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Oxford School of Photography
insights into photography
Monthly Archives: March 2015
The photographer who broke the internet’s heart
March 31, 2015Posted by on
It cannot be denied that the internet throws up many confusions. So much of what we understand to be true may not be so, or may be partly so, or completely true. This is an example of how the receiver or in this case viewer applies their own expectations upon an image
Thousands online have shared an image of a Syrian child with her hands raised in surrender – but what is the story behind it?
Those sharing it were moved by the fear in the child’s eyes, as she seems to staring into the barrel of a gun. It wasn’t a gun, of course, but a camera, and the moment was captured for all to see. But who took the picture and what is the story behind it? BBC Trending have tracked down the original photographer – Osman Sağırlı – and asked him how the image came to be.
It began to go viral Tuesday last week, when it was tweeted by Nadia Abu Shaban, a photojournalist based in Gaza. The image quickly spread across the social network. “I’m actually weeping”, “unbelievably sad”, and “humanity failed”, the comments read. The original post has been retweeted more than 11,000 times. On Friday the image was shared on Reddit, prompting another outpouring of emotion. It’s received more than 5,000 upvotes, and 1,600 comments.
Accusations that the photo was fake, or staged, soon followed on both networks. Many on Twitter asked who had taken the photo, and why it had been posted without credit. Abu Shaban confirmed she had not taken the photo herself, but could not explain who had. On Imgur, an image sharing website, one user traced the photograph back to a newspaper clipping, claiming it was real, but taken “around 2012”, and that the child was actually a boy. The post also named a Turkish photojournalist, Osman Sağırlı, as the man who took the picture.
Read the full explanation here
EXHIBITIONS \ Alexander Gronsky
March 30, 2015Posted by on
I like to keep you updated on interesting looking exhibitions, it doesn’t matter where there are as we have followers all over the world, so if you can’t get to see them on the wall you can see them here. I was alerted to this photographer by someone we have featured before, Jane Buekett.
The Wapping Project Bankside is pleased to announce Estonian photographer, Alexander Gronsky’s first exhibition with the gallery.
Gronsky’s Pastoral series of large format photographs of Moscow’s suburban areas are reminiscent of the arcadian images created by 19th century landscape painters and reconstructs them in a way that jars with the romantic representations of a bygone era. Once defining borders becomes blurred in these photographs – the divisions between urban and pastoral, utopian and dystopian and the actors within these spaces are rendered ambiguous. Gronsky’s arresting use of colour and intelligent compositions are alluring, but these layered works are a study of how people inhabit a territory and what becomes evident in these images is the effect human life has on the environment in this Apothocene age.
Included in the exhibition are three works from Gronsky’s Reconstruction series that documents reenactments of historic Russian battles whilst simultaneously rendering them anachronistic with the inclusion of onlookers into the frame, constructed as triptychs, these works are filmic in nature and alludes to a panoramic view of an important battle whilst titles such as “Siege of Leningrad”are reminiscent of a Hollywood film. Continuing Gronsky’s study of perspective, in these works it appears formal whilst the colouring offers a certain flatness to the photographs.
The images are very reminiscent of the work of Nadav Kander who I really appreciate, we have also featured his work before here and here , you can see more of Kander’s work on his site here
This link will take you to Alexander Gronsky’s site
The exhibition is here
The Wapping Project Bankside
Top Floor, The Bishop’s Palace
37 Dover Street
London W1S 4NJ
14th April – 29th May 2015
March 29, 2015Posted by on
World city panoramas transformed into 360-degree globes
March 26, 2015Posted by on
These are pretty and amazing, so pretty amazing. I have an app, as we all do, but this one I have is called Small Planet and it creates worlds from pictures taken with my phone, impressive. Then again there are these images which go far beyond my clever little app.
As see on The Guardian Website The stereographic projection technique was used to convert aerial panoramas of cities including Paris, Sydney, Shanghai and Chicago into mini-globes.
Paris, FranceThe Champs-Élysées
The 360-degree aerial panoramic photos were taken for AirPano, a Russian not-for-profit project created by a team of enthusiasts
St Petersburg, RussiaPeterhof palace
Sao Paolo, BrazilOctvio Frias de Oliveira Bridge
Sydney, AustraliaSydney Opera House
The original photograph was usually taken from a helicopter, although sometimes the team used a plane, hot air balloon or drone
Want to see the rest of these rather wonderful images go here
Here are some of mine using Small Planet, no helicopter, plane or drone required
Radcliffe Square, Oxford
Sydney Opera House
Oriel Square, Oxford
Best camera phone: which should you buy?
