Oxford School of Photography

insights into photography

Monthly Archives: September 2012

National Geographic Photo Contest 2012

As reported in the excellent the Atlantic magazine:

Once again, National Geographic is holding its annual photo contest, with the deadline for submissions coming up on November 30. Beginning on September 1, the society started gathering and presenting galleries of submissions, encouraging readers to vote for them as well. National Geographic was kind enough to let me choose among its entries from 2012 for display here on In Focus. Gathered below are 50 images from the three categories of People, Places, and Nature, with captions written by the individual photographers.

Here is a sample of some of the 50 images in the gallery here

Ninja Kangaroos: Young male kangaroos test their strength with “boxing” matches that mostly occur at dawn. One buck gets in the others face with its forepaws until the second one concedes and hops away, or stands up tall and faces its tormentor. Then the two grapple until an advantage is gained and one rears back onto its tail and kicks out with both its feet. Here the roo on the left clearly has its opponent on the retreat. Photo taken at Lake Cootharaba, Sunshine Coast, Queensland, Australia. (© raoul slater/National Geographic Photo Contest) #

Yosemite Valley at Dusk: A mist had settled over Yosemite Valley, as automobiles passed through, headlights illuminated the fog. (© Phil Hawkins/National Geographic Photo Contest) #

Chaos: A huge flock of Red-billed Queleas flies in to drink at the same time as an African Elephant in Tsavo National Park, Kenya. (© Antero Topp/National Geographic Photo Contest) #

Butterfly at sunset: Photographer Toni Guetta submitted this macro shot of a butterfly with the sunset in the background near Hod ha’sharon, Israel. (© Toni Guetta/National Geographic Photo Contest)

Depth of Field

At this point in our term we find ourselves talking about depth of field a lot to our students on our Understanding Your Digital SLR Camera Course and on our Understanding Your Compact Camera Course and on the Portrait Photography course it will also get an honourable mention on the Composition course. Depth of field is something everyone recognises but often ignores because it is not catered for in the fully auto settings many beginners choose to use. We think it is one of the most creative tools available to any photographer who photographs things that are reasonable static, which let’s face it is most of us. So I thought a little round up of past posts on the subject would be useful and make it easier for you to find these things on our blog.

©Keith Barnes Laos 2011

https://oxfordschoolofphotography.wordpress.com/2011/11/26/depth-of-field-a-photographers-guide-a-light-stalking-guide/

https://oxfordschoolofphotography.wordpress.com/2011/05/16/understanding-depth-of-field-and-showing-some-self-control/

https://oxfordschoolofphotography.wordpress.com/2011/08/04/8-effects-every-photographer-should-know-about/

https://oxfordschoolofphotography.wordpress.com/2011/12/27/cambridge-in-colour-tutorials-intermediate/

Darkroom hire

In 1982 the Photographers Workshop was the first privately run darkroom hire centre in the UK. We continued to offer darkrooms and tuition until about 4 years ago when demand almost dried up. Since then of course I have received regular requests for darkrooms, now I only am aware of one. Here are some details

Photochats is a community photography project offering exhibitions, photographic workshops and high quality traditional darkroom printing facilities at a reasonable price.

Black and White and Colour Darkroom Hire.

All darkroom users have to attend an induction session before using any of the facilities. This will cover health and safety, darkroom and building procedures. The induction lasts for one hour and costs £10.00.

Inductions can be arranged at any time subject to availability. Call 07921 816754. This can be extended to include a second hour of directly supervised refresher printing if requested (£20.00 including induction).

Subsequently enlarger time can be booked by the session as shown in the timetable above. There is no annual membership fee. The basic charge is £4.00 per hour to use the darkroom. Alternatively you can buy 12 hours for £35.00. These hours should be used within 3 months of purchase. All darkroom bookings should be made at least 24 hours in advance by phone: 07921 816754 or emailphotochats10@yahoo.com

Darkroom Facilities.

The colour darkroom consists of 2 bench mounted De Vere 504 enlargers plus a floor standing De Vere 5108 (10×8). The processor is a table top Metoform 5040 which will take a maximum print width of 16 inches (20×16). The chemistry is Kodak. All negative sizes up to 10×8 can be catered for. The black and white darkroom has 4 bench mounted enlargers, including at least two De Vere’s, one with a cold cathode the other with a Multigrade 500 head. The paper is processed in open trays with the maximum size being 24x20inches. The paper developer is normally Ilford PQ Universal. There is a resin coated roller dryer and a couple of fibre dryers plus racks for air drying.

More info here

Photokina 2012: Hasselblad to launch mirrorless compact camera and full-frame digital SLR

From the BJP we learn:

Hasselblad has announced it is developing a mirrorless, interchangeable lens camera to be released in early 2013.

Hasselblad plans to use a partnership with Sony to enter each photographic segment with new digital SLRs and compact cameras, as well as tripods and mirrorless cameras.

