Oxford School of Photography

insights into photography

Monthly Archives: August 2013

Photographer Nick Turpin offers his advice for budding street photographers

“I am a Street Photographer because, quite simply, it is the hardest challenge I have found in photography,” says photographer Nick Turpin. “I have shot front page national newspaper images in riots, I have shot glossy magazine fashion spreads, I have shot multi million dollar Ad campaigns in New York and none of these are easy but none of them compare with standing in Piccadilly Circus on a Saturday morning with a small camera and a standard lens trying to make something amazing out of the everyday. That is why over the last 22 years as a professional photographer I keep coming back to the street.”

 He adds: “More than anything Street Photography is an attitude, it is an openness to being amazed by what comes your way, it is unlearning the habit of categorising and dismissing the everyday as being ‘just the everyday’ and beginning to recognise that extraordinary, beautiful and subtle stories are occurring in front of you everyday of your life if you can see them. I actually think you can be a Street Photographer without a camera and without making photographs, it is really just the more insecure Street Photographers like myself that actually have to record and show off their ability to ‘see’.”
Image © Nick Turpin

Read more: http://www.bjp-online.com/british-journal-of-photography/advertisement/2288116/sponsored-street-photography-tips-with-sonys-rx-cameras#ixzz2blXyhqj9 
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Buying a digital SLR

This excellent article on DP Review explains why a dslr, and what to consider, essential for anyone about to buy a dslr

So you’ve decided to invest in a new digital camera and have made your mind up that you want to step up to a digital SLR, but the huge range of models on offer and endless flow of technical jargon have left you more confused than when you started? Fear not, this page will take the pain out of choosing the perfect digital SLR for you, whether you’re a seasoned shooter or a total novice.

Before we get down to business it’s worth stopping for a moment to ask the question: why would anyone want a digital SLR when compact digital cameras are so much smaller, lighter and more affordable? The answer can be summed up in two words: versatility and image-quality.

The versatility isn’t just the fact you can change lenses and add a wide range of accessories – from basics such as flashguns and remote controls to the more specialized equipment that allow SLRs to capture anything from the tiniest bug to the most distant stars. It’s also about the creative versatility offered by the more advanced controls and higher quality components.

And this leads on to the second factor; image quality. In broad daylight the quality difference between a good compact and a digital SLR is minimal; both will produce sharp, colorful results with little effort. But when you start to push the boundaries a bit more; shooting in low light, attempting to capture fast moving sports action or wildlife, or when you want to experiment with shallow depth of field (to add a soft background to a portrait for example), the advantage of a digital SLR’s larger sensor and higher sensitivity start to make a big difference. A digital SLR can’t beat a compact camera for ‘pop it in the purse or pocket’ convenience but for serious photography the SLR wins hands down. With prices lower than ever it’s not that surprising to discover that many people own one of each.


What is an SLR?

The basic physical design of the SLR has remained essentially unchanged for over half a century. The name itself, ‘Single Lens Reflex’, refers to the hinged mirror that bounces the light passing through the lens up to the viewfinder for framing then flips out of the way when you press the shutter to allow the light to hit the sensor (or film).


As the (simplified) diagram above shows, the mirror inside an SLR reflects the image formed by the lens up to the optical viewfinder (via a focusing screen and prism). When the picture is taken the mirror flips out of the way to allow the light to fall directly onto the sensor (or film), which sits behind a mechanical shutter. The mirror is also flipped up for live view operation (where the sensor is used to provide a live video feed directly to the screen on the back). 

 Read the full article here

Ireland: A Photographers’ Guide

OK hands up, I have to admit I have never been to Ireland, the nearest I get is when my pal Brendan has his parents over for a visit so I am not an authoritative guide to the emerald isle. However Carsten Krieger seems to know a bit. This article covers the ground, how much, I don’t know never having been there. If it was a photographers guide to Laos or Syria or even Australia I could help but Ireland, no….

Trends affect all of us: It can be the latest equipment, new techniques and even where to go to make images. At the moment Iceland seems to be the place to go if you want to be trendy, and images of an iceberg on a lonely beach are constantly popping up all over the Internet.

Many years ago another island was the desired destination for the traveling photographer: Ireland. There were no icebergs on beaches but Ireland produced its own stereotypes: Green fields divided by stone walls, thatched and white washed cottages (or their ruins) and plenty of red-haired ‘characters’……..


