Oxford School of Photography

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Monthly Archives: August 2014

Canon vs Nikon: the DSLR comparison you’ve been waiting for

From Digital Camera World

Canon vs Nikon: which DSLR system is best? A question that has frustrated many of the world’s greatest philosophers and may even have troubled the UN… Our in-depth comparison examines each system’s cameras, lenses, key features and much more.

Canon vs Nikon: the DSLR comparison you've been waiting for

Who makes the best DSLRs, Canon or Nikon? It’s the impossible question. If it wasn’t, one of these giants of the camera industry would be out of business by now.

The fact is, Canon and Nikon offer some of the best cameras, lenses, flash systems and accessories – and they have done for years.

Whichever line you choose, you’re investing in an extensive, well-supported system that caters for everyone, from beginners to experts, from wedding photographers to wildlife pros.

Has that stopped forums descending into flame wars over whether Canon or Nikon is best? Has it nuts.

In fact, it’s quite common to find photographers swapping systems, moving from Canon to Nikon or from Nikon to Canon.

This is largely dependant on which manufacturer has just leapfrogged the other in technology, whether that’s a new lens the other lacks or a camera body that set the new benchmark in autofocus or high ISO performance.

Nikon user and Photoshop guru Scott Kelby’s switch to Canon has been widely publicised, but there have been plenty of others – British landscape pro, Adam Burton (Canon to Nikon) andwildlife photographer Andy Rouse (Canon to Nikon and back to Canon) to name but two.

Back in the real world, the majority of us can’t afford to dance between systems. We generally stay locked in for years. But that doesn’t mean we can’t look over the fence slightly enviously every now and then.

With that in mind, here’s our appraisal of how Canon and Nikon DSLR systems currently compare.

See the full comparison here


The 10 Best German Photographers You Should Know

Large-format prints, technical perfection and impersonal vision: these are the characteristics of the German photographers commonly known as the Düsseldorf School of Photography, a group of artists that studied with two masters of 20th century photography, Bernd and Hilla Becher – several of them went on to become some of the most successful contemporary artists in the world. Find out more in our curated list of ten German photographers you should know. See the full article here

The Rhine II 1999 by Andreas Gursky born 1955

The Rhine II’, Andreas Gursky | Tate


Esther Teichmann, from the series ‘Fractal Scars, Salt Water and Tears’ | Courtesy the artist


Axel Hütte, Raucheck, Austria from the series New Mountains, 2011 © Axel Hütte | Courtesy Fondazione Fotografia

Here for more

Pictures of the Week: August 15, 2014 –

Pictures of the Week: August 15, 2014 – Plog.

"APTOPIX Police Shooting Alabama Vigil"

Willie James Franklin looks into the Civil Rights Memorial fountain during a moment of silence to remember Michael Brown on Thursday, Aug. 14, 2014 in Montgomery, Ala. On Saturday, Aug. 9, 2014, a white police officer fatally shot Brown, an unarmed black teenager, in a St. Louis suburb. (AP Photo/Brynn Anderson) #

"APTOPIX Portugal Daily Life"

People take photographs in the main tank of the Oceanarium of Lisbon, Wednesday, Aug. 13, 2014. The oceanarium opened in 1998 during the World Fair, displays different aquatic fauna species from the five oceans in the world. (AP Photo/Francisco Seco) #

"APTOPIX Police Shooting Missouri"

A protester takes shelter from smoke billowing around him Wednesday, Aug. 13, 2014, in Freguson, Mo. Protests in the St. Louis suburb rocked by racial unrest since a white police officer shot an unarmed black teenager to death turned violent Wednesday night, with some people lobbing Molotov cocktails and other objects at police who responded with smoke bombs and tear gas to disperse the crowd. (AP Photo/St. Louis Post-Dispatch, David Carson) #

See the full gallery here

Oxford Photo Walk – October 11th 2014

You may already know about this, if not thought you might be interested. The idea of a photo walk is that people with cameras gather for about 2 hours and walk around their city and take pictures. Sounds like it could be fun. It is presented as a social thing rather than a learning experience although I am sure advice will be spread to those who are receptive. There are photowalks all over the world on the same day so even if you don’t live in Oxford you might be able to find one near you or even organise one. The main organiser is Scott Kelby, who is a well known photographer and trainer. Here is a bit of info, here is the link site


©Keith Barnes


©Keith Barnes

Photo Walk Description

Hi guys, I’m Peter. This will be my third Worldwide Photo Walk, and this year I’ve decided to take the lead!

I want to do something a little different this year, and set a theme. Oxford is a beautiful city with centuries of history, and I want to capture that by shooting film. I will even hand develop all my shots! So, I would like to suggest that anyone interested in joining me on an attempt to take over Oxford for 2 hours brings a film camera with them. This is not a requirement for attending this walk, but it would be great to see as many film cameras as possible. It doesn’t matter whether you have a pinhole camera, a brownie, Leica, or even if you bring an 8 x 10 large format (although anything bigger than that may cause an obstruction).

