Oxford School of Photography

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Category Archives: Architecture Photography

Architectural Photography Awards 2018 shortlist

The BBC has a gallery of images

from this year’s award and they are worth 5 minutes of your time

 

Abandoned places: the worlds we’ve left behind – in pictures

There is a great interest in what is known as Urbex Photography. This is the discovery  and photography of abandoned buildings, usually in an urban setting, we have featured these images often as they are so popular. New photographers are entering this arena and coming with their own take on the meme.

Kieron Connolly’s new book of photographs of more than 100 once-busy and often elegant buildings gives an eerie idea of how the world might look if humankind disappeared. Here are 10 evocative, stylised images of nature reclaiming the manmade world as seen in The Guardian

Rubjerg Knude lighthouse, northern Jutland, Denmark This lighthouse was built on the top of a cliff in 1900 and ceased operating in 1968. With coastal erosion and continually shifting sands a major problem in the area, it is anticipated that by 2023 the cliff will have been eroded so far that the lighthouse will fall into the sea. Photograph: Elisabeth Coelfen/Dreamstime

Rubjerg Knude lighthouse, northern Jutland, Denmark
This lighthouse was built on the top of a cliff in 1900 and ceased operating in 1968. With coastal erosion and continually shifting sands a major problem in the area, it is anticipated that by 2023 the cliff will have been eroded so far that the lighthouse will fall into the sea.
Photograph: Elisabeth Coelfen/Dreamstime

Rotunda, Wola Gasworks, Warsaw Opened in 1888, destroyed during the second world war, then rebuilt, the Wola gasworks finally closed in the early 1970s when the city switched to using natural gas. Today, part of the gasworks is a museum, but other areas, such as the rotunda, remain dilapidated. Photograph: Fotorince/Dreamstime.com

Rotunda, Wola Gasworks, Warsaw
Opened in 1888, destroyed during the second world war, then rebuilt, the Wola gasworks finally closed in the early 1970s when the city switched to using natural gas. Today, part of the gasworks is a museum, but other areas, such as the rotunda, remain dilapidated.
Photograph: Fotorince/Dreamstime.com

City Hall station, New York City Designed as a showpiece for New York’s new subway system, City Hall station (towards the southern tip of Manhattan) opened in 1904. It’s an elegant structure in Romanesque revival style with skylights, coloured glass and brass chandeliers, but because of its tightly curved platform longer subway carriages were unable to stop there. It was always a quiet station, and passenger services were discontinued in 1945. Photograph: Michael Freeman/Alamy

City Hall station, New York City
Designed as a showpiece for New York’s new subway system, City Hall station (towards the southern tip of Manhattan) opened in 1904. It’s an elegant structure in Romanesque revival style with skylights, coloured glass and brass chandeliers, but because of its tightly curved platform longer subway carriages were unable to stop there. It was always a quiet station, and passenger services were discontinued in 1945.
Photograph: Michael Freeman/Alamy

Uyuni Train Cemetery, Bolivia In the late 19th century, the Andean town of Uyuni served as a distribution hub for trains carrying minerals to Pacific ports. After the mining industry collapsed in the 1940s, the railways fell into ruin, leaving the trains to the harsh winds blowing off the Uyuni flats, the world’s largest salt plain. Today, though, the rusting, graffiti-covered hulks have become one of Uyuni’s attractions. Photograph: Javarman/Dreamstime

Uyuni Train Cemetery, Bolivia
In the late 19th century, the Andean town of Uyuni served as a distribution hub for trains carrying minerals to Pacific ports. After the mining industry collapsed in the 1940s, the railways fell into ruin, leaving the trains to the harsh winds blowing off the Uyuni flats, the world’s largest salt plain. Today, though, the rusting, graffiti-covered hulks have become one of Uyuni’s attractions.
Photograph: Javarman/Dreamstime

see more here

More Urbex here

 

The 40 best photos of London ever taken from Time Out

This is an interesting and varied mix of images found in Time Out magazine. Hard to know the criteria by which they have been deemed the best images of London ‘ever’ as there seems to be no discernible link or structure to them. In one instance a memorable news picture, Thatcher leaving Downing Street, in the next a man on the underground with nipple clamps. Clearly some have been chosen because they were taken by famous photographers and others because of the moment but the randomness is fun. Have a look, let me know what you think.

