Oxford School of Photography

insights into photography

Monthly Archives: December 2012

2012 in review

The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2012 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

19,000 people fit into the new Barclays Center to see Jay-Z perform. This blog was viewed about 100,000 times in 2012. If it were a concert at the Barclays Center, it would take about 5 sold-out performances for that many people to see it.

Click here to see the complete report.

Steve McCurry Going Home

Photography Courses starting in January 2013

As the year draws to a close you might be thinking about plans to improve your photography in 2013, or if you were lucky someone has bought you a camera as a present, whatever your requirements a course in photography will help you to be better in all sorts of ways but particularly in photography. Here are our courses for next term, just send us an email and we will reserve your places.


Understanding Your Digital SLR Evening Classes:start dates 23.01.13; 7.03.13

Understanding Your Digital SLR Saturday Morning Classes start date 02.03.13

Understanding Your Digital Compact Camera – starts: 24.01.13

Introduction to Photoshop and Photoshop Elements starts 20.02.13

Composition In Photography – Seeing Pictures – starts 06.03.13

Understanding Flash Photography starts 05.03.13

Portrait Photography: starts: 04.02.13

Intermediate Photography – starts: 21.02.13

Black and White Digital Photography – starts 04.03.13

Travel Photography starts 04.03.13

One Day Understanding Your DSLR – 27.01.13; 17.02.13; 24.03.13

Marilyn Monroe: A British Love Affair

The National Portrait Gallery is holding an exhibition of photographs of Marilyn Monroe. Photographs and magazine covers from 1947 to 1962 celebrate the transformation of the world’s most popular pin-up to acclaimed actress, highlighting the British photographers and personalities who admired her and worked with her.

National Portrait Gallery, St Martin’s Place, London WC2H 0HE

29 September 2012 – 24 March 2013 The exhibition is free and in room 33

Marilyn Monroe; Cecil Beaton, by Ed Pfizenmaier, 22 February 1956 - NPG  - © Ed Pfizenmaier

© Ed Pfizenmaier

Edith Sitwell and Marilyn Monroe, 1953 Photograph by George Silk/LIFE – © Time Inc

© Cecil Beaton Studio Archive, Sotheby’s London

Marilyn Monroe, by Cecil Beaton, 22 February 1956 - NPG  - © Cecil Beaton Studio Archive, Sotheby's London

© Cecil Beaton Studio Archive, Sotheby’s London

See more of the NPG Monroe archive here

Ansel Adams Exhibition London: Photography from the Mountains to the Sea

Are you bored yet? Nearly time to go and find something interesting to do and this might just be that thing.

9 November 2012–28 April 2013 Times: 10.00-17.00  Royal Museums Greenwich (including National Maritime Museum), Romney Rd, London, SE10 9NF Full details here
An exhibition of Ansel Adams prints is always worth a visit if only to see the exquisite craft in his work.
A retrospective of the twentieth-century landscape photographer Ansel Adams. The exhibition, which focuses on the photographer’s life-long fascination with water, features images of seascapes, rapids, waterfalls, geysers, clouds, ice, snow, ponds and rivers, many famous, some that have never before been on display in the UK. Adams (1902-1984) was a photographic pioneer who brought the American wilderness into the homes of millions with his images of rugged and romantic landscapes. The show brings together some of the most famous photographs of the twentieth century, such as ‘Clearing Winter Storm, Yosemite’ and ‘Stream, Sea, Clouds, Rodeo Lagoon, Marin County, California’, along with lesser-known examples. It also provides the opportunity to see Adams’s largest known works, a series of three murals produced for the American Trust bank.
‘Clearing Winter Storm, Yosemite National Park, California, about 1937. Photograph by Ansel Adams – ©The Ansel Adams Publishing Rights Trust
Fern Spring, Dusk, Yosemite Valley, about 1961 Photograph by Ansel Adams. © The Ansel Adams Publishing Rights Trust

7 Reasons to Shoot RAW

It may be that time of year when you are not thinking about your photography, you may have other things on your mind although photography should never be far from your visual senses as  Dorethea Lange says “The camera is an instrument that teaches people how to see without a camera”

Anyway a little technical post. I believe that if you are serious you should shoot in RAW format, I know it means more hassle, more time in front of the illuminated rectangle but I truly believe your results will improve. This post on photographyblogger.net lists 7 reasons why you should consider shooting RAW

I have nothing against JPGs but I think a photographer should only shoot RAW except in special circumstances where JPGs are needed, for example when having to shoot burst speed. In this short article I will list my top 7 reasons to shoot in RAW. Yes, I got tired of top ten things, so let’s do a top 7.


