Oxford School of Photography

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Monthly Archives: January 2014

The Ultimate Guide to Food Photography

From those nice people at DPS a collections of links all explaining how to make great food photographs. Go here 

Following are our most popular Food Photography Tutorials (all 18 of them) which together form our ‘Ultimate Guide’ to the topic of Food Photography. They cover a range of different styles and techniques of food photography – some are more beginner in nature, others more advanced.


New exhibition opens at Brighton One Eyed Jacks gallery

Work by three photographers who have documented everyday life in North America is on show in Brighton.

Recently opened photography gallery One Eyed Jacks looks to North America for its next exhibition, which features images by three photographers.

Founded in October 2012 by photographer Matt Henry, the Brighton-based gallery is showing 17 images by photographers Thomas Gardiner, Ari Gabel and Jack Latham.

Canadian photographer Thomas Gardiner, who is currently based in Brooklyn, New York, shows work from his seriesUntitled USA and Western Canada. The Yale photography graduate began documenting working-class cities in Northeast America, specifically New Haven, during his MFA Photography degree course, and has also spent time photographing the small communities in and around where he grew up in Western Canada.

Ari Gabel, who was born and raised in Columbus, Ohio, contributes images from Tired of Being Tired, a series of images exploring his love of the Mississippi Delta Blues, and from Good River, which documents the lives of residents in Ohio River Valley.

Welsh photographer Jack Latham, who graduated from the BA Documentary Photography course in Newport at the University of Wales in 2012, contributes images from Pink Flamingo, a series about settlers along the Oregon Trail.

The exhibition runs from 24 January until 24 March. Full details here


Snow Shoe, Pennsylvania © Thomas Gardiner


Teck Cominco over the Columbia River, Trail, British Columbia © Thomas Gardiner

2013 in just twelve images on different formats

You know I have almost no interest at all in the cameras people use. It seems pointless to ask the question,’what camera do you use?’ but it is one I hear often. Commenting on cameras is the dullest thing when looking at images. So I was less than thrilled reading the opening paragraph of this article recommended to me by my Danish friend Alisdair. Anyway I did look, I read nothing at all about the cameras but I  liked the pictures and I hope you will too.

Last year I did a – one year – 2012: 12 months, 12 images, 12 cameras / lenses in total guest report for Steve. It was tough to make, it’s really hard to narrow down a big production to just one image per month, but very rewarding as well.

So I decided to do the same this time around. Those familiar with my work, either here at Steve’s site or my own http://www.oneofmany.dk will notice that I’ve been drifting slightly towards film and large format recently. The slow process has been healthy for me mentally and photographically speaking. I shoot less images, but work harder for each one, and it’s a thrill to learn new skills — especially ones that aren’t linked to Photoshop.

2013 was a good year for me in many ways, and also challenging. Sometimes I feel I’m balancing between being creative and obsessed, both when it comes to shooting portraits as well as using new cameras and lenses, hehehe. I still treasure my Leica M9-P more than anything else, but the artistic freedom (and limits) the large format view cameras give are very inspiring. Nowadays, whenever I grab a digital camera, I miss the selective focus / shallow depth of field while shooting large format extremely open, but also the tonality and amount of detail that I get from even 100-year-old non-coated lenses. An 8×10″ is approximately 60 times digital full frame, and a Swiss built large format Sinar camera, be it 60 years or 6 years old, is at east 60 times more fun to operate than a modern Canon/Nikon.

Well, here are 12 images, one for each month, all shot on different cameras, formats and lenses by Bjarke Ahlstrand, see the full article here

7-july-8x10-Dallmeyer-2A-Petzval-f4-Fuji-Velvia-50-680x850 10-october-5x7-direct_positive_paper-680x856 4-april-5x7-kodak-2b-wetplate-collodion-berlin-680x906 11-november-1913-goecker-studio-wood-camera-expired-809-polaroid-680x927

Happy Tet New Year Holiday – Viet Nam

©Keith Barnes

Viet Nam

The Lunar New Year, the Tet New Year is on the 31st January this year. It is the time when people all over Asia celebrate the start of a new year. Tet Nguyen Dan, or Tet for short, is considered the biggest and most popular festival of the year in Vietnam. Celebrated on the first day of the first month in Lunar Calendar, Tet’s celebration is the longest holiday which may last up to seven days  from January 31st.

I was in Vietnam in December and saw how Christmas was part of the fabric, even though it is mostly a Buddhist country the hang over from French colonisation means that Christmas is still celebrated by some however it is the Lunar New Year that is the big party. Food, flowers, and presents are all part of the celebration, if you are interested to learn more about this go here . So happy New Year to all who are celebrating Tet

Năm mới dồi dào sức khỏe

©Keith Barnes

Viet Nam

©Keith Barnes

Viet Nam

©Keith Barnes

Viet Nam

©Keith Barnes

Viet Nam

©Keith Barnes

Viet Nam

Deutsche Börse Photography Prize 2014

Now in its seventeenth year, the Deutsche Börse Photography Prize 2014 rewards a living photographer, of any nationality, for a specific body of work in an exhibition or publication format, which has significantly contributed to photography in Europe between 1 October 2012 and 30 September 2013.

This year’s finalists are Alberto Garcia-Alix, Jochen Lempert, Lorna Simpson and Richard Mosse.

