Oxford School of Photography

insights into photography

Monthly Archives: March 2013

Study exposes social media sites that delete photographs’ metadata – British Journal of Photography

Facebook and Twitter consistently remove the metadata from images, a new study by the International Press Telecommunications Council has revealed.

Study exposes social media sites that delete photographs' metadata – British Journal of Photography.


The interesting part about this article is the comment posted by James Dodd, here is a bit of that “The number of these thieves who actually had a budget to purchase images in the first place is next to none, so we can’t moan as if we’re losing money because this money didn’t exist. Heck, people are now googling more for free photographs than they are for photographers, this is just the nature of our industry……”

How to take a photography portrait in 10 minutes

When time is short or the location is a disaster, every photographer needs some tried and tested ideas to fall back on. Here are a few tricks of the trade

David Bailey once said, “I’m very quick. Ten minutes, that’s about enough time for a portrait.”

How long should it take to shoot a portrait for the Guardian? Probably longer than the time our photographers are often given: interviews run over; subjects are busy people; it’s a daily newspaper, and arrangements are often made at the last minute; the pictures are wanted for a pressing deadline.

So you’re the photographer who has been assigned the job, you’ve rushed at the last minute to arrive at an unprepossessing building where the subject is finishing an interview in a dull room. It could be in a bland hotel or an office decorated in an even blander shade of beige. What do you do next?….READ MORE HERE

This useful article in The Guardian doesn’t really tell you anything you couldn’t work out for yourself by looking at pictures of important people in newspapers and magazines. Most photographers have their style, their go to way of photographing and rarely shift far from it. Jane Bown, who photographed for the Observer was a case in point. See how she always uses light from one direction with preferably a dark background. Very effective.

We teach about natural light portraiture on our Portrait courses

One photographer who makes is living photographing the very important and to whom 10 minutes would be luxury is Ander McIntyre his website is absolutely full of images of presidents, politicians, scientists, artists and others in the public eye and all photographed in about 2 minutes. Go and have a look at his remarkable portraits and learn.








EricParryAll images ©Ander McIntyre

7 Basic Tips That Will Make Your Stock Photographs Sell

On Lightstalking this useful article by Rachael Towne,  a professional photographer and editor of Photoluminary.

The microstock model is a relative newcomer in the world of commercial photography. Previously, only an elite few were able to make a decent living with stock photography since it required a lot of specialized training, expensive equipment and the elusive knowing the right people at the right time. The advent of digital photography turned this traditional stock world upside down and has made it all but obsolete. Anybody with a decent digital camera and a basic knowledge of photography has the potential to earn money with their photos now. However, in order to really make it big and earn a living with microstock, there are some things that are very important to know and do.

Click Here: 7 Basic Tips That Will Make Your Stock Photographs Sell Like Hotcakes

7 Detailed Tutorials that will Improve Your Indoor Portrait Photography Today

Over on Lightstalking Amber Ketchum  has collected together 7 tutorials that will help with indoor portraiture. Amber is a professional photographer from Ohio. You can visit her on her website.

Indoor portrait photography can be a bit challenging, especially in regards to lighting choices. When it comes right down to it, lighting in photography is a science. One little tweak in the position or type of lighting can change the entire tone of a photograph, for better or for worse. Below is a list of some of the best online tutorials I was able to locate, based on indoor portrait photography. Each one has something unique to offer, but what I was really focusing on was finding articles that complimented one another and collectively became one large and useful tutorial. You will likely find something for yourself here, whether you are a beginner or a seasoned photographer.

Here is a link to the article

If you live near Oxford I would recommend our Portrait Photography course that specialises in natural light portraiture and will definitely help you make fantastic portraits, here is a link to our course details, new dates will be available shortly

71D6Q65J4HL._SL500_AA300_Bill Brandt was a master of natural light portraits

Click Here: 7 Detailed Tutorials that will Improve Your Indoor Portrait Photography Today

15 Thoughts on Fine Art Photography Composition

By  on Lightstalking

What are the most important aspects of composing a Fine Art Photograph?  The answer to this question certainly varies from photographer to photographer because each of us places more importance on some aspects than on others.  What follows is what I personally consider to be the most important aspects of Composition….

Much of what Alan says I think is fundamentally true and good starting points to think about photography as a medium for art. I do think that art is a much wider subject than can be addressed by consideration of composition, the definition between fine art and photography as a medium for art is a strongly debated. Just search ‘define fine art photography’ to see how difficult it is to nail a definition. Wiki says

Fine art photography is photography created in accordance with the vision of the artist as photographer. Fine art photography stands in contrast to photojournalism, which provides a visual account for news events, and commercial photography, the primary focus of which is to advertise products or services.

We don’t have to believe or agree with everything in the Wiki world though.

So basically is anything that is not photographed for the purposes of making money art? But that can’t be correct, just look at a site like Flickr to recognise that most people using cameras are not artists they are at best recordists.

These are questions we pose of our students in our Intermediate Photography course, our aim is to stretch their understanding of photography and to encourage them to incorporate these ideas within their own work. To help them to stop just recording what is front of them and to start using their cameras as a means of expressing their ideas.

Here are  of Alan’s suggestions about making images with the intention of creating fine art. As I say I don’t disagree with any of these but I don’t think adhering to a set of rules can create art, fine or otherwise. I think that art is in the intention of the creator, therefore if you intend to make an image that is more than mere representation then you are attempting to create something with art at it’s foundation. Using Alan’s suggestions may certainly help.

Rhine 2 by Andreas Gursky; this is the most expensive photograph ever sold and is considered by some criteria as a pinnacle  of photographic art. What do you think?

