Oxford School of Photography

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Daily Archives: November 11, 2015

‘Beauty is truth, truth beauty’

This article is from an Oxford photographer and friend who understands why we love photography and expresses it so beautifully. I doubt you can read this essay and not want to look up the images mentioned



Two decades ago, when I first became interested in photography, one of my heroes was Julia Margaret Cameron. She was not fashionable, and is still derided in some quarters for her idiosyncratic approach to the medium — her soft focus, the ‘faults’ in her images, her refusal to retouch. But I loved all the supposed imperfections, along with her sculptural use of light and the stunning humanity of some of her portraits.

At that time, as now, Cameron’s work was not widely exhibited, but I learnt from a Virago profile of the photographer, by Amanda Hopkinson, that the Ashmolean Museum owned a small collection of prints. I made an appointment, went along to the print room, and was handed a pair of white gloves and a box of photographs over 100 years old. How simple it is sometimes to take a small step into a world you thought was closed…

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Taylor Wessing Photographic Portrait Prize 2015: David Stewart wins

We wrote about this award earlier in the year and showed the shortlist, you can see that post here

The winner has now been announced.

London’s National Portrait Gallery announced Stewart won the prestigious £12,000 award for his image that updates a photograph he originally submitted to the annual contest back in 2008.

In Stewart’s original photograph, his daughter and friends were about to start their GCSEs, and in the new version he re-staged the 2008 shot showing the same five girls having just graduated from university.


“I have always had a fascination with the way people interact – or, in this case, fail to interact, which inspired the photograph of this group of girls,” Stewart says. “While the girls are physically very close and their style and clothing highlight their membership of the same peer group, there is an element of distance between them.”

Organisers pointed out that this year marks for Stewart, from Lancaster, the 16th time he has had an image selected to appear in the Taylor Wessing Photographic Portrait Prize exhibition.

Second prize went to Anoush Abrar’s image of a young boy, inspired by Caravaggio’s painting Sleeping Cupid, while Peter Zelewski claims third prize for his image of a woman he spotted on Oxford Street while working on his series Beautiful Strangers.

Ivor Prickett won fourth prize for his portrait of a displaced Iraqi family who fled their village near Mosul after Isis took control of the area.

All the winning portraits will be on display as part of the Taylor Wessing Photographic Portrait Prize 2015 exhibition at the National Portrait Gallery from 12 November 2015 to 21 February 2016. Admission is £4.

No I don’t get it either although more interesting are the images that are rejected, many of these are collected for The Portrait Salon

International Garden Photographer of the Year 2015

Back in the winter the International Garden Photographer of the Year 2015 award announced it’s winners. The Guardian had an article and gallery of the images


The Ballerinas by Magdalena Wasiczek. Overall Winner
‘This stunning image of Hydrangea petiolaris is a worthy winner of IGPOTY. What I particularly like about the shot is the way the photographer has melted the rich purples and oranges of the hydrangea into the out of focus background, creating a delicious melange of colours. The focus on the single delicate hydrangea flower is spot on, creating a striking and unusual winter portrait,’ said Clive Nichols, IGPOTY judge


Parallelism by Jefflin Ling, first place in the Monochrome Photo Projects category


Vineyards, by Albert Ceolan. Winner of the Bountiful Earth category


You can see more of the gallery here

Here is a link to the IGPOTY site