London, you’re beautiful. No, scrap that. London, you’re wild. Angry. Delicious. How do you sum up a city that changes its look as often as its underwear and always has plenty to say? That’s the challenge we set ourselves when we decided to draw up a definitive list of the best photographs ever taken of the capital. In making our selection we had help. Serious help: Wolfgang Tillmans, Juergen Teller, Nick Waplington, Dorothy Bohm and Eamonn McCabe are among the world-famous photographers who shaped our selection. We also picked the brains of the top London photography brass at museums including the Tate, V&A, Museum of London and Imperial War Museum. The result: a celebration of London’s architecture, its icons and its geography, but also of us: Londoners at work, at play, protesting, rising to a challenge and always ready for our close-up. 

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Ken Lennox: Margaret Thatcher leaving Downing Street, 1990

Downing Street has witnessed major political events, of course, but the actual drama mainly happens behind closed doors. Not so with Margaret Thatcher’s tearful, final departure from Number 10 in 1990, when it was hard to know which was more startling: the suddenness of her ousting, or the Iron Lady displaying human emotions.

© Ken Lennox/Mirrorpix

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Mo Farah winning the 5,000 metres at the London Olympic Games, 2012

We screamed a lot during the 2012 London Olympics: at the telly, at home, in pubs, and at each other. But nowhere was the din as loud as in the Olympic Stadium when Mo Farah claimed his second Olympic gold by winning the 5,000 metres. The sound of the 80,000-strong crowd was so loud that the camera at the finish line started to shake, warping the image. ‘Nothing captures the fervour, the noise and the enjoyment of London 2012 more than this image,’ says Time Out photographer Rob Greig. ‘It’s a picture taken by 80,000 people.’

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Bill Brandt: Francis Bacon, 1963

German-born Brandt produced mainly portraits and landscapes – and this study, ostensibly of the painter Francis Bacon, shows his mastery of both. It’s hard to tell which aspect is the most severe, the most sullenly evocative: the dark, stormy sky; the angled stripe of pathway up Primrose Hill; or the glowering snarl across Bacon’s face.

© Bill Brandt Archive

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Tom Hunter: Woman Reading a Possession Order, 1998

Bathed in a beautiful morning light, Tom Hunter’s young woman looks likes she’s stepped out of Johannes Vermeer’s seventeenth-century masterpiece ‘Girl Reading a Letter at an Open Window’. The narrative, though, is pure late twentieth-century. Fillipa is a squatter reading an eviction notice from Hackney Council. Hunter, at the time a fellow member of Hackney’s squatter community, shot the image for his ‘Persons Unknown’ series. It went on to win the John Kobal National Portrait award and has shown around the world. ‘I never envisaged this response to a photograph I took of my neighbour and friend in a squat one sunny morning in Hackney,’ he says. ‘But its intimate depiction of the mother and child in a moment of vulnerability seems to resonate in a universal way.’

© Tom Hunter

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Charlie Phillips: Notting Hill Couple, 1967

A cool shot of a stylish couple. What could be simpler? Taken at a party in Notting Hill in 1967, this isn’t the most immediately momentous of Charlie Phillips’s photographs, which include images of global icons such as Muhammad Ali and the first images of a fledgling Notting Hill Carnival, as well as intimate photos of Windrush-generation west Londoners. But it’s a picture that speaks volumes about London living and loving. As Phillips remembers, at the time being in a mixed-race relationship meant you’d get ‘louts shouting “nigger lover” from the windows of their cars as they passed’. Thankfully, those days are gone, but issues of race, visibility and Notting Hill’s heritage still occupy the photographer. ‘What really pisses me off,’ Phillips told us when we spoke to him last year, ‘is when they made that horrible film, “Notting Hill”. There wasn’t even one person of bloody colour in it!’

© Charlie Phillips/www.akehurstcreativemanagement.com

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Eve Arnold: One of Four Girls Sharing an Apartment, 1961

London in the early ’60s, before it began to swing, was really more like the ’50s: a little bit dismal, a bit pokey and dowdy – still dusting itself off from its postwar blues, not yet ready to embrace the Technicolor future. Arnold’s wonderfully moody photograph seems to capture that in-between era perfectly.

© Eve Arnold/Magnum

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Tim Peake: London from Space, 2016

We’ve all been high on a Saturday night but, orbiting 400 kilometres above the earth, British astronaut Major Tim Peake takes the (freeze-dried) biscuit for altitude. Shot from the International Space Station at midnight on Saturday January 31, 2016, his image of London, its skeins of twinkling lights shining brightest around Oxford Street and Regent Street, is the most recent image in our top 40 and the ultimate establishing shot. ‘I’d rather be up here… but only just!! #toughcall,’ Peake told Twitter as he flew past at 17,150 miles per hour.

