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Oxford School of Photography
insights into photography
Monthly Archives: January 2013
Lightroom 4 ebooks
January 31, 2013Posted by on
We are about to start our new course on Lightroom 4 (we have places, if you are interested please email). This is a fantastic program and one we use every day, it is invaluable if you shoot RAW for conversion purposes and a really great piece of library software to organise your images, I would be lost without it. There are a couple of ebooks we recommend from the Craft & Vision stable, we also like Craft & Vision very much, if you want to see all of their publications click on the box on the right of this page.
20 Great Techniques for Lightroom 4
Lightroom keeps changing, and most of us don’t have time to dig around under the hood to learn it all. Essential Development is no-holds-barred guidebook that can help you explore, modify, and dig deep into the Lightroom 4 tools you need to make your post-processing efforts more productive and produce the final images your portfolio deserves! The eBook is divided into 20 chapters, focused entirely on the Develop module, covering topics such as: Understanding The Histogram, Making White White, Beauty Retouching, Dodge & Burn for Beauty, Cross Processing, Achieving a Filmic Look, Image Toning, Tilt Shift, Effective Sharpening, and Correcting Lens Issues. Click on the pages above to buy at $5 (£3.
Lightroom 4 Unmasked
A Complete Guidebook to Adobe Photoshop Lightroom
This one is a big ebook and costs a bit more $20 (£12.70) but this is a complete guide to Adobe Lightroom 4 and we know you’ll love diving into this beefy book. At 312 spreads this PDF is full of high-resolution screenshots, step-by-step instructions, and the tips, tricks and ideas that make digital darkroom work productive and more enjoyable. If you’re looking to learn Lightroom 4 and need a resource to help you do that quickly, or you’ve just upgraded and need to get up to speed, this is a great value. Click here to buy this and download it immediately
Photography galleries in London
January 28, 2013Posted by on
There is nothing better for the keen amateur photographer than to spend time in photographic galleries looking at the work of great photographers. If you are in London then this guide to galleries on the Time Out website might help you find your way around
London has produced many of the twentieth century’s greatest photojournalists and fashion photographers – Terence Donovan, David Bailey, Don McCullin and Norman Parkinson among them. And although the medium sometimes struggles to be accepted as fine art, the first (and so far only) photographer to win the Turner Prize, Wolfgang Tillmans in 2000, was also a Londoner, albeit an adopted one.
The capital’s thriving and ever-expanding art scene is home to galleries that show and sell photography in all its forms, from the earliest nineteenth-century daguerreotypes to limited-edition fine-art prints and documentary shots of celebrities and pop stars.See all the galleries listed here
Photographer Profile ~ Man Ray
January 28, 2013Posted by on
On my new favourite photography blog “Anthony Luke’s not just another photoblog blog” I find an article about Man Ray, less of an article more a largish number of pictures plus a bit of biog. I have been interested in Man Ray since I learned that Bill Brandt worked with him, and as Bill Brandt was the most important photographer to me in my teens I have held that interest. Here is a bit of what Anthony says and a few pictures, if you want to see them all go here
Man Ray (August 27, 1890 – November 18, 1976), born Emmanuel Radnitzky, was an American artist who spent most of his career in Paris, France. Perhaps best described simply as a modernist, he was a significant contributor to both the Dada and Surrealist movements, although his ties to each were informal. Best known in the art world for his avant-garde photography, Man Ray produced major works in a variety of media and considered himself a painter above all. He was also a renowned fashion and portrait photographer. He is noted for his photograms, which he renamed “rayographs” after himself.….MORE
Car shoot with Jeff Ludes and Liu Bolin
January 27, 2013Posted by on
I have found a new photo blog (new to me) that is full of interesting stuff, the second thing I found I thought was worth sharing. Anthony Luke’s not-just-another-photoblog has an article about the Chinese artist Liu Bolin, the guy that paints himself so that he disappears into the background (we blogged about him before here) working with a car photographer on a shoot for Ford
Watch automotive photographer Jeff Ludes in action, as he shoot magnificent print ads for the new Ford Fusion downtown Los Angeles. Working under the Ford brand concept, “go further”, Jeff Ludes and his team worked towards creating art, not just an ad.
Watch how he uses the skills of Chinese street artist Liu Bolin and the image quality of the IQ160 and IQ180. “So, this is a little different than what we usually do. What we do is, we get our camera angle, we put everything in place, plot out the hero car, we will shoot a blank frame, put the cars back in and then superimpose those on each other.
Annie Leibovitz Shoots Celebs as Disney Characters
January 24, 2013Posted by on
From Anthony Luke’s blog we find this…..