“For us, the plan is to move very quickly over the next few months,” says Hasselblad’s chairman and CEO, Larry Hansen. “Our expectation is to show and launch cameras in every sector of the photographic market, while offering the best image quality available in each segment, relying on our collaboration with Sony.”

He adds: “We want to go back to our customers. Fifteen years ago, 65 percent of our customers were not professional photographers. Today almost 100 percent are professional. My goal is to make Hasselblad cameras accessible to all serious customers.”

As a result, Hasselblad will release, within the next year, a full-frame DSLR, a range of digital compact cameras, tripods and luxury accessories, as well as an interchangeable lens camera – the Lunar. “It’s a rather aggressive plan,” says Hansen.

One week left to enter BJP’s International Photography Award

There’s just one week left to enter British Journal of Photography’s International Photography Award, which offers photographers a chance to win a two-week exhibition at one of London’s best-respected contemporary galleries.

Chloe Dewe Mathews - a Panos Pictures photographer - has won this year's International Photography Award - run by British Journal of Photography - for her series Caspian

Chloe Dewe Mathews won the 2011 International Photography Award (series category) for a project called Caspian, which included this shot of two sisters running down to the underground mosque in Beket-Ata, Kazakhstan. Image © Chloe Dewe Mathews/Panos Pictures.

Brighton Biennial – Photography 2012

Two years ago the Brighton Biennial had some very strong photographic exhibitions during the month of the Biennial and I hope it will  so again. This year the dates are from the 6th October to the 7th November.

Under a title:

Agents of Change: Photography and the Politics of Space

Bringing international and emerging photographers and artists to the city, the fifth Brighton Photo Biennial explores the theme Agents of Change: Photography and the Politics of Space  with a packed programme of free exhibitions, new commissions, talks, screenings, workshops and masterclasses.

Four Versions of Three Routes

Preston is my Paris

An original body of work produced for BPB12 by the collective Preston is my Paris, directed by Adam Murray with photographers Jamie Hawkesworth, Robert Parkinson, Theo Simpson, and graphic designer Ben Mclaughlin. Four Versions of Three Routes explores possible constituency reformation in Brighton. Photographs taken and displayed along the debated constituency borders question how electoral districts are decided and how change might affect residents. Follow the routes to discover over 40 site-specific street posters. The routes can be found in a specially produced pamphlet available at all BPB12 venues…...MORE

© Jamie Hawkesworth

Urbex, the name given to Urban Explorers and the photographs they take is a very well appreciated genre, when we posted about it here and here they were some of our most popular articles so it is with interest that I see the Biennial has an exhibition of the work of these adventurers. I look forward to seeing the exhibition

Urban Exploration

Room (West of Brighton Bandstand)  153 King’s Rd, Brighton, The City of Brighton and Hove BN1

Bradley Garrett, Hanging from a Crane at the New Court building, City of London, 2010. © Bradley Garrett.

Taking nothing but photographs, leaving nothing but footprints, urban explorers around the world risk injury or arrest to infiltrate unseen or off-limits city spaces. They create astonishing images of abandoned buildings, construction sites  and underground tunnels. By photographing closed and hidden spaces and sharing those photos online, explorers bring these spaces to public view and add transparency to the urban make-up.

Housed in a repurposed shipping container, this exhibition presents a split-screen projection of hundreds of images  taken in cities around the globe.

There are many other exhibitions, talks, workshops and events and if it is as good as 2010 then it would be worth arranging a weekend by the sea on the south coast during October. Full details of the

Brighton Photo Biennial

6 October – 4 November 2012

images of musicians from around the world

Canon 6D First Review

Hot on the heels of the new Nikon D600 comes the Canon 6D, bit like buses…. Calumet Photo are quoting about £1800 for the body only

The 6D is apparently not a replacement for the 5D but a stable mate designed with features for landscape, travel and outdoor photographers. It is lighter than the 5D so easier to carry around and has geo-location GPS facilities so you can tag images with their exact location and built in wifi for transmitting and sharing images. Here are some details

A 20.2-megapixel DSLR featuring a full-frame sensor and compact design. Ideal for portrait, landscape and travel photography, offering tight control over depth of field and a large choice of wide-angle EF lenses.

