheelchair access
Map: View
Opening Times: 10am-10pm, 7 days per week
Price: £7.50 (£5 WITH AN OPEN CITY TICKET)

PLEASE NOTE NEW EXHIBITION DATES: Thur 21 to Fri 29 June – 9 days only*
Through carefully collated photographs, documents, artefacts and videos this exhibition will shed light on the recent history of Libya, starting with the reign of King Idris and spanning the regime of Colonel Gaddafi. The exhibition will highlight photography’s role in recording and documenting an important period in Libya’s history that we can only now begin to truly understand. Pictures and documents from state intelligence buildings and destroyed Gaddafi residences that were found by Human Rights Watch’s emergencies director Peter Bouckaert, and recorded and photographed at the sites, will be presented. All original materials were left where they were found after being photographed or have been since been returned to the National Transition Council in Libya.

This archive is unique and rare and contains over 1,000 images across a wide range of topics. King Idris is seen welcoming a young Queen Elizabeth II in 1954 on her second foreign trip as monarch, the early Gaddafi years vividly show a strong relationship between Colonel Gaddafi and his hero President Nasser of Egypt.

MORE about this exhibition here

Colonel Gaddafi and Leonid Brezhnev, General Secretary of the Soviet Union, holding hands in Moscow, April 27th, 1981. (c) 2011 Michael Christopher Brown for Human Rights Watch

Beneath the Surface – Steve Bloom

Dates: 01 June to 28 June 2012
Venue: Guardian Gallery (Kings Place)
Address: Guardian News & Media, Kings Place, 90 York Way, London, N1 9GU
Disabled Access: This event has wheelchair access
Map: View
Opening Times: 10am-6pm, 7 days per week. OPEN bank holidays 4 & 5 June.
Price: FREE

An exhibition of Steve Bloom’s photographs from the mid 1970’s, capturing a critical moment in the history of apartheid-era South Africa. Some of these images are being shown for the first time, while others have not been seen since they were first exhibited internationally three decades ago.  MORE about this exhibition here

STEVE BIKO

Stephen Biko (18 Dec 1946 – 12 Sep 1977) was an anti-apartheid activist in South Africa in the 1960s and 1970s, arguably the most dynamic political leader of his time. A student leader, he later founded the Black Consciousness Movement which would empower and mobilise much of the urban black population into a state of self awareness and defiant protest. He was constantly under police surveillance, arrested and banned resulting in his murder in police detention in 1977.

There are many more exhibitions and activities arranged during this festival of photography, more information here

Related Links

The Guardian

foto8

Blurb Books

Images of Earth From Above

In honor of Earth Day, gathered here is a collection of scenes of our home planet from above, from vantage points we don’t see in everyday life. These scenes help show the Earth as a larger system and demonstrate the extent to which human activity has affected it. From The Atlantic

The Eiffel Tower in Paris, viewed on Bastille Day, July 14, 2011. (Reuters/Charles Platiau)

A development on one of the islands of “The World Islands” project in Dubai, on January 7, 2012. The collection of man-made islands are shaped into the continents of the world, and will consist of 300 small private artificial islands divided into four categories – private homes, estate homes, dream resorts, and community islands, according to the development company Nakheel Properties Group. (Reuters/Jumana El Heloueh)

A fisherman in floodwaters in Ayutthaya province, north of Bangkok, on November 19, 2011. (Pornchai Kittiwongsakul/AFP/Getty Images)

Railway tracks lead towards the main train station as the sun sets on a freezing cold afternoon in Frankfurt, Germany, on January 31, 2012. (Reuters/Kai Pfaffenbach)

Seasonal asparagus harvesters work on their vegetable crops near Elsholz, Germany, in this photo taken on April 17, 2012. (AP Photo/dapd, Klaus-Dietmar Gabbert)