Brett Rogers, Director of The Photographers’ Gallery and Chair of the Jury:
“Each of this year’s nominees proposes compelling new ways to expand our thinking about the medium. Image and text underpin Lorna Simpson’s unique approach to interrogating gender and identity, whilst for Garcia-Alix the camera becomes an extension of his psyche – ‘a way of seeing which is a way of being’. In drawing our attention to anthropomorphism, Jochen Lempert combines the precision of a scientist with the lyricism of a poet. For Richard Mosse, discontinued military surveillance film provides both the medium and the message, transforming the horror and brutality of war into a surreal form of documentary.”

Deutsche Börse Prize 2014, Alberto Garcia-Alix, Self-portrait in biker vest, 1989Alberto_Garcia_Alix__Self_p_5283b730c447fFurther details here


Burroughs, Lynch and Warhol: the secret photographers

The Photographers Gallery has an exhibition by three of the great artists and writers of the late 20th century, well that is what is says in a blurb. Three simultaneous shows at London’s Photographers’ Gallery explore the images of three artists famous for other forms. From film-maker David Lynch’s moody industrial shots to artist Andy Warhol’s snaps of kite-flyers and writer William Burroughs’s pictures of everything from Jack Kerouac in Tangier to a closeup of a fence, they are the most original material on display in the capital so far this year. Looking at the images on The Guardian site I am not so sure about Burroughs, Lynch and Warhol photographic credentials, I heard on the radio, a culture show that Lynch really held it together and made the whole exhibition meaningful, his images look much like those any aspiring photography student might make. Anyway what do I know, decide for yourselves here

William S. Burroughs, Untitled, 1975

William S Burroughs – Untitled, 1975Photograph: LACMA/William S Burroughs l Untitled, 1975 Estate of William S Burroughs

William S. Burroughs, Untitled, c1972

William S Burroughs – Untitled, c1972Photograph: Estate of William S Burroughs

Andy Warhol, Jerry Hall, 1976-1987

Andy Warhol – Jerry Hall, 1976-1987Photograph: The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts, Inc./Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York and DACS, London Courtesy Bischofberger Collection, Switzerland

David Lynch, Untitled (Lodz), 2000

David Lynch – Untitled (Łódź), 2000Photograph: © Collection of the artist

Details of the exhibition here

Paul Gallagher Talk Wallingford Oxfordshire

Paul Gallagher Event

Royal Horticultural Society photographic competition 2013 – the winning pictures

The annual RHS photography competition attracts stunning images of flora and fauna – here are some of the winning pictures from 2013, from a shy mole to a starling in the fog and some towering foxgloves



This extraordinary photograph of a bee flying between towering, pink foxgloves at Great Dixter Gardens has won £1,000 and the coveted title of RHS Photographer of the Year 2013 for Heather Buckley of Brighton. The photo also won the ‘Plants’ category, which carries another prize of £350 for Heather.



Jacky Parker’s photograph of an anemone de caen won first prize in the details category.


Mateusz Piesiak from Poland was named young photographer of the year for this picture of a starling.

You can see the rest of the winning entries here

I have to say I was a bit underwhelmed by the selection chosen, what do you think?

Award-winning photographer dumped for altering single Syria image

From The Guardian

The Associated Press has severed ties with a Pulitzer prize-winning freelance photographer who it says violated its ethical standards by altering a photo he took while covering the war in Syria in 2013.

The news service said on Wednesday that Narciso Contreras recently told its editors that he manipulated a digital picture of a Syrian rebel fighter taken last September, using software to remove a colleague’s video camera from the lower left corner of the frame. That led AP to review all of the nearly 500 photos Contreras has filed since he began working for the news service in 2012. No other instances of alteration were uncovered, said Santiago Lyon, the news service’s vice president and director of photography.…more

Altered PhotoI find this draconian measure to be completely out of step with the nature of photography. I understand that a journalist has some requirement to accurately represent a news item, however given the state of the press in the UK I am not sure that is ever the case. I cannot see how removing a camera from this image can in any way change the meaning or intent of the image. Photographers have always influenced the nature of their images to represent a viewpoint. What film, lens, camera, how the image was processed and printed all have an influence on the outcome and all of that comes after the photographer has decided where to point their camera. To reprimand Narciso Contreras and to reduce  his ability to earn a living is just out of all consideration for the context of the image and the impact upon any viewer of the changes made. I am sure there are some that would say journalism has a sacred obligation to tell the truth hmm….. like politicians, estate agents and lawyers I suppose. To argue that it is impossible to police manipulations and therefore to say all are forbidden just takes me back to my earlier point about the choices already made when the image is captured. This is just madness

Read the full article here



From one of our favourite sites, L1ghtb1tes we find this interview with Tamas Dezso


GL: I always look for pictures that talk to me. Often I don’t really know how or why, but they talk. There are many pictures in Tamas Dezso’s Romanian series that spoke to me more than the photo of the boy in the bearskin. When he suggested that we talk about this image I wanted to know why. No matter what we do, there’s nothing more intriguing or exciting than choice and the act of choosing.
TD: At the beginning of the 2000s I visited Romania as a photo journalist. During my journeys at the time I experienced a very interesting world, populated by puzzlingly frank people with their reserved, yet deeply mystical stories. About three years ago I decided to start a series in Romania parallel to the Hungarian series that I started in 2009. The concept is identical: both examine the transitional period of these countries recovering after a communist dictatorship. The story has two threads: documenting the disintegrating remains of enforced industrialisation and disappearing traditions in villages gradually losing their inhabitants due to migration to the cities…….

Read the full interview here