  • Enjoy the full-frame advantage with a 20.2 megapixel CMOS sensor, for a wider choice of wide-angle lenses, great image quality, and more depth-of-field control
  • Tough magnesium-alloy body and compact design
  • Great in low-light. Shoot at max ISO 25,600 (expandable to ISO 102,400) and with precise AF, even in conditions as dark as -3EV
  • Follow the action with 11-point AF and 4.5 fps shooting
  • Built-in GPS geotags images with location
  • Wirelessly control and download from your camera with built-in Wi-Fi • 14-bit DIGIC 5+ processor for accurate colour reproduction
  • Shoot Full-HD video
  • Live View composition on a 1,040,000-dot 7.7cm (3.0″) ClearView LCD screen
  • The ever reliable people at DP Review have a full preview available here

The EOS 6D is best seen as a full frame version of the EOS 60D – indeed it’s very similar in both control layout and dimensions. Its front profile is very similar to the Nikon D600, but it’s rather slimmer front-to-back, and lighter too. However it differs from the Nikon in a number of key respects; for example it has Wi-Fi and GPS built-in, while the D600 offers a distinctly higher spec’ed autofocus system, dual card slots and a built-in flash.

The EOS 6D is built around a new Canon CMOS sensor, which offers a pixel count of 20.2MP (compared to the D600 and A99’s 24MP, or the 5D Mark III’s 22MP). In concert with the DIGIC 5+ processor it offers a standard ISO range of 100-25600, expandable down to 50 and up to 102,400. The AF system has 11 points, but only the central one is cross-type (i.e. sensitive to both vertical and horizontal detail). However according to Canon to will operate at extremely low light levels; right down to -3 EV – a stop dimmer than the 5D Mark III.

The EOS 6D’s most eye-catching additions are integrated GPS and Wi-Fi – their first appearance on a Canon SLR. The GPS unit includes exactly the same functionality as on the company’s compacts – it can embed location data into every image, and has a logging function that can keep track of where you’ve been through the day. This, we suspect, will be most-popular with landscape and travel photographers.

The integrated Wi-Fi unit has the basic functionality you might expect, allowing transfer of images to a smartphone or tablet, and direct upload to social media sites such as Facebook and YouTube. You can also send images directly to a Wi-Fi-enabled printer. But we think more photographers are likely be interested by the fact that it can also be used to turn your smartphone into a wireless remote control via Canon’s EOS Remote app for iOS or Android, complete with live view and full control of exposure settings.

The EOS 6D gains Canon’s silent shutter mode that we saw on the 5D Mark III, which offers quieter, more discreet shooting. It gets in-camera HDR and Multiple Exposure modes, but disappointingly these are JPEG only, unlike on the 5D Mark III that also records RAW files. There’s also a single-axis electronic level to check for wonky horizons. READ THE FULL PREVIEW

You may find this comparison site useful as well as the DP Review pages, this lists the differences between the Nikon D600 and the Canon 6D

Sony introduces its first full-frame compact camera

In the pages of the BJP we learn about this compact camera that has a full frame sensor only previously seen in top range DSLR camera.

Olivier Laurent writes: Sporting a resolution of 24.3 megapixels, the new Cyber-shot DSC RX1 is Sony’s first compact camera to feature a full-frame sensor.

As of 12 September, Sony’s Cyber-shot DSC-RX1 is claimed to be the world’s first compact camera with a 35mm full-frame 24.3 effective megapixel sensor.

The camera, which weighs 482g, features a f/2 Carl Zeiss Sonnar T* lens with a fixed focal length of 35mm. “Derived from the German word ‘sonne’ (sun), the Sonnar name reflects the ability of the lens to capture as much light as possible,” Sony explains. “This premium lens features newly designed optics including an advanced aspherical glass element that contributes to the camera’s compact palm-sized dimensions, without sacrificing optical performance.”  READ MORE HERE

The price, a whopping £2,600 phew! It better be good

Photography Tutorials and Links 14.9.2012

From the vaulted halls of Lightstalking comes this from Toad Hollow Photography. A weeks worth of great photography links and tutorials in one hit.

Sometimes referred to as a “photography addict” the Toad never seems to stop hopping around the internet looking for great tutorials, photography and interesting blogs.  This weeks list contains a comprehensive set of links to some of the best resources that Toad Hollow Photography could find during the course of the week.  We really hope you enjoy viewing and reading these images and articles as much as the Toad did in bringing them to you.

Check out the Toad’s latest blog post that takes us inside the oldest schoolhouse in Western Canada to see what life was like over 150 years ago!  The feature “Don’t Be Late For Class” showcases 15 new images of the interior and discusses the rich history and heritage that makes this one of Canada’s most prized National Historic Sites.

Here is a small taste of what is on offer this week

TUTORIALS

Let’s Talk About Water: Tips for Photographing Waterfalls – this brief article from Blake Rudis discusses varying techniques to use to capture waterfall images.  Blake includes a set of example images in this post to help illustrate the point he is making here.

Photographic Equipment: The Reflector – as a natural light photographer myself, I use reflectors periodically in my work.  This is a brief but good article discussing this practice by Joe Baraban that also includes 12 sample photos that showcase the results.

Master the Art of Photographic Composition – this is a fabulous post that discusses the art of composition in photography.  Illustrated with great images, this feature goes in-depth into the concept of composition, with the promise of more articles to come in the future.