The Burren is also famous for a very unusual flora: It’s a mix of Mediterranean, alpine and arctic flowers. Spring Gentians grow side by side with orchids, mountain avens and other species and transform the grey landscape into a colorful rock garden from April to September. 

There are a number of pages to digest with details and information on a photographic trip to Ireland here are the links you need



http://www.dpreview.com/articles/2181628478/ireland-a-photographers-guide/3    etc


If I would have to recommend one location in Ireland to visit this would probably be it. The Antrim Coast and Glens not only have the Giant’s Causeway, a UNESCO world heritage site, all of the northern and eastern coast offers photographic opportunities at each and every step: Cliffs made of both basalt, chalk and sandstone, sandy beaches, hidden coves and eerie castles. In addition there are the nine glens that open to the eastern coast, each with rivers, cascades and forests. 

Eric Kim: 10 Lessons William Klein has taught me about Street Photography

William Klein

William Klein (born April 19, 1928) is a photographer and filmmaker noted for his ironic approach[1][2] to both media and his extensive use of unusual photographic techniques in the context of photojournalism and fashion photography.[1] He was ranked 25th on Professional Photographer‘s Top 100 Most influential photographers.[3]

Trained as a painter, Klein studied under Fernand Léger and found early success with exhibitions of his work. However, he soon moved on to photography and achieved widespread fame as a fashion photographer for Vogue and for his photo essays on various cities. Despite having no training as a photographer, Klein won the Prix Nadar in 1957 for New York, a book of photographs taken during a brief return to his hometown in 1954. Klein’s work was considered revolutionary for its “ambivalent and ironic approach to the world of fashion”,[1] its “uncompromising rejection of the then prevailing rules of photography”[1] and for his extensive use of wide-angle and telephoto lenses, natural lighting and motion blur.[1] Klein tends to be cited in photography books along with Robert Frank as among the fathers of street photography, one of those mixed compliments that classifies a man who is hard to classify …..Wiki

Eric Kim on his blog has listed 10 things that William Klein can teach us about street photography

1. Get close and personal

2. Keep a ‘photographic diary’

3. Go against the grain

To see the rest and the reasons why getting close and personal matters go here

klein-kid-gun-488x660©William Klein


Digital Photography Glossary

The DP Review site has an excellent glossary section where all those words you use on a daily basis as a keen photographer  which slide from your tongue as if their understanding were universal reside. Sections include: Digital Imaging; Camera Systems; Exposure etc

Here is just one of the numerous sections covered

Here is the entry on autofocus

All digital cameras come with autofocus (AF). In autofocus mode the camera automatically focuses on the subject in the focus area in the center of the LCD/viewfinder. Many prosumer and all professional digital cameras allow you to select additional autofocus areas which are indicated on the LCD/viewfinder.

Example of a camera with a multi selector button (extreme right) to select the AF area spot. The selected area spot is indicated on the main LCD by a red bracket.

In “single AF” mode, the camera will focus when the shutter release button is pressed halfway. Some cameras offer “continuous AF” mode whereby the camera focuses continuously until you press the shutter release button halfway. This shortens the lag time, but reduces battery life. Normally a focus confirmation light will stop blinking once the subject in focus. Autofocus is usually based on detecting contrast and therefore works best on contrasty subjects and less well in low light conditions, in which case the use of an AF assist lamp is very useful. Some cameras also feature manual focus.

This article is written by Vincent Bockaert,
author of The 123 of digital imaging Interactive Learning Suite
Click here to visit 123di.com

Go here to visit the glossary pages of DP Review

Leonard Freed’s photographs of The March on Washington

From the ever excellent Denver Post blog we find this selection of images by the great Leonard Freed

On August 28, 1963, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. delivered his “I Have a Dream” speech and 250,000 people participated in the largest peaceful demonstration for civil rights ever witnessed in America. Magnum photographer Leonard Freed documented The March on Washington and his images endure as a testament to the historic importance of that day. The demonstration ultimately led to the passage of the Civil Rights Act of 1964.

Freed’s powerful images of the 1963 March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom will be featured in two group exhibitions in Washington, DC, one at the Library of Congress and the other at the Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial Library, to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the march this month. From the hundreds of images that Freed made of the march, fifty-seven photographs were chosen for the recently published book, “This Is the Day: The March on Washington photographs by Leonard Freed,” published by Getty.