Cameras vs the human eye
January 24, 2013Posted by on
I was teaching the first session of our Understanding Your DSLR Camera last night and in encouraging the students to explore their subjects and not to just take a picture from their standing position set me thinking about the difference between the human eye and a camera. Why can’t we just point a camera and capture what we see, how hard can it be? I am often told by those new to photography that what their cameras reproduce is not what they see so why is that. Doing a bit of research I found my way back to the ever excellent Cambridge in Colour website. This has to be the most technically correct site on photography, the detail and explanations are precise as a very precise thing, say an atomic clock….Here is a short bit of what is explained, go here for the full detail with pictures and diagrams, it is interesting
Portrait of Dennis Stock by Andreas Feininger
Our eyes are able to look around a scene and dynamically adjust based on subject matter, whereas cameras capture a single still image. This trait accounts for many of our commonly understood advantages over cameras. For example, our eyes can compensate as we focus on regions of varying brightness, can look around to encompass a broader angle of view, or can alternately focus on objects at a variety of distances…….
Our central angle of view — around 40-60° — is what most impacts our perception. Subjectively, this would correspond with the angle over which you could recall objects without moving your eyes. Incidentally, this is close to a 50 mm “normal” focal length lens on a full frame camera (43 mm to be precise), or a 27 mm focal length on a camera with a 1.6X crop factor. Although this doesn’t reproduce the full angle of view at which we see, it does correspond well with what we perceive as having the best trade-off between different types of distortion:…….
Most current digital cameras have 5-20 megapixels, which is often cited as falling far short of our own visual system. This is based on the fact that at 20/20 vision, the human eye is able to resolve the equivalent of a 52 megapixel camera (assuming a 60° angle of view)……
Taking the above into account, a single glance by our eyes is therefore only capable of perceiving detail comparable to a 5-15 megapixel camera….
Overall, most of the advantages of our visual system stem from the fact that our mind is able to intelligently interpret the information from our eyes, whereas with a camera, all we have is the raw image. Even so, current digital cameras fare surprisingly well, and surpass our own eyes for several visual capabilities. The real winner is the photographer who is able to intelligently assemble multiple camera images — thereby surpassing even our own mental image. Go here for the full article on Cambridge in Colour
14 Ways to Improve Your Photography in a Few Days
January 24, 2013Posted by on
This article by Chase Guttman, an award-winning travel photographer, whose love for travel and adventure has allowed him to photograph his experiences in over 40 countries, on the Lightstalking website is on the button, I don’t think I can disagree with any of his points.
Some might argue the point that photography is an art form. Training your eye to see the world and translating your perspective visually takes time and patience. Yet, there’s also technique involved in creating arresting images. There are ways to quickly improve your photography and impact your creative vision. Let’s take a look at a few of them.
Here are just a couple of the points Chase makes
1. Read The Manual. Resist the impulse to cavalierly toss your manual in the trash as it holds a plethora of knowledge. For savvy shooters, manuals are the holy grail of photography books. They teach us the functions, capabilities and basics of our most important piece of equipment. The camera manual should be the bible for your gear. I recommend placing it in your camera bag. It will be worth the extra weight.
You could take our Understanding Your Digital SLR Course which would also help
3. Lighting Lessons in a Flash. Beginners seem to misunderstand the magic of a flash. Keep in mind that most flashes illuminate only about ten feet in front of you. Furthermore, there are two main ways to optimally use flash — flash fill and bounce flash. In flash fill, you use the light source to attempt to fill the shadows created by natural lighting sources such as the midday sun. Bounce flash on the other hand is when the flash’s light is bounced off a wall or surface so it lights an indoor room evenly. To take better pictures, try to diffuse your flash by either aiming the light away from the subject or by using gels to minimize the light’s strength. Harsh or strong light isn’t kind on a subject’s face. Additionally, if the light isn’t diffused you may experience flash blow out, where your subject is a pitch white color and there’s a lack of highlights in your image. For maximum creativity and flexibility purchase an external flash.
We completely agree with this and have a course designed specifically to help people make better use of flash in their photography, here is a link to that course
28 Cute and Beautiful Photographs of Penguins
January 23, 2013Posted by on
I have a relationship with wildlife photography that is difficult to resolve. I know I will never manage to get the fantastic shots we can see on Wild Life Photographer of the year, in fact I am unlikely to get the sort of shots your local wildlife photography group will get. The reason is three fold, I do not have the patience to wait for animals to do their thing, I do not have suitable equipment as buying a 400mm f2.8 would be an excessive expense, I don’t like being cold or wet. Does this mark me out as a photographer who is not prepared to go that extra bit to get better pictures, well no because I do in my professional work or when I travel, I will happily sit and wait for the sun to get lower to achieve the shot I want. Even so I do enjoy pictures of wildlife and when I do have a camera in hand and some fauna does it stuff in front of me I am as likely as the next to start taking pictures. Sadly the results rarely get close to those of wildlife photographers.