This astronaut photograph from the International Space Station highlights the southeastern part of the Southern United States at night, including the eastern Gulf of Mexico and lower Atlantic Seaboard states. The brightly lit metropolitan areas of Atlanta, Georgia (image center) and Jacksonville, Florida (image lower right) appear largest in the image with numerous other urban areas forming an interconnected network of light across the region. A large dark region to the northwest of Jacksonville, FL is the Okefenokee National Wildlife Refuge. Photo taken on January 29, 2012. (NASA)

 

See the rest of these amazing images here

Concert and Live Music Photography: Clubs, Bars, and Small Venues

From the photo.net site, very extensive advice on photographing in the places where so often the music is the best and where you can get close enough to capture the energy and excitement of a live band.

Clubs, bars, and small venues are the places where most concert and live music photographers get their start, the reason being that there are fewer restrictions since the performers are less likely to be famous. These are often the best places to catch bands on their way up and sometimes on their way down. Unfortunately, these venues are typically the ones with the worst shooting conditions. The good news is that when you start out shooting in the worst conditions it only gets easier as you work your way up.

One of the biggest problems you are going to have when shooting in bars and small clubs is dealing with the crowd. About 99% of the time there isn’t going to be a place for photographers to set up. The key is to get there early and stake out a spot at the front of the stage. The best spot isn’t dead center but usually just to the left or right of center. Standing off to the left side a bit allows you to get a better angle, especially when the lead vocalist uses a mic stand. This way the mic isn’t blocking the singer’s face, and you can get a nice three-quarter side shot instead of straight ahead. Singers who don’t use a stand are more apt to move around, so in this case placement isn’t quite as important. Even if you showed up early and staked out your spot, be courteous to the people behind you. If you’re constantly blocking someone’s vision with your camera, things can get out of hand quickly, especially in a bar scene where you’re mixing alcohol with a situation that could be potentially volatile.”...MORE

Alt-J ©Keith Barnes

The Image Licensing Trap: A Short Intro for Photographers

From the excellent Lightstalking writes about a problem many photographers face when placing their images into the stock image library market.

“With more and more people selling their images through stock agencies, it is important to understand the licenses that your work may be sold under. Stock agencies can broadly be split into two camps, Microstock and Macrostock. In general but not exclusively, most Microstock agencies sell images as Royalty Free where as Macrostock will sell both Royalty Free and Rights Managed. So lets start with the Royalty Free license:”..…MORE

2007-06-22 Olden-0082007-06-22 Olden-011

Two shots taken the the same time in the same location. The first image would be acceptable as Royalty Free as no licenses are required. The second shot would almost certainly be refused unless you had permission from the ship’s owners as the company’s logo is clearly visible.

Macro Flower Photography: A Tutorial in Focus Stacking

This tutorial by Harold Davis explains how you can use Photoshop to achieve crisp focus throught a macro image.

“The closer you get in macro flower photography, the fussier focus gets. Since “fussy” is not a technical term, let me explain. Because focus is inherently shallower as you get closer to your subject, slight variations of distance between camera and subject throw you out of focus very quickly, and even fully-stopped down you may not have enough depth-of-field for your entire photo to be in focus.

Certainly, stopping your lens down to its smallest aperture, observing whether you have the in-focus areas you want, and seeing if there is any way to position the camera to improve the amount that is in-focus is a good way to start. But bear in mind that stopping down a lens comes with some downsides: optically your lens may not perform best at its smallest aperture, and when the aperture is small you can’t use a shutter speed fast enough to stop motion.

An approach that often can surmount these obstacles is to use focus stacking: shooting at a number of different focal points and combining the images in Photoshop to create a hyper-focal image that has an extended area that is in focus.”…MORE

Band and Gig Photography Masterclass

More from the pages of the Guardian. I should say I have never attended any of their courses so only provide information rather than recommendations, check whether it is suitable for you.

Want to learn how to take brilliant live music or festival photographs? At this day and a half’s workshop, you’ll do just that.

Due to popular demand and to ensure you get the most out of your time, the masterclass will be split into two levels:

Group one: Beginner to lower intermediate.
Group two: Proficient with camera.