Screen shot 2012-11-08 at 17.31.11
Click Here: 15 Thoughts on Fine Art Photography Composition by Alain Briot (With Photos)

The Vatican City by David Seymour

Magnum Photos, the famous photographers agency and picture library, regularly sends out selections of images that might be used in editorial articles. The latest to land on our desk is by David “Chim” Seymour, one of the founder members of Magnum along with Henri Cartier-Bresson, George Rodger and Robert Capa

This picture essay is from the Vatican in 1949




All pictures by David Seymour, Magnum

See all 25 in the essay here

At Home With The Furries

This is a project by Tom Broadbent,  a photographer and picture editor based in London. I saw his work first in The Sunday Times colour supplement section called Spectrum. This is always a good source of interesting photography. Tom has been photographing Furries, people who enjoy wearing animal outfits. Here is what Tom says of the project on his blog

The aim of my photo project: At Home With The Furries has been and always will be to make a book and exhibition with the images. About a year ago, at one of the regular furry meets, I was having a catch-up with my furry friends and I spoke to them about getting the series placed in a broadsheet supplement. Mainly in order to give the series added impetus and publicity. They were very supportive of this idea, as they have been of the entire project, from beginning to end ( well near the end at least!!). Couldn’t have done it without you all, cheers guys!!

At Home With The Furries

At Home With The Furries

At Home With The Furries

At Home With The Furries

 You can see more of Tom’s work here


FORMAT International Photography Festival Derby March- April

This festival is one of the foremost held in the UK, featuring a wide range of activities including exhibitions, talks, tutorials, workshops and events. Spending time in Derby might not be your idea of fun but having such a huge range of photographic events in place for just one month might convince you to stay. The one thing that is irritating is their website, I am sure they think it looks very pretty and hip but it is a problem to navigate around. Spending time clicking to try and find venues listed is not my idea of a good website.

Established in 2004 by Louise Clements and Mike Brown, the biennale festival celebrates the wealth of contemporary practice in international photography and is now one of the UK’s leading non-profit international contemporary festivals of photography and related media.

FORMAT is focused on developing opportunities to platform the work of international photographers and to provide links for local/national practitioners to show work, exchange opportunities, skills and knowledge and for audiences to see, debate, develop and engage in the best of what photography is and can be.

8th March – 7th April

Here are just a few of the events.

Derby At Work Photo Walks

Walk and photo workshop with a photographer. Start at QUAD, learn street photo skills and explore the theme of Factory. End at the Chocolate Factory where a selection of your work will be exhibited as part of Derby At Work.


Dates and Times 14. 21, 28 March & 4 April 13:00 -16:00 & 18:30 – 20:30 Cost: Free


Pinhole Photography Workshop

Venue The Photo Parlour Dates and Times 9, 16, 23, 30 March & 6 April 10:00 – 14:00 Cost: £23/17


Photography Day hosted by the Guardian Picture Desk

Talk led by Guardian Head of Photography Roger Tooth and award-winning Guardian photographers, with a focus on photojournalism, editing and the range of photography in newspapers today. Portfolio reviews by Guardian editors and photographers: bring your portfolio, join in the discussion or just come to listen.

Venue QUAD Dates and Times 16 March 11:00 – 16:00 Cost: £20

Self Publish, Be Happy Workshop

A two day intensive workshop conceived for people interested in publishing their own photography book run by Self Publish, Be Happy founder Bruno Ceschel.

Venue QUAD Dates and Times 23 & 24 March 11:00 – 17:00 Cost: £210

To see all of the events go to the FORMAT International Photography Festival website here

Sebastião Salgado: Genesis Exhibition at The Natural History Museum

The world premiere of Sebastião Salgado: Genesis unveils extraordinary images of landscapes, wildlife and remote communities by this world-renowned photographer. These pictures depict the majesty of nature and the balance of human relationships with our fragile planet.

Salgado’s Genesis is the culmination of 8 years work exploring 32 countries. It is Salgado’s 3rd long-term examination of global issues, following his previous acclaimed collections Workers and Migrations.

The photographs in this exhibition capture some of the furthest corners of our world. They portray indigenous communities that continue to live in accordance with their ancestral traditions and cultures, and show rare insights into their lands and lives.

Sebastião Salgado has been awarded many major photographic prizes in recognition of his accomplishments, most recently receiving the Gold Medal Award for Photography from the National Arts Club in New York.



Image: © Sebastião Salgado/Amazonas Images/nbpictures

Sebastião Salgado: Genesis
11 April – 8 September 2013
Waterhouse Gallery

Ticket prices* £10 adults, £5 child and concession, £27 family
Free for Members, Patrons and children under 4

Full details here



Sebastiao Salgado: The Unfiltered Lens

Fascinating interview by Bryan Appleyard with Sabastiao Salagado on the release of his new  book on landscapes and the environment called “Geneis”

In the rainforest everything is backlit. The light streams towards you, silhouetting the trees. Also the Brazilian sun burns, so children are given broad-brimmed hats. They grow up always looking from shadow into light.

“I realised recently that most of my photographs are shot against the light,” says Sebastião Salgado, “and that is why. I was raised in the shadows. The sun injured my nose and it was necessary to have a hat, so everything came to me from light into shadow.”

Salgado’s pictures are among the most influential of our time. In particular, his staggering shots of the Serra Pelada goldmine in Brazil, in which thousands of workers both assault the earth and become one with it, have defined, more vividly than any written account, the effect of industrialisation on the Third World. He has also photographed famines, migrations, the entire global effort of human survival beneath the crushing burden of modernity.

Read all of this essential article here

This is the beautiful book published by Taschen, click on the cover to get the special Amazon deal and pay only £38.24


DY554297_942long url teaser_fo_salgado_genesis_top_1212171540_id_645724



Images: © Sebastião Salgado/Amazonas Images/nbpictures