March 25, 2015Posted by on
I have to front up and say I just don’t like camera phones, there are so many reasons, the only thing I do like about them is you tend to have them with you all the time. As the saying goes the best camera is the one you have with you.
This long article, reviewing a whole bundle of camera phones (does that mean they are phones first or cameras?) ends up with a conclusion that is based on whether you are an Apple or Android. Anyway here is the conclusion page which is all you need but there are links to the reviews. Go here for the conslusions
Tech Radar says: The good news is that none of the phones in the test produce particularly bad images. If other aspects of the phone appeal to you then you shouldn’t be left disappointed with any one of these handsets.
However, if photography is your main concern, there are some careful considerations to be made here. If you’re likely to be photographing a lot, then the operation of the camera is probably one of the biggest aspects to consider.
When it comes to image quality, probably the most important thing to consider here, there are some phones that stand out particularly well in one area, and others that are decent all-rounders.
If you can’t be bothered to click through the answers is iphone 6 or the Sony Xperia Z3
10 Ways to Change Lives Through Photography
March 23, 2015Posted by on
This article by Jason D. Little on Lightstalking is aimed at an American audience, we have them too on our blog, lots of readers in the US, however the ideas put forward can be used in any country. Not everything we do has to generate income or even be considered a beautiful picture, we have the skills to make memorable images and putting that skill to good use is a valuable asset we have. Thinking about how you can volunteer for a worthy cause or even just something you are interested in that would benefit from your skills can give you a massive boost and help others. I think the most important thing we can do on this earth is help others, you don’t need religion to be a good person, and we can do that through our photography.
I had the most fun one time shooting a calendar pro bono for a delivery company that wanted to do a “Calendar Girls” calendar using their drivers doing deliveries around Oxford
Every photographer has his or her own reason — or reasons — for why they engage in this particular art form. For some, it may be a hobby that provides a distraction from the stresses of life; for others, perhaps photography just represents a piece to the puzzle of a diverse visual arts skill set. And because there are so many motivating factors behind why people do photography, there are sure to be nearly as many different ways of how people use photography — whether it’s to maintain a visual record of your family tree or to document a nation’s civil war or to share images of the day’s most mundane occurrences with friends online.
No matter how potentially disparate each one of us may be from another in terms of our background in and particular use of photography, I think one thing we can all agree on is that photography constitutes an opportunity to do something good for someone else, to bring needed attention to a worthy cause, to possibly change a life.
Here are a few ideas to help spark your photo-related philanthropy. READ THE ARTICLE HERE
DSLR vs Point and Shoot Camera
March 20, 2015Posted by on
I found a very good site by Photographylifefor no nonsense advice on even basic things, it’s called
here is Lola’s take on why you might buy a dslr rather than a compact camera, or in fact vice versa
Why would you pick DSLR vs Point and Shoot Camera or vice-versa? As DSLRs are becoming more and more affordable, a lot of people are wondering if it is time for them to switch to a DSLR and toss their point and shoot cameras. Nowadays, point and shoot cameras have a long list of features and capabilities, compared to even slightly older versions. GPS, face-detection, smile detection and many other new technologies are making their way into the point and shoot market, over-saturating it with new cameras and making it more difficult for people to choose the right camera for their needs. A similar thing is also happening in the DSLR world, where manufacturers are dividing the market into multiple segments, trying to capture a range of potential customers: from entry-level to advanced professional. But one thing for sure – there are many people, who are stuck in the middle, trying to decide whether they want to stay with their point and shoots, or bite the bullet and switch to a DSLR.
Photographers are sleepwalking into a ‘photographic Armageddon’, warn experts
March 19, 2015Posted by on
So the problems of maintaining a photographic archive are now in the mainstream. Once it was just curators and social historians who were worried about all the digital images that we produce. The problem is simple, most people do not edit, identify and name, or back up their images, add to that the uncertainty over future storage and we have an ‘armageddon’. Not sure that is actually such an appropriate word, end of the world would be armageddon. This article in Amateur Photographer explains some of the problems
This image by William Fox Talbot, showing Nelson’s Column under construction in 1844, brings history to life in 2015. It features in Salt and Silver: Early Photography 1840-1860, which runs at Tate Britain in London until 7 June [Photo credit: © Wilson Centre for Photography]
That’s the stark warning from the Royal Photographic Society (RPS) and Photo Marketing Association after Google vice-president Vint Cerf recently warned of a ‘digital dark age’ where data stored on computers will be lost for ever.
Turn the clock back 175 years when the emerging photographic trend of the day was more salt-print than selfie. Photography pioneer Fox Talbot was busy churning out prints from the earliest form of paper photography.