Leonard Freed (American, 1929-2006) began making photographs in 1954 and joined  as a full-time member in 1972. Freed’s photographs are included in the collections of the Museum of Modern Art in New York, the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York, and the J. Paul Getty Museum in Los Angeles.


August 28, 1963. On that historic day Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. delivered his ÒI Have a DreamÓ speech at the Lincoln Memorial and 250,000 people participated in the largest peaceful demonstration for civil rights ever witnessed in America. Freed Photo Credit: All photographs © Estate of Leonard Freed Ð Magnum Photos (Brigitte Freed).






See all of the images here

5 DIY Photography Projects to Save You Money

Jason Little  writes for Lightstalking, he is a photographer (shooting macros, portraits, candids, and the occasional landscape), part time writer, and full time lover of music. You can see Jason’s photography on his photography blog

Professionals and hobbyists alike realize that photography equipment is expensive. The high costs of gear and accessories is a fact of life for pros and enthusiasts but, for most everyone else, these costs can be downright prohibitive. 

Price, however, shouldn’t hamper your creativity. In fact, a little creative thinking and some tinkering will make it possible for you to have all sorts of useful photography accessories, from tripods to lighting setups to macro lenses — all without the exorbitant price tags. 

Interested in saving some precious coin? Read on to learn how.


3802715047_51751e6418My DIY Ring Flash by trazomfreak, on Flickr

Click Here: 5 DIY Photography Projects to Save You Money

The 7 Common Habits of Remarkably Talented Photographers

This article by Tiffany Mueller is on Lightstalking. Tiffany Mueller is a professional music and fine art photographer. She has been published in multiple publications including magazines, art journals, and various photography books. She blogs at Life Is Unabridged.

One of the best ways to improve yourself is by observing the habits of those you find to be inspirational and talented. In doing so, we hope to learn what it is they have done that helped them achieve success. Of course, there’s no set route to the top of the photography game, but if you were to do a case study on the habits of some our favourite photographers chances are you’d find some very similar habits among them.

4458698990_be3da22b08Dedicated photographer by paukrus, on Flickr

Click Here: The 7 Common Habits of Remarkably Talented Photographers


New Landscapes of Photography – a project by Jonathan Shaw and Grant Scott

New Landscapes of Photography, a multiplatform photography book-project by Jonathan Shaw and Grant Scott. GRAIN, the Library of Birmingham photography hub, is delighted to announce its latest project in partnership with Coventry University and Jonathan Shaw. New Landscapes of Photography, is a multi-platform book-project about the new landscape of visual storytelling through lens-based media in the digital age by Jonathan Shaw and Grant Scott. This book-project is an attempt to offer to new and emerging audiences simplicity rather than simplification of the terrain, an opportunity to understand and engage rather than just passively know.

 Published on web, in ePub and in print (version 1.0) simultaneously in October 2013, New Landscapes of Photography is a ‘living book’ that seeks to create a space for active dialogue and an exchange of ideas for photo-enthusiasts and photo-communities around the globe.

Advice for the Aspiring Street Photographer

Street photography. Is it as simple as going out into the streets and taking photos? In the narrowest of views, yes. But street photography is regarded by many as an art form; it is the goal of the street photographer to capture humanity at its rawest, most candid moments, unencumbered by the apparent luxuries of a formal studio session; no flash, no diffusers, no tethered shooting. In light of this more nuanced definition of what street photography is, we can now give a more distinct answer to the question of street photography’s perceived “simplicity.”

What makes street photography difficult for some is the boldness required to pull out a camera, approach a total stranger, and essentially enter their space, even if for a brief moment, as they go about routine activities that normally do not take place in front of a lens. It can be intimidating and challenging, but I would venture to say that anyone who has achieved some measure of success at street photography has found it immensely rewarding. And as a visual medium, street photography can be profoundly inspirational. So if you’re considering hitting the streets, here are a few basic DOs and DON’Ts to help get you started.

writes Jason Little  a photographer (shooting macros, portraits, candids, and the occasional landscape), part time writer, and full time lover of music. You can see Jason’s photography on his photography blog

Read all the advice here

Garry Winogrand, Los Angeles, ca.1980©Gary Winogrand

Click Here: Some Dos and Don’ts for the Aspiring Street Photographer