I was in Australia throughout December and early January and was thrilled to see Fairy penguins at Bicheno in Tasmania. They came leaping out of the sea at about 8.30 at night to roost in their burrows in the sand dunes. It was too dark to take pictures, next morning I saw emu at a distance, I didn’t have a lens long enough and I saw an echidna but by the time I was ready he was heading off into the bush. At the Jelong caves in the Blue mountains I saw rock wallabies and surprisingly a duck billed platypus. Admittedly I had to get up at 5.30 in the morning to catch the platypus but as someone said they are rarer than whales and I managed to get a picture. So I do not do wild life photography. I leave it to those who have nothing better to do with their time than sit and wait, sometimes for weeks, for the animal to perform in front of their lens. These intrepid photographers will always do a better job than I could and looking at their pictures will always bring me more pleasure than looking at my own poor substitutes.
Here then is a gallery brought to you by Lightstalking of penguins, there are lots of pictures so worth visiting the Lightstalking site here
penguin group small by Antarctica Bound, on Flickr
/.\ by Anne Froehlich, on Flickr
Click Here: 28 Cute and Beautiful Photographs of Penguins
In case you are interested here is my picture of the duck billed platypus, this is a rare image partly because of the animal depicted and partly because I had to get up before sunrise.
How To Choose the Best Monitor for Photography
January 23, 2013Posted by on
When you have a camera that can produce images of a really good quality then viewing those images becomes important. Many people buy the monitor that came recommended for their computer without considering if it is most suitable for viewing images. If image making is the most important thing you do on a computer then choosing the best monitor for your purposes and budget is extremely important.
Jason Row over at Lightstalking addresses this in an article here. Jason says: If there is one piece of equipment often overlooked by many photographers, it is the monitor. Whilst we may spend thousands on cameras, lenses and upgraded computers, we often “make do” with our computer’s screen or buy a cheap one to get a larger size…….buying a monitor should be given as much consideration as buying a new camera or lens. After all, why invest all those thousands of dollars in top photographic equipment, if in the end you are viewing the images on a poor, low contrast and limited gamut monitor?
Perhaps we are blinded by acronyms when buying our screens, after all there are so many, LCD, LED, TN, IPS, the list goes on. So what should we buy to suit our needs. Well let start with screen type. The cheapest monitors are based on twisted nematic (TN). Whilst having a fast response time, they have limited color reproduction, poor black levels and narrow viewing angles. They are fine for word processing but not for serious photographic work.
For photography, the minimum level you should be looking for is an IPS screen..…..MORE
I use an Eizo Coloredge CG222W, although no longer available it was the best I could afford at the time, and it is excellent. I also have a monitor and printer calibration system. I bought all of this equipment from Colour Confidence Their website is perfectly laid out with a monitor showroom where you can choose between screens based on price and compatibility. If you live in the UK have a look at what they have on offer. They also give excellent advice so if you have doubts give them a call.
Click Here: How To Choose the Best Monitor for Photography
Pink Lady® Food Photographer of the Year 2013 closes for entries on 31 January 2013
January 22, 2013Posted by on
If you love food, and we mean photographing it as well as eating it, then you may want to get your entries in for the Pink Lady Food Photographer of the Year competition before the closing date this month.
The competition will be closing on 31 January and with a prize of £5000 it’s worth getting those entries in. To read more about the competition, which has new categories this year, please read the press release below from pink Lady.
The international celebration of the art of food photography, Pink Lady® Food Photographer of the Year 2013 closes for entries on 31 January 2013.
This year’s competition has several exciting new categories for entrants, including the Errazuriz Wine Photographer of the Year, for images of wine, producers and all things related to wine. Also the Food Sn-apping category, for images of food taken on mobile phones, in support of Action Against Hunger, and Food off the Press which is sponsored by StockFood, for previously published work in books and magazines.
First prize for the overall winner is £5000, and judges for this year include Antonio Carluccio, Edwin Booth, Chairman of Booth’s Supermarkets, Ellen Silverman (Gwyneth Paltrow’s food photographer), Jay Rayner, food writer and broadcaster, Alison Clarke, Editor of Cravings (Australia’s leading food title), Joanna Simon, award-winning Wine and Food Editor, House and Garden, and Neil Christie, MD of Wieden and Kennedy (the advertising agency behind the award-winning Lurpak campaign).