In groups of just ten, you’ll work closely with a Guardian photographer and learn how to take professional-standard photographs in a challenging and exciting festival environment. You’ll get professional access and shoot live bands, artist and vox pop portraits, cabaret and circus performers, children’s fete games and more under the expert guidance of Guardian and Observer staff photographers Katherine Rose and Alicia Canter…….MORE

Dates: Sunday 3 June 2012; 11am-6pm
Feedback session: Thursday 7 June; 7.30pm-9.30pm
Location: Apple Cart festival, Victoria Park, E8
Feedback session: Guardian HQ, 90 York Way, N1 9GU
Price: £249 (inclusive of VAT)

King Charles @ The Great Escape ©Keith Barnes

An Introduction to Art Photography, Theory and Practice – Masterclass

Another course found in The Guardian

Go back to basics, both technically and theoretically and see the world of photography with fresh eyes……In this weekend workshop Gareth McConnell and Alex Edouard aim to take students back to basics, both technically and theoretically, to help them see the world of photography with fresh eyes. Participants will be asked to leave concerns about megapixels, white balance and histograms at the door; instead they will be encouraged to concentrate on what it is that separates truly memorable, striking photography from the glut of images all around them. This class has a particular focus on fine art photography.….MORE

Dates: 9- 10 June 2012

Duration: Two days, 10am-5pm

Location: Kings Place, London

Course price: £400 (inclusive of VAT)

Maximum number of places: 20

Requirements: Own camera and basic understanding of its workings

Portrait of Ryan Gosling Photograph: Gareth McConnell

Street Photography Masterclass

From The Guardian Newspaper

An intensive 2 day course with Matt Stuart and Stephen McLaren, two of Britain’s best street photographers……

Join two of the UK’s leading street photographer’s on this fast paced and intensive weekend course on making images in public places.

The course will focus on enhancing photographic technique, building confidence and banishing inhibitions when shooting in the busy public realm. Participants must have a working knowledge of their cameras.….MORE

Dates: Saturday 9th & Sunday 10th June 2012

Duration: 2 days, 10am-5pm

Location: Kings Place, London; Shooting in West end and East end of London

Course price: £350.00 (inclusive of VAT)

Maximum number of places per session: 30

Laos – houses and satellite dishes

Themes are a very good way of traveling with a camera. They give you something to look for and usually something to photograph. In Laos over Christmas I was taken by the number of houses, no matter how simple, that had satellite dishes attached so that became my theme although I did stretch the idea to include houses with solar panels and some houses without either. Here is the result of that series.

I try to collate my series of images in books; photo books are relatively cheap, about £1 a page, well cheap if you don’t have too many pages. You can see this book here

A Rough Guide to Adobe Camera Raw

Shooting in RAW and having to spend time processing your images might seem a bore when your camera produces perfectly nice jpegs as you press the shutter release however most serious photographers only shoot in RAW. This is because of the extensive image adjustments you can make to colour and density without producing ugly damaged looking images. Shooting RAW and using Adobe camera RAW found in the various versions of Photoshop and as the backbone of Lightroom has distinct advantages in the range of adjustments but also the plug ins and controls on offer.

On the pages of Lightstalking    gives a basic breakdown of the important options available

“Although many of us now use image management programs to process our Raw files, Adobe’s Camera Raw is still one of the most comprehensive convertors around and benefits from being tightly integrated into Photoshop and Photoshop Elements. One bonus of this, is that its user interface will be very familiar to Photoshop users. In this brief guide, we will give a rundown of ACR’s interface and most important features.

ACR Overall
ACR’s Main Screen

When you open a Raw file in Photoshop, the program will automatically open the ACR plugin and preview the image in a large window. Surrounding this window are the important tools you need for your Raw conversion. Running along the top of the preview window are a set of image manipulation tools, in essence, very similar to Photoshop’s own tool palette.”