Oxford School of Photography

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Daily Archives: November 23, 2012

Taylor Wessing Photographic Portrait Prize 2012 Jordi Ruiz Cirera wins

Spanish photographer Jordi Ruiz Cirera has won the Taylor Wessing Photographic Portrait Prize worth £12,000. He speaks to Olivier Laurent in the BJP here

Margarita Teichroeb © Jordi Ruiz Cirera, courtesy of the National Portrait Gallery.
Yeah I don’t get it either
You can see all of the shortlisted and other entries on the NPG site here
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Read more: http://www.bjp-online.com/british-journal-of-photography/news/2222557/jordi-ruiz-cirera-wins-taylor-wessing-photographic-portrait-prize-2012#ixzz2D3AFWGr8
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Proposed UK copyright changes spark worldwide protests

There have been a lot of concerns over the way the British government planned to ease copyright restrictions. This is a difficult problem to solve as most of the world thinks it is ok to grab images and use them because they were ‘on the web’. However there is no doubt that many photographers are happy for their images to be used as long as they get a credit on the basis that any publicity must help, there are also many that want to guard their copyright at every turn. Read the full article by Olivier Laurent in the BJP here

US organisations representing photographers and photo agencies have written to the UK government to oppose proposed changes to the country’s copyright laws that would make it legal to use “foreign works without the knowledge and permission of the copyright owners”

Photography Books we recommend

It is that time of year, either you are looking for a book as a present for a photographer or you are constantly pressured by those who love you to come up with some ideas for what you would like as a Christmas present, so here are just a few suggestions. In no order or genre, just books we like

Tom Ang How to Photograph Absolutely Everything

This book does what it says, aimed at a more compact camera user with it’s technical advice but the ideas advice is excellent and everyone could learn from Tom.


Freeman Patterson Photography and the Art of Seeing

This is an excellent book for anyone who is interested in photography, not just taking snaps but those who really want to understand composition and the way it effects our images. This really is an excellent book that I have returned to regularly for ideas and understanding and inspiration

Almost any book featuring the work of Henri Cartier Bresson would be welcomed as a gift, I have a particular affection for this one

Henri Cartier Bresson Europeans

The book that started me off as a photographer when I was about 13 was by Bill Brandt, it was so inspiring that more than 40 years on I still return to it and marvel at this quiet man’s work

Bill Brandt Shadow of Light

At this time I can only see hardback copies from book dealers but even so it is worth the time and trouble finding one. An alternative is the book simply titled Brandt this has more pictures covering the widest areas of Brandt’s interest with a forward by David Hockney and a commentary by Bill Jay







This next book is not a photography book but in terms of visual ideas it is essential for any thinking person, it is large and stupidly cheap, I can’t recommend this book strongly enough The Art of Looking Sideways

Street Photography Now

This is a really excellent book and as Martin Parr says “it will become the new defining guide to street photography” Witty and full of ideas and inspiration, masses of pictures and features on specific photographers. A must if you are interested in street photography

I will post later about some other books I would like to find at the end of my bed on Christmas day.

Nikon D5200 new camera

With only a few weeks of the year left Nikon have decided to release a new camera, the D5200. From the BJP we learn:

The Nikon D5200 is an upper entry-level DSLR that improves on the D5100 by offering a 24MP CMOS sensor, 1080i60 movie capability, a side-articulated 921K dot 3.0″ tilt/swivel LCD and new processing filters. Interestingly, the D5200 is equipped with a significantly upgraded AF system, based around the same Multi-Cam 4800DX AF sensor that is used in the D7000, and the same 2016-pixel RGB metering sensor.

Less than two years after the launch of the D5100, Nikon has unveiled its successor – the D5200. But, in a press presentation held yesterday in central London, Simon Iddon, product manager for DX products at Nikon UK, says that D5100 will continue to be sold alongside the D5200.