Yet, Fox Talbot’s work lives on today, bringing history to life in an exhibition at Tate Britain that documents daily activities and key moments of the mid-19th century, such as the building of Nelson’s Column.
These days, zillions of photos languish unsorted on computer hard drives and mobile phones in danger of being lost for ever if not properly archived.
Such concerns have been collectively voiced by the photographic industry for years. But the message carries extra resonance now that a Google big gun has fired a warning shot across the digital bows.
‘Cerf highlights a real concern for historians,’ observes RPS director general Michael Pritchard.
‘We are still looking at Talbot calotypes from the 1840s and I suspect we will still be able to enjoy these and today’s photographs, if they have been properly printed, in another 200 years.
‘I would be much less confident about anyone being able to view most amateur digital files, created today, in 200 years.
‘How we archive, preserve and make available digital images (and other digital files) for the future is a real concern for organisations such as the British Library and the National Archives and should be a matter of concern for all digital photographers.’
Newhaven Fishermen, c. 1845 by David Hill and Robert Adamson. A salted paper print from a paper negative, from Salt and Silver: Early Photography 1840-1860, now on at Tate Britain [Photo credit: © Wilson Centre for Photography]
I do think that there is a problem, in the long and short term. Almost everyday I have a conversation with someone who has thousands of pictures of their loved ones, their travels, their work etc on a computer without any identifiable back up system. The back up software I use on my Mac Carbon Cloner by Bombich uses the strap line, ‘your hard drive never fails when it is convenient’ so true . If you have any sense at all you will have a back up system. I have one external 3 TB hard drive that holds my images, a second identical that I back them up to and a third that I take home with me every night. People say why not use the Cloud, well simple answer, the amount I shoot it would cost a fortune, on Friday I did a shoot and used 68GB of memory. I prefer the physical on a hard drive but I do use the Cloud but not for work only for my personal images. The essence of the Cloud is that if you are going to use cloud storage you need to edit and the edit again and then edit again your images down to the bare minimum of the very best you have. How many sunsets do you need stored?
I am not convinced by the idea of conserving images we need to go back to old technology such as traditional black and white prints, converting digital files to negatives and then making prints. This also doesn’t solve the problem of colour prints that had nothing like the stability of black and white silver gelatin prints. Unbreakable, renewable, future proofed digital storage is definitely where the future should be. So although I agree with this article about the loss of generations worth of images stored on peoples’ computers, phones and whatever comes next is a dis, aster I don’t believe making prints is the answer, just too old school.
I enjoyed the comment in the article
She explains that her son has 2,000 pictures of the child ‘but they are in the cloud’ and she is afraid that companies operating cloud storage services will not be around for ever.
‘I asked my son, “What happens if [the cloud] just blows up?” He replied, “Come on, Mum, Apple is not going away.”’
But McCabe is fearful. ‘Did you ever think we’d drive down Lake Avenue and see Kodak buildings that have been dynamited?
‘Did we ever think that the 58,000 who were employed there would be down to 3,000-5,000 people? Never.
‘No one could have ever imagined that a name and a company that led this industry would be where it is today.
Kodak, where are they now?
Read the rest of the article here and DO SOMETHING ABOUT YOUR ARCHIVE!
Anna Atkins – photographer
March 16, 2015Posted by on
Anna Atkins was an English botanist and photographer. She is often considered the first person to publish a book illustrated with photographic images. Some sources claim that she was the first woman to create a photograph. No I hadn’t heard of her before today either, Google decided to use it’s doodle to tell us about her.
The Independent picked up on this and here is what they say
The Natural Light Cycle for Photographers
March 13, 2015Posted by on
From Jim Hamel at DPS were find this article that clearly explains the effect of daylight as we move through the day from sunrise to sunset, very interesting
Natural light is what landscape photography is made of. Other forms of photography rely heavily on flash, but most landscapes rely entirely on the sun’s rays as their light source. That natural light from the sun is changing every second of the day. A picture taken at 9:00 a.m. will look fundamentally different than picture taken at 7:00 a.m., even if it is a picture of the exact same subject, from the exact same angle, using the exact same camera settings and focal length. Therefore, understanding these changes that occur throughout the day is critical to improving your landscape photography. By understanding these differing lighting conditions, you will know how and when to be set up and ready to take your landscape photos.
These changes in natural light don’t just affect the overall lighting and exposure level of your photos, but also things like color and contrast. Different lighting will lend itself to different camera effects. So in this article we will take a quick walk through the times of day for the landscape photographer, focusing on the unique advantages and challenges of each.