If you don’t have (and can’t borrow one) a film camera, don’t worry it’s not a requirement. If you do wish to get involved, disposable film cameras can still be easily found for as little as £2-3, and I may also be able to help out if needed (more details on an update). It’s also not a requirement that you only shoot film.

I have created a local Flickr group which can be found here: https://www.flickr.com/groups/wwpwoxford2014
The main Worldwide Photo Walk Flickr page can be found here: http://flickr.com/groups/wwpw2014

I really enjoyed my last two walks, and I hope I can make this year as enjoyable for you. I will keep this page updated with more details as I get them, with the possibility of a local competition! Again, to recap: film would be great but not a requirement, no experience required – just the love of taking photos, and above all else, we’ll have fun and meet new friends.

Meeting Location & Time

Radcliffe Square, Oxford, Oxford- United Kingdom
Get Directions

Date: Saturday, October 11, 2014

Time: 03:00pm – 05:00pm

Location Details: Outside the University Church of St. Mary the Virgin

After the walk, meet at: TBC

If you are not in Oxford then go to this site and see if there is a walk near you

Paddy Summerfield – Mother and Father

Dear Paddy has been an institution in Oxford for decades, he was the very first person to appear at the original Photographers Workshop on 6th June 1982, he shambled through the door and said, ‘hi I’m Paddy can I help’.  He has been a great source of inspiration and support for so many fresh faced new photographers that there is probably a book just on who has been influenced by the great man. Now as part of Photography Oxford he is showing his touching and long term body of work Mother and Father.


This first public showing of Paddy Summerfield’s Mother And Father is part of the new PHOTOGRAPHYOXFORD 2014 Biennale, and also marks the publication of his book (Dewi Lewis Publishing). The images will be installed in the actual garden where most of the photographs were taken. The exhibition and  book document the final decade of a 60 year marriage, that began in the summer of 1939 as war approached, and ended under the shadows of another struggle: the trials of old age and his mother’s loss of memory. Summerfield reflects through the lens of his own vision the bond between his mother and father, which even dementia could not break.

As Gerry Badger writes: “Nothing much happens in these pictures, just everyday, commonplace, important things. The Summerfields tend their garden, they walk and sit within its protective embrace, they embrace each other.”....READ MORE HERE


©Paddy Summerfield




©Paddy Summerfield

Location: PhotographyOxford 2014

Venue 22: 337 Banbury Road OX2 7PL

Opening Hours: 6.30-8.30pm daily

Paddy Summerfield

Mother And Father

PhotographyOxford 2014 / Oxford / England

77 photography techniques, tips and tricks for taking pictures of anything

from Digital Camera World

Learn new photography techniques – and master old ones – with this essential photographer’s resource. This list of 77 photography techniques to try covers some of the most popular types of photography.

Whether you want to improve your portrait photography or learn how to take better landscapes, discover the secret to sharp close-up photos or start out in street photography, you’ll find some essential tips and tricks here.

Words by Marcus Hawkins

77 photography techniques, tips and tricks for taking pictures of anything

Portrait photography techniques, tips and tricks

Improve your photos of people with our quick and easy camera techniques

Portrait photography technique 01: focus on the eyes
While eye contact is not always desirable in a portrait, sharp eyes certainly are. Manually select an AF point that’s positioned over one of your model’s eyes, or use the central focus point to lock focus on their eye.

Then, with the shutter release half-pressed to keep the setting locked, recompose your picture before taking the shot.

10 portrait photography mistakes every photographer makes (and how to fix them)
14 portrait photography tips you’ll never want to forget
Shoot Like a Pro: outdoor portrait photography made easy

Nifty Fifty Lens: how much blur do you get with a 50mm f/1.8

Portrait photography technique 02: using a standard or telephoto lens
Wide-angle lenses are a great choice for photographing environmental portraits, where you want to show a person within a specific context. However, wide-angle lenses used close-up will distort facial features and creative unflattering pictures.

A better choice for portraits is either a standard lens or a short telephoto lens. The classic portrait focal lengths for a full-frame camera are 50mm, 85mm prime lenses and a 70-200mm zoom.

These will help to compress features and provide a more natural-looking result.



See the next 75 tips here

Stock photography tips: how to shoot and edit stock photos that sell

From Digital Camera World

Tired of your stock photography endeavours going to waste? Start making some money from your photography; use these stock photography tips to start setting up your shoots and editing photos in a more commercially minded way.

Stock photography tips: how to shoot and edit stock photos that sell

Stock photography went through a revolution as the microstock market established itself using the internet as a platform, and today there are a huge number of sites through which you can make a little extra income from your hobby.

However, the bottom line still remains – stock photography needs to contain a strong commercial subject and concept, while being useful to designers. It’s unlikely you’ll make much of a success from pictures of your kids, pets or garden flowers because these areas have been comprehensively covered.

Likewise, applying multi-filtered effects or creative crops will have a negative effect on your sales because buyers will find limited potential when put in context with their specific projects.

