Oxford School of Photography

insights into photography

Daily Archives: June 4, 2014

Studying Photography at a college in the UK

University guide 2015: league table for film production and photography as found in The Guardian

We run courses aimed at recreational photographers, those people for whom photography is a wonderful creative activity, some people take our courses as a precursor to going to college and study photography in depth.

If you want to become a photographer it seems easy now, digital cameras do it all for you right, well wrong actually. Digital has made it easier for people with limited technical or visual skill to enter the market as a photographer and to work at a low level but if you want to succeed as a professional photographer you should consider going to college and studying as you would for any profession.  Where to Study Photography In The UK is another place to start looking, this new post featuring The Guardian lists a league table of the best colleges. For more information go here


Another take on this can be found from 2012 and an article by  Alex Hare in the Independent “The new academic year is almost upon us and as universities prepare to open their doors to the latest batch of students paying the highest fees in history for their education, we take a look at whether embarking on a photography degree is still a worthy option.

First, let’s consider why someone would want to study photography. I teach one morning a week at my local university and I ask all my year one students what they want to do when they graduate. Everyone says they want to be a photographer. Will they all graduate and instantly become professional photographers? No, and I’d eat my 70-200mm L Series lens if they did. Will some make it eventually? Yes, inevitably, and this doesn’t mean that, for the rest, the degree has been a waste. Not every history student becomes a historian, after all………….But, it’s taken me 10 years to get to where I want to be and Karen thinks a photography degree can drastically cut the time spent getting ‘Life Experience’ down; “a photography degree is not some glorified camera club, we interview and assess candidates before accepting them. We ensure we have the brightest, most committed students and in return we give them a genuine means to an end. The degree opens far more career doors than it shuts and they leave with enough technical knowledge to hold their own as well as a range of intellectual rigour, academic, political and ideological awareness that employers in any industry look for in any graduate…………I’m left wondering what a first year student can do then to give themselves the best possible chances of succeeding, whether they choose to become a photographer or enter a different career path on graduation. Karen says; “they have to live and breathe the subject, not just stroll in, do their lectures and go home. They have to put in time and effort to push their creativity and their intellect beyond what we’re teaching them.”” Read the full article here




CBRE Urban Photographer of the Year 2014

Welcome to the Urban Photographer of the Year competition 2014
The brief of the competition ‘Cities at Work’ challenges you to capture what you consider to be the essence of urban life at any time of day, be it poignant, inspiring, quirky or amusing.

Open to both professional and amateur photographers, the competition is free to enter and accepts up to 24 images from an individual entrant; one to represent each hour of the day.

Winner  Mark French UK   Looking good at work Hong Kong

Image: © Mark French, UK –  Looking good at work, Hong Kong –

CBRE today launched its global Urban Photographer of the Year competition with the theme, Cities at Work. Now in its eighth year, the competition continues to attract photographers from around the world. This year’s entrants are asked to capture the essence and reality of the working life of a city, with all of its beauty and day to day routine.

Open to both professional and amateur photographers, the competition is free to enter and accepts up to 24 images from an individual entrant; one to represent each hour of the day. The overall global winner of the 2014 competition will be able to choose a luxury photo safari from a range of exotic locations sponsored by CBRE. Prizes will also be awarded to regional winners in Europe, Asia and the Americas and for the 24 standout images representing each hour of the day.

Previous winners have drawn inspiration from cycling commuters, shoe shiners in New York and the bustling markets of Cambodia. Last year’s winning image, captured by Mark French, depicted a bus driver checking his reflection during the morning rush hour in Hong Kong.

This year the competition has a new category for children and young adults aged between 13 and 25 (including students). Supported by Plan International, CBRE’s new EMEA charity partner, the category will be judged by young adults involved in Plan International and the charities board.

The closing date for entries is 8 August 2014.

Further details here