1. To store the most from each photo.

This is my #1 reason why photographers should shoot RAW even if they don’t know how to process a RAW file. A RAW contains all the information the camera sensor recorded from the scene; if in the future we learn how to edit our photos better or new applications are created to edit photos, the only way to be able to use these new tools and knowledge in our photos is to keep the RAWs. Even if you don’t do anything with them just store them, disk space is cheap and if you ever need them, then you have them. Imagine a new tool that can do something great to photos but needs a RAW file as the input…

See the rest of this article here

Vouchers for Photography Courses

We start a new term in January and have a mix of our most favourite and some of the more unusual courses we run. You may not know what to buy someone who is interested in photography but, well frankly, needs help. A voucher that can be used against any of our courses or for 121 tuition can be purchased and downloaded on line, here is a link OSP VOUCHERS


7 eBooks Every Photographer Should Read

I am a great believer in learning from others and  ebooks are by way the easiest and cheapest way of learning assuming you can’t make it to Oxford and attend one of our courses

I found this useful post on photographyblogger.net I would add to their list anything by the excellent Craft & Vision people

Here is what PB say:

While there are countless eBooks out there on photography, it can be a daunting task to filter through them all. Which books are worth their price tag, and will you walk away with the knowledge you need to improve your photography?

We set out on a photography eBook expedition to bring you a collection of guides that deliver – ones that will enhance your craft and widen your knowledge, so you can focus on enjoying your photography. Whether you’re buying for yourself or for the photographer in your life, these 7 eBooks can take your photography to the next level. See the full post and list of ebooks here

This is one sample from the post


An eBook on gaining inspiration for photography.If you’re looking to enhance your photography – that is, take what you have to another level – Ten is a solid source of inspiration that will help you grow as a photographer. Author and humanitarian photographer David duChemin is well-known for his eBooks, which are sold through Craft & Vision. Although he has authored many, his eBook Ten has earned a reputation as being a staple for photographers who have learned how to use their camera and are searching for that next step.

The eBook outlines ten ways to improve your craft, and none of them involve purchasing more gear. At $5, it’s already well worth the price – but as an added bonus, each step is followed by a creative exercise to help get you into the mindset needed to further your craft.


Photography Course Vouchers Oxford

That last minute dash around the shops is beckoning, know what to buy for someone is not the hardest thing but it is close to being so. The going out and buying is not hard just hateful. Shopping from your computer is something that makes this time of year civilised. You know someone who is interested in photography what are you going to get them? Most photo gear is really expensive and maybe they already have what you were thinking to buy, a book, that is a good idea but which?

Get them an Oxford School of Photography voucher

Our vouchers can be spent on any of the courses we run and we have three terms a year so lots of opportunity to get on the course of their choice. Maybe they really want some 121 with someone who can get them over that stumbling block. Our vouchers cost from £50, last a year and can be used for courses or 121. It is really easy to buy one, just go to our voucher page, and buy online from there, download the voucher immediately and you are done. If you want you could go and buy a card….. Go here to buy a voucher


The full monty of photography links and tutorials

From Toad Hollow via Lightstalking

The internet plays host to so many fabulous photographers and artists, and Toad Hollow Photography searches high and low every week trying to find the best links to tutorials, great photography and blogs of interest to share with everyone here.  This week’s list is chock-full of awesome images and great posts by a wide variety of super-talented people.  We really hope you enjoy checking out the photographs and posts as much as the Toad did in bringing this list to you.


Top 7 Natural Light Portrait tips that I’ve learnt – a fabulous list of tips and tricks for doing portrait photography in natural light settings.  Tristan Jud outlines a short series of thoughts here that can really help you make the most of this genre of image production.

DIY: Keep Your Turkey Company with Beautiful Photo Place Holders – what a neat idea!  With the Thanksgiving Holidays nearly upon our American friends now, this timely article shows how you can incorporate great photography into dressing up the dinner table.  This step-by-step tutorial takes you through the entire process.