Facebook does not show all the posts we make, if you want to receive our excellent content and get an email when we make a new post click the Follow this Blog button. Don't bother with Facebook
Oxford School of Photography
insights into photography
Daily Archives: June 28, 2012
‘the true wonder of bloody everything, no less’ – Jane Buekett
June 28, 2012Posted by on
The Photographers Workshop was originally a darkroom and studio hire centre. We opened in 1982, and at that time we were the only privately funded darkroom hire centre in the country. Our ethos was access to equipment and access to knowledge. The equipment when we started was better than many colleges of photography had and our tuition was given freely and on a 121 basis. we later ran courses but the most important part of what we did was to teach everyone at their level and at the speed they wanted to learn. In the subsequent years we went through transformations due to the rise of digital. We no longer have darkrooms and our teaching is now exclusively through courses and weekend workshops. One of the best things about the Workshop was seeing the development (no pun intended or otherwise) of people and their technical skills. People would come with a desire to make pictures and we made that happen for them.
So I thought it would be a good idea to track down some of the photographers, both amateur and professional (some started as one and became the other) who used our darkrooms in the distant past.
Today I would like to introduce you to Jane Buekett. I consider her pictures to be some of the most beautiful and mature images. Taste is an interesting thing, what some love others hate, no don’t even think of Marmite this is much more important than that.
Jane was to be found working in the darkrooms every week, either in the evenings or on a Saturday, quietly going about making gems. As she quotes “I photograph to find out what something will look like photographed.” Gary Winogrand
She has a blog with a small selection of the thousands of images she must have made and some of her writing which like her pictures is a joy to read if not always joyful. Here is a link to her blog
I asked those alumni who responded to my requests for pictures and words, pictures from the past as well as pictures from now. Here are some of Jane’s images and later her words. The older work shows first
“I photograph to find out what something will look like photographed.” Gary Winogrand
When I joined the Photographers Workshop in the early 1990s I knew nothing about black and white photography except that I wanted to do it. On my first evening Norman McBeath showed me how to load and process film, make a contact sheet and a basic print. He was kind and encouraging, the process was magical, and I was hooked.
The workshop was very male: rather spartan, with loud music playing and a constant teasing and banter between staff and regular customers. All day people would be calling in to chat or have a coffee. I sometimes felt the place was more like a drop-in centre than a darkroom. But it became somewhere I felt very much at home.
I took classes there, I learnt to print from evening after evening of working at it and getting advice from whoever was on duty. I became obsessed with making pictures, with the silver print, and, like Gary Winogrand, with photographing things to see what they looked like. I had exhibitions at the workshop. I met people who became a big part of my life, I developed a passion, I learned to see.
I liked those Saturday afternoons in the darkroom, wearing my horrible printing shirt stained with hypo, and my yellow rubber glove, when my prints would be sharing the developer with wedding photos, professional portraits, a snapshot of someone’s cat, an artist’s photograph of the moon. Often it was frustrating – trying to make exhibition-quality prints with other people poking at my fibre-based paper or contaminating the chemicals with dirty tongs.
Today I have my own darkroom. The music is more tasteful. There is no-one accidentally pouring stop into the developer. I don’t have to compete to get my favourite enlarger. But I miss having someone to ask, ‘Does this print look OK?’
Die bleierne Zeit
Trüb ists heut, es schlummern die Gäng’ und die Gassen und fast will
Mir es scheinen, es sei, als in der bleiernen Zeit
(Gloomy it is today, sleepy are the pathways and lanes and it seems as almost, we are, in the leaden times.)
Wish you were here
I hope you have enjoyed these and would like to see and read more, you can do so here
Canon EOS 7D Firmware update
June 28, 2012Posted by on
If you own a Canon 7D you need to update it’s firmware, detail have just been announced by Canon and they promise enhanced features.
Is the end of camera based photography in sight – Google Glasses
June 28, 2012Posted by on
The much anticipated arrival of the Google Glasses with augmented reality and inbuilt camera/video have been shown at the I/O event. Google’s co-founder Sergey Brin took to the stage to showcase the firm’s Glass project – augmented reality glasses that are still in development.
ABC have a further report on these new glasses and as well as overlaying information on your specs these glasses also have a camera that will record stills and video as we learn here…
Isabelle Olsson, a senior industrial designer on Google’s Project Glass, wears the Google Glasses at Google I/O 2012. (Joanna Stern / ABC News)
They are about the same weight as my pair of Ray Ban sunglasses. (Olsson wouldn’t let me put them on, but I was able to feel them and take a look at the buttons.) And it’s hard to believe that in the spectacles lives a tiny computer. She explains that they have taken the parts of a smartphone — the processor, battery, etc. — and put it in the left leg (or right depending on which way you view them) of the glasses.
On the front of the glasses, in the top left (or right depending on which way you view them) corner is a small camera and a small glass-looking box, which is a tiny display. On the top of the glasses is a power button and a camera button. You control the screen’s interface with the touchpad on the leg of the glasses…..Olsson’s glasses weren’t powered on, but she explained to me that she typically takes pictures with the camera and then uploads them using the WiFi or Bluetooth in the glasses. You can connect the glasses to a phone via Bluetooth and use the phone’s 3G or 4G connection. Olsson and the others wearing the glasses at the conference wouldn’t discuss battery life.
So in the future will we need cameras? Now so many people eschew compact cameras for their camera phones, will these go the way of film too, consigned to museums.
All I ask is that the new specs be called Goggles
Read the full ABC news report here
This is what Google have to say about their “Project Glass’
Yesterday 7:35 PM – Public
We are always pushing the limits of our technology, and Project Glass is no exception. It is designed to help you live in the moment — even when you’re falling from the sky.
We’re still in early development days, but at Google I/O this morning we wanted to do a product demo in a way we’d never tried before. We worked with some of the world’s top athletes, combined skydiving and mountain biking, and shared the experience — through their eyes — with the world.
If you missed it, we’d love you to be able to see how we put this together, so tune in live tomorrow (weather permitting!) at roughly 11am at https://developers.google.com/events/io/ to check it out.
And you may just catch another Hangout in Air.