“The D5200’s target audience is for the real hobbyist,” adds Iddon. “It’s skewed towards the male [user], in the age range of 25 to 50 years old, with a very big interest in photography. The focus for this audience is on creative expression rather than recording moments. It’s all about the artistry of the shot. They want to focus on special moments rather than everyday snapshots.”
The D5200 weighs 505g and will retail from £720 (body only) or £820 with a 18-55mm VR lens. The camera will be available in time for Christmas, however, Nikon has yet to communicate an exact release date.
Surely any camera allows for “artistry” it is the user that creates, if Nikon have been making dslr cameras that eschew this as an intention we have to consider why and how they see themselves in the market place. For me this press release just sounds like marketing bollocks but I do think Nikon should feel a bit ashamed at marketing a camera at a male audience and one that claims to get back to artistry as a reason for taking photographs, what have they been making cameras for otherwise.
There is the usual excellent preview and review at dpreview.com        You can buy it here

Lomography releases bellows film camera

As if by magic, one story about the Lomo comes along and then there is another. I had said that Lomo had invented and produced a number of funky odd cameras but they also have made some which are a bit more serious and this is clearly one from that stable. The article, by Ariane Osman in the BJP gives the information you are probably not completely interested in but also think it might be fun to engage with film either again or for the first time.

The Belair X 6-12 is a new 120 film camera that gives users the ability to switch between normal automatic shutter speed and long exposure. The camera can also shoot pictures in three formats – regular 6×9, square 6×6 or panoramic 6×12.
The new model is an interchangeable lens system that allows the attachment of a 90mm standard lens or a 58mm wide-angle lens. Lomography is said to be developing more lenses for the Belair X 6-12 in a bid to create an entire medium-format platform.
The camera is available in three models: the City Slicker Edition for £249; the Jetsetter Edition for £299; and the Globetrotter Edition for £244.

The Belair X 6-12 will be available in December. For more details, visit www.lomography.com.

Here are a selection of the Lomo cameras available from lomography.com there is the fish eye, the spinner, the multishot, the plastic, the gold, from humble beginnings there is now an empire, prices start from about £40, the shop sells cameras, accessories, film everything you need and the galleries have lashings of inspiration

Read more: http://www.bjp-online.com/british-journal-of-photography/news/2219240/lomography-releases-bellows-film-camera#ixzz2D2fyQoLB
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Did the Lomo camera save film photography?

Lomo Cameras were part of a retro craze when film was still the only way to make photographs. This article on the BBC website By Stephen Dowling gives some of the history and reasons why the little Lomo camera became so popular. I have one of the original LC-A Lomo cameras, sadly it almost never gets an outing these days.

It was a nervous time for film photography when digital cameras took off in the 1990s, and seemed set to take over entirely. But with some help from Vladimir Putin – then deputy mayor of St Petersburg – the little Lomo camera became a retro cult classic, and showed film had a bright future.

In 1991, a group of Austrian art students on a trip to nearby Prague found, in a photographic shop, a curious little camera.

Black, compact and heavy, the camera was rudimentary. The lens was protected by a sliding cover. Loading, focusing and rewinding were all done by hand.

After developing the shots, the students found it produced pictures unlike anything they had seen before.

The colours were rich and saturated, an effect heightened by the lens’s tendency to darken the corners of the frame to create a tunnel-like vignetting effect, and there were dramatic contrasts between light and dark. The Austrians were hooked, and so were their friends when they showed them the results back home in Vienna. READ MORE HERE

There is a huge Lomo movement and the production of odd fun cameras with time lapse, or multiple lenses helped to spread the interest, in almost an ironic way what started as a niche or specialist home spun interest camera has spawned a flash website with galleries and a global community, here is a link to the Lomo site

Characteristics of the camera that appealed to those seeking something different were

  • Vignettes – the Lomo’s shots show a characteristic vignette at the edges, like tunnel vision
  • Bold colours – a Lomo hallmark, especially with cross-processed slide film
  • Long shutter speed – the Lomo LC-A’s shutter stays open for as long as it needs to expose a photo, which can lead to interesting light trails
  • Expired film – the LC-A’s lens suits the warped coloured shifts found on cheap, expired film
  • Small size – the best camera is the one you have with you, and the LC-A fits in a jacket pocket