Oxford School of Photography

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Monthly Archives: March 2017

‘I take portraits of gods’: Nobuyuki Kobayashi

With his gorgeous and patiently realised black and white images, Kobayashi searches for a spiritual dimension in the calm beauty of nature. Using a large-format 8×10 camera, the platinum palladium printing technique and sumptuous paper, Kobayashi fills his nature photography with a deep sensuality. An exhibition of his work, Portraits of Nature: Myriads of Gods, is at Sway Gallery, London, to 28 March. All photos: Nobuyuki Kobayashi

As seen in The Guardian

'I take portraits of gods': the photography of Nobuyuki Kobayashi – in pictures

Kodou Platinum prints allow for deep dark tones and create a beautiful matte finish

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Souzou Kobayashi prints on Hosokawa paper, a product that has been made in the same way since 1642. He says he uses this paper to add a ‘Japanese identity’ to his work

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Zen ‘I just keep walking around until I can find a place that incites my emotions,’ says Kobayashi. ‘I feel as though I am not the one who finds places to shoot but am led there by places’

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Shin ‘Strength, beauty and nobleness: all characteristics reveal themselves to me’

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Fake News, Fake Images the world of stock photography

From the BBC, a place not adverse to using images that are of the poorest quality simply because they were taken by someone “there” (as in are you there, send us your pictures) doesn’t matter how bad they are!

There is a place where no emotion is understated. A place that pioneered “post-truth” before it was discovered by politicians. A place where both triumph and disaster are met with… perfect dentistry.

This is the land of stock pictures.

Even if you wanted to avoid it, you’ll have been there. News websites and social media have spread the air-brushed nirvana of stock pictures further than ever before.

They are part of the click-bait culture, exaggerated and attention-seeking.

But what kind of messages are they sending? Are they reinforcing stereotypes? Or do they do the opposite and create a fake utopia of gender and racial equality?

Lost that loving feeling?

So it’s all over then. I thought things were looking bad for our relationship when you walked into the living room in a business suit and carrying half of a broken heart and a portable partition. We’ve all been there. Be strong.                                   Thinkstock

OK Computer

Technology is always fake in stock images. Just as stock image people often live in empty rooms, the gadgets they use are blanks. This image showing “good news” is baffling on every level. If this is good news – what does tragedy look like? Thinkstock

Melting Pot

“Business meeting, diverse.” Diverse, maybe. But completely bonkers. Imagine going to an away day with these smiling zealots. And any real meeting has at least half the participants surreptitiously checking their mobiles. This is a glimpse of the end-times, with flipcharts.                                                                                           Thinkstock

So next time you see a picture on the web, in a sales document, in fact almost anywhere that is not real think of stock photographers slaving away to bring you fake images.

See the rest of this article and examples on the BBC website here