Oxford School of Photography

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Daily Archives: September 11, 2014

Williams F1 Grand Prix Team- the tale of a shoot

A short while ago I was extremely lucky to be invited to photograph the Williams Formula 1 Racing Team. The brief was loose but based on the work of one of the world’s great photographers but given a twist that was my own. It started with a call from Angela Burt of Williams, asking about availability for a shoot and then a long conversation about what they were looking for, did they have any ideas, what was their time scale….the usual things. It turned out they had some very distinct ideas about what they wanted which I have to say is unusual, and a very short time scale which was not unusual. They showed me work of a very famous photographer and said something like this, but definitely in black and white. The final images were going to be used as prints in their new motorhome, this is a three storey, 21 pantechnicon construction that travels to every European Grand Prix, with restaurant, offices and top floor cocktail lounge. The discussions went backwards and forwards until we had a clear idea. The plan was for just one session but as is probably always the case in F1 only  two of the four drivers were available that day so it extended into three sessions at the Williams Factory in Grove. I took over a portable studio ending up using 6 lights. Here is a picture of the set-up.

Williams F1

Usually F1 teams look very serious and lacking in humour and I wanted to get away from that, I found them all to be very nice a friendly and I wanted to show that in the pictures. It took a little while to convince the drivers to lose the ‘focussed’ look that every other photographer wanted from them and to go with the flow a bit. The results were a great success, when Williams released some on their Facebook page there were thousands of comments and the Twitter feed went quite bonkers.

Susie Wolff.Frank Williams.Clare Williams

Felipe Massa.Susie Wolff.Clare Williams

Susie Wolff.Clare Williams

Felipe Nacer

You can see more of the pictures here

John Wilhelm creative, wild, crazy, surreal pictures to smile about

From Bored Panda

John Wilhelm is a 44-year-old IT Director at a Swiss university with a passion for photography and digital art.  Some of his most wonderfully creative photo manipulations are of his girlfriend Judith and their three young daughters – Lou (5.5 years), Mila (2.8 years) and Yuna (6 months). John agreed to share his awesome work with Bored Panda and give us an interview.

John‘s photos are surreal and eclectic. “I guess I watched just a little too much TV and played too many videogames when I was a kid,” he said, explaining his many sources of inspiration.

Although the photographs look like much fun, we all know that getting children to work with a photographer can sometimes be difficult. “I guess if you have a healthy emotional connection to your kids they can feel if something is really important for you and then they cooperate (and if they don’t there are still sweets and candies),” John told Bored Panda.

“Most of my images are heavily manipulated but not all of them are compositions. If an image works straight out of the camera I just improve it (beauty retouching, cleanup, level corrections, sharpening, colors and tones, emphasize light, etc.). What I really love is to bring different images together to create something completely new,” John said, explaining his manipulation techniques.

Be sure to read between the photos for more of John’s interview with Bored Panda! And if you like his work, check out these photos by creative dad Jason Lee.





see more and learn how here

Vladimir Antaki – shopkeepers

Counter culture: shopkeepers from around the world – in pictures

Vladimir Antaki has been documenting shopkeepers all over the world. His project was born from his desire to document and pay tribute to these ‘guardians of urban temples’ that we meet everyday without really noticing From the Guardian


Rachid the butcher in Paris. All photographs: Vladimir Antaki/Barcroft Media


Alyssa in Montreal


Richard surrounded by hundreds of items in Montreal


Terrence in his bookshop in Montreal. “Bookstores, you know, are also a form of community centers. A lot of people come here just to sit and browse and chat with their friends. I’ve had people come in here, men and women who have met one an other and ended up getting married, for heaven’s sake.”

We teach about environmental portrait photography on our Portrait course

See more of Vladimir Antaki’s pictures here