Oxford School of Photography

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Daily Archives: June 7, 2013

S is for Simplicity: How Simplicity Will Improve Your Photography

The truly excellent  tom dinning writes on Lightstalking about the need to improve your photography by simplifying your images

In a complex world of action and vision it’s often difficult to separate the trees from the forest. In the early days of photography there was a tendency for photographers to emulate the painters or to use the photograph to assist the artist with his composition. The photograph was a means of recording the complexity of the world with all its detail. It was ‘real’. As photographers experimented with their new tool, they discovered that the photograph was also a way of simplifying the sometimes chaotic view before them. They could choose what would be ‘in the frame’ or not, eliminating the unnecessary and focusing on the important detail. 

The photographers were finding another language; the language of photography.

But often there were no words to describe what they had achieved, so they drew on existing words to define their pictorial vocabulary.

‘Simplicity’ is one such term. It was used to give a sense of ‘oneness’ in which the image could stand on its own and tell the story, that the contents contained nothing more in detail than was required by the photographer to achieve his purpose. READ ALL OF THIS ARTICLE HERE


©Jane Buekett©Jane Buekett

My great friend and superb photographer Jane Buekett understands simplicity, have a look at all her pictures here but as a taste a few..

©Jane Buekett

©Jane Buekett



all images ©Jane Buekett
Click Here: S is for Simplicity: How Simplicity Will Improve Your Photography

Self-portraits and social media: The rise of the ‘selfie’

I joke in class, when teaching camera use, the purpose of the self timer and that most photographers seem to want to be behind rather than in front of the camera. This article on the BBC website suggests that the non-photographer picture taking public are very keen on self portraiture. I am not sure this is hugely relevant but it makes interesting reading.

There’s a mania for sharing self-taken photographs online. But why, asks Charissa Coulthard.

The first smartphone with a forward-facing camera was the watershed moment.

You only need this second, forward-facing camera if you want to take pictures of yourself. Could there be any more conclusive indication of the ubiquity of the self-portrait or “selfie”?

The cameras, which focus automatically from arm’s length, invite us to photograph on the spur of the moment, regardless of location or company.

Images can be shared with thousands of other people. Its immediacy – Look where I am! Look what I’m doing! Look at what I look like! – is exciting. To some…..READ ON HERE


Evolution of a selfie: Charissa Coulthard before and after tips, and experimenting with a new look

For true evolutionary self portraiture the discerning look no further than Cindy Sherman





Art Becomes Her: In Honor of Cindy Sherman’s MoMA Retrospective, Five Tastemakers Reflect on Her Influence

Cindy Sherman has proven herself the ultimate master of disguise. For decades she has been her own model—donning wigs, makeup, prosthetics, and endless numbers of costumes in an astonishing series of uncanny photographs. READ MORE HERE

Relates Links (serious stuff first)





and the rest “selfie”

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