Oxford School of Photography

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Daily Archives: September 6, 2012

Better by Design: The role of design in the making of five modern photobooks

It seems to me that if you are even only sort of interested in photography you should be making photobooks of your work. The problem is design; it  is something that doesn’t come easily to everyone. I marvel at my friend Andrew Esson, who is a book designer, he instinctively knows how to a design a book that looks impeccable. Then again he has designed books for the UN, Houses of Parliament, the Royal Palaces …. Anyway this article found in the BJP looks at some recent photobooks and discusses the merits of design.

Jörg Colberg focuses on an overlooked aspect of the photobook, discussing the role of design in the making of five modern classics.

In the most basic terms, they are simply books made up of photographs, but of course there’s much more to the photobook than that. Typically they are carefully edited and sequenced, and the selection of the photographs, and their order, are crucial to whatever story is being told. But there’s another crucial element that’s too often ignored – the design.

Over the past few decades, photobook design has become an integral part of telling the story. Classics such as Walker Evans’ American Photographs used a very straightforward design: blank pages and picture pages alternating with very little text, if any. In contrast, contemporary photobooks have come to embrace the many different ways in which the design of a book – the graphic design as well as its actual physical properties – can help shape the message. The following books are some of the most striking examples I have come across. Interested? Read More Here

Broken Manual by Alec Soth.

Travel Photographer of the Year Competition

The BJP reminds us that the TPOY competition is coming to a close for entries so no time to waste.

Laos 2011 ©Keith Barnes

Photographers have until 17 September to enter the 2012 edition of the Travel Photographer of the Year competition, which is open to amateur and professional photographers from all countries.

The overall winner will receive a £2500 cash prize, as well as another £2500 in an expenses paid international photography commission.

Photographers can enter their work in three portfolio categories – People Watching, Wild Planet, and Journeys; and two single shot categories – Water and Big City. Videographers can submit their HD videos in the Travel Shorts category.

The winners will be selected by a panel of jurors that include Eamonn McCabe, Jason Hawkes, Ami Vitale, Steve Bloom, Nick Meers and Chris Weston, and will see their work exhibited at the Royal Geographical Society in London.

Entry costs from £10 to £20 depending on the categories.

For more details, visit www.tpoty.com.

Pinhole Photography Competition

We have been asked to help publicise this competition, I can’t help thinking that demanding prints will be a problem but hey. what do I know.

The competition is organized by Trójmiejska Szkoła Fotografii TSF operated by TSF-Trójmiejskie Studio Fotografii Radosław Brzozowski.
The competition is open to all photographers. The photographs entered must be taken with a pinhole camera. Entries will only be accepted as prints. The minimal size for entries is 13x18cm. In case of entries printed in square format the minimum size is 13x13cm. In case of entries with non-standard proportions the longer side must not exceed 50cm. The application form can be downloaded from the organizer’s webpage
www.tsf.edu.pl as well as from the main sponsor’s webpage www.szlachetnafotografia.com . Competition entries should be sent to:
TSF Trójmiejska Szkoła Fotografii Al. Niepodległości 792/6 81-805 Sopot Poland
Marked ‘PINHOLE’ on the envelope.

How Art History Can Improve Your Photography

I like Lighstalking because they often have articles that are not just equipment or the obvious how to type tutorials. This piece By is a perfect example of that and one which I wholeheartedly agree with. There is no doubt that we can all learn from the masters of photography but why stop there, image making has been with us since almost the birth of mankind, think of the cave painting is Lascaux. So this article lays out the importance of art in general to photographers. I am always surprised when someone tells me they are interested in photography or more, that it is their hobby, but show no evidence of this other than owning a camera. What about exhibitions, master photographers or monographs or books about photography?

During some part of your training as a photographer, whether self taught or classically trained, you’ve probably been told to study images taken by photographers whose work you admire. You can learn a lot about your personal style this way, zeroing in on what it is exactly that makes you favor it. Discovery, after all, begins with observation. Keeping that in mind, let’s take our artistic observations one step further and we can see how the old masters of painting have influenced not the just the eyes of master photographers, but also the entire artistic medium that is photography.

There is no doubt about it, painting has had a significant impact on the way that photographers use light. The first thing that comes to mind is Rembrandt lighting. The style was named in honor of the painter and is still widely used in portrait photography for the simple fact that, when done correctly, it looks really good.

Vermeer – The Milkmaid [Public domain], by Johannes Vermeer (1632–1675)

Understanding Flash Course

Thanks to the repeated requests from our students we have written a new course on flash photography. This course will look at the use of on camera, off camera and studio flash. We aim to explain how flash works and why and when you might use it. We are also interested in the creative possibilities of using flash both at night but more so during the day. We have investigated the various equipment options and will advise on what you might need to buy to become a serious and considered user of flash.

This course starts on Monday 12th November and runs for 3 x 2 hour sessions, full details can be found on our website here

We have a new schedule of courses for this coming term with dates for most of the courses we teach, if only there were more days in the week!

Here is a list of the dates for this term, currently the Intermediate and Photoshop courses are half full.

Understanding Your Digital SLR Evening Classes:start dates 17.9.12 (now full) ; 7.11.12  This is always a very popular course and very well received, if you don’t use your camera properly give this one a try.

Understanding Your Digital SLR Saturday Morning Classes start date 3.11.12 as above really…

Understanding Your Digital Compact Camera – starts: 26.9.12  After we revamped this course to include the chance to do some assignments

Introduction to Photoshop and Photoshop Elements starts 25.10.12 not  a must for everyone but if you intend to use Photoshop or already do then this course is ideal in understanding the basics

Composition In Photography – Seeing Pictures – starts 15.10.12 This course is one of our most popular and really successful in changing the way our students see the world and take photographs

Understanding Flash Photography starts 12.11.12 A new course that we know hits the parts others don’t. If you intend using flash this will get you where you want to be

Portrait Photography: starts: 25.9.12 Most photographers want to take better portraits but shy away from the idea because people are difficult aren’t they. well no they aren’t if you know what you are doing

Intermediate Photography – starts: 23.10.12 This is our most advanced course and is not about cameras but about how we see and react to our world. It is a serious course for those who already understand their cameras and really want to be interested in photography as a subject. This is a great course.

Black and White Digital Photography – starts 27.9.12 Specialist in nature in that making b/w images is not difficult but this course is designed to stretch the way you look at a monochrome world and make images that reflect the works of the great photographers from the past

One Day Understanding Your DSLR – 23.9.12; 21.10.12; 18.11.12;  This is an ideal start point for those who have a  DSLR camera and want to use it rather than being led by it’s automatic functions. It suits many people who just cannot commit to the 4 session version of the course but still want the basics.

The 10 Main Advantages of Buying an Advanced DSLR

This article By on Lightstalking covers some of the areas that I think are the reasons people buy more than an entry level camera however many of the points made about such things as spot metering, programmable bracketing and diopter controls are available on even the most basic dslr cameras. The most important reason I think people buy mid or top range cameras is due to build quality and the use of metals rather than plastic and the ability to resist dust and moisture. Even so with these caveats this is a good short article and if you are thinking of upgrading your dslr would be worth reading

So you have been taking pictures for some while now, your photography has grown to a point where you feel your camera no longer offers all the facilities that you are capable of using. It’s time to step up to the next level and buy a more advanced camera. In this guide, we are going to take a look at some of the features you may find on a higher level DSLR and how you can make the best use of them.