Our original shot

The path to success is simple – plan and arrange a strong concept shoot, compose your images with plenty of room for potential titles and/or copy, and edit your Raw files in a sympathetic manner that enhances the photo while minimising any further effects of compression artifacting.

Shooting in a Raw format is generally advisable because this allows some flexibility when running your initial processing.

Bundled along with Photoshop, Adobe Camera Raw provides some basic editing tools that can often provide the fundamentals needed to get your images virtually up to standard, assuming your photography skills are reasonably strong. Try to avoid burning out highlights or blacking out the shadows because these can never be salvaged.

Although it’s basic, Camera Raw provides some effective tools that are all too often overlooked because many consider the tool to be a simple Raw conversion tool.

Take some time to understand at least the most basic contrast and colour correction tools because processing at this stage substantially reduces the amount of artifacting introduced in the later Photoshop processing stage.

Once you have your images in Photoshop, keep all of your edits as basic as possible so as to simply enhance the original photograph.

Remember that your image will be an asset within a bigger design, most commonly for online or print use, and designers putting together such material may want to further edit them to match a house style.

If you impose a texture or make generous use of post-processed effects such as cross-processing, then these edits may make your image unusable to many potential buyers.

One of the most important elements to consider is an image’s contrast, so use Levels to set your black and white points. Colour temperature or white balance adjustment is much simplified using a simple slider in Camera Raw.

Some diligent use of the Spot Healing tools is good for removing any sensor spots or unnoticed logos, and finally, some simple straightening or compositional cropping might be beneficial.

Once you’re happy with your edits, save your file first as an uncompressed TIFF, should subsequent work be necessary (following a rejection for an overlooked logo, for example) and finally as a JPEG at the highest setting possible, making sure not to upsample because this only degrades quality unnecessarily.

See the rest of this very useful article here

Fan Ho: finding love and light

If you are a bit fed up with photography as shown by the current crop of ‘art’ photographers, where concept is always more important than the moment you will enjoy these images

From The Guardian

Nicknamed ‘the great master’, Fan Ho is one of Asia’s most beloved street photographers, capturing the spirit of Hong Kong in the 1950s and 60s. His work shows a love of people combined with unexpected, geometric constructions and a sense of drama heightened by use of smoke and light

Fan Ho: A Hong Kong Memoir will be available this autumn


Approaching Shadow, 1954. Photograph: Fan Ho/AO Vertical Art Space


Private, 1960. Photograph: Fan Ho/AO Vertical Art Space


Afternoon Chat, 1959. Photograph: Fan Ho/AO Vertical Art Space

See more of these lovely images here


How to make money from photography, part 5: shoot property for estate agents

From Digital Camera World, a series on making money from your camera.

Over the past five weeks we’ve been introducing you to new ways to make money from photography. We’ve looked at selling photos via stock photo agencies, running photography workshops and more.

Click here to read the full series on How to make money from photography

How to make money from photography: approach local companies

This week, in our final instalment of the series, we speak to photographer John Durrant, who turns a profit from photographing property. Via his Property Photographer website, John shoots houses and buildings on behalf of estate agents.

We spoke to John about how approaches these firms, how much he charges and how much you can expect to earn.


An old but pertinent joke goes, how do you make money from your camera?

Sell it

Photo Exhibitions: a first-timer’s guide to selling photos and raising your profile

From Digital Camera World

Photo exhibitions are a great way to sell your photos and raise your profile as a photographer at the same time. These tips from professional photographers will help get you started for launching your first photo exhibition.

Photo exhibitions take a lot of time, cash, organization and hard work, but are an effective sales tool. You’ll also get a real buzz from displaying work in a public space.

Top galleries won’t take first-timers for photo exhibitions, but a smaller gallery may display one or two prints. Venues such as hotels, cafes, libraries and bars are also good places. Make sure you’re happy with any terms and conditions. Galleries usually demand a commission, sometimes up to 50%.

The next step is to decide on a theme – random subjects and styles will rarely succeed. Generic themes can work well, but specific ones like ‘autumn’ or ‘asylum seekers’ will attract more attention.

Print quality must be exceptional, so consider printing your images at a commercial lab. Mount, frame and caption images in exactly the same way using simple yet stylish frames.

The next step is to tell people about your photo exhibition. Send out formal invitations as well as press releases to the local media.

On the night your photo exhibition opens, keep the refreshments flowing, your business cards at the ready and employ a second pair of hands to handle sales or answer queries when you’re busy.

Tips for organising your first photo exhibition

  • Print quality is paramount, but it’s also important to consider the print size. A3 will probably be the minimum for most venues, but for larger walls you may need to print at A2 or even A1.
  • Ensure that all your prints are consistent in terms of size, mounts, frames and captions. A slick presentation could pay dividends in terms of sales.
  • Sending out amateurish invitations and press releases is likely to do more harm than good. If in doubt, have them designed and written professionally.
  • Offering limited edition prints is a good way to give your work a more exclusive, desirable feel. Consider charging between 15 and 20 percent extra for limited edition prints.
  • On your opening night,employ a co-host who knows your work and can take orders / answer questions while you’re busy with any other guests.
  • see more here