© ESA/NASA

See the rest of the 40 best ‘ever’ here

This looks more interesting photography in London, exhibitions, competitions etc

World city panoramas transformed into 360-degree globes

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. 1992

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

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St Petersburg, RussiaPeterhof palace

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Sao Paolo, BrazilOctvio Frias de Oliveira Bridge

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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

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Radcliffe Square, Oxford

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Sydney Opera House

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Launceston, Tasmania

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Oriel Square, Oxford

How I shot an abandoned asylum – An interview with an Urbex Photographer

I found this on the photography pages of The Telegraph,

Urban explorers (Urbex) and their photographs have become extremely popular over the last few years, each post we make about the subject becomes one of our most popular at that time. It is hard to know why such images of desolation and decay are so riveting but they have great currency, at the end of this post I will list our other Urbex posts for you to follow if you wish

Fabiano Parisi talks to Lowenna Waters about photographing crumbling and deserted locations.

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Born in Rome in 1977, Fabiano Parisi began photographing abandoned mental asylums as part of his Psychology degree. It triggered a love affair with deserted locations that has taken him to the United States, Belgium, Germany, the United Kingdom, Eastern Europe and Russia. He’s snapped everything from a disused swimming pool in Woodridge, Illinois, to a derelict church in Żeliszów, Poland.

10 pro tips you can use in any genre of photography

From Digital Camera World, words of wisdom, or it’s obvious really but still worth saying

It doesn’t matter whether you like to shoot landscapes, portraits or still life photography, these ten tips from our guest bloggers at Photoventure  will help you improve your images time and time again…..

©Jane Buekett

©Jane Buekett

1. Keep it simple

As a rule it’s best to keep things as simple as possible. In the studio this may mean using two lights (or even just one) rather than three, or including fewer props, but it’s also a useful thing to remember when composing landscapes and still life.

Avoid complex, confusing scenes and look for compositions that have clean lines and nicely spaced elements.

When large format cameras were more common, many photographers claimed the fact that they showed the scene upside down and laterally reversed helped them improve their composition because they stopped seeing the subject as a recognisable object and instead saw a collection of shapes to be photographed in an attractive arrangement.

Modern cameras show the image correctly orientated (usually even if you review a shot and turn the camera upside-down) so you have to use your imagination to see images as shapes and patterns of light rather than objects.

See the other 9 tips here

Abandoned America: Amazing photos of a nation’s ruins

By Fiona Macdonald on The BBC website

There is a great interest in abandoned buildings, they somehow speak to our own fragility and remind us of what happens where we don’t look after things. The finding of and photographing derelict buildings is often called Urbex, (urban explorers) their motto is take nothing but photos, leave nothing but footprints

“People love to use Detroit as a poster child for the abandoned urban landscape … but it’s not just Detroit that is suffering from the loss of urban infrastructure. The collapse of industries has torn holes in the identities of many major cities,” says Matthew Christopher. The photographer began exploring abandoned buildings when looking at the history of mental health care in America, but soon widened his search. A new book, Abandoned America: The Age of Consequences, brings together his images of prisons, hospitals, churches and hotels. Christopher aims “to connect the dots, to show that it is not simply one type of structure or one geographic location that is affected”. His photographs reveal both decaying industrial giants and derelict domestic spaces

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you can see more of this here

more posts on Urbex here

Treasure trove of 60 barn-finds includes ‘lost’ Ferrari 250 GT SWB California Spider

30 abandoned structures that evoke more than just decay

‘The Ruins of Detroit’ by Yves Marchand & Romain Meffre

Urbex – Talkurbex

 

 

Treasure trove of 60 barn-finds includes ‘lost’ Ferrari 250 GT SWB California Spider

we get a lot of hits for our urbex posts and here, pictures of dishevelled buildings, but these pictures of the automobile equivalents will have petrolheads salivating with these exquisite images from Rémi Dargegen for Classic Driver

From Classic Driver

“Never again, anywhere in the world, will such a treasure be unearthed,” says Pierre Novikoff, motor car specialist at Artcurial auction house. He’s describing a staggering collection of 60 barn-find cars that have been discovered after lying hidden for 50 years.

And if you think he’s exaggerating, then let me quote our photographer, Rémi Dargegen, who reported back to us right after the photo-shoot, saying, “It’s amazing, just amazing. The place is incredible… the most impressive thing is the sheer quantity of cars hidden in the barns.”

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It all began with the grandfather of the family that currently owns the collection: back in the 1950s, he dreamed of conserving the heritage of pre-War cars in museum surroundings, focusing on the great French brands and famous body shops. This gentleman was an entrepreneur with a transport company in the west of France and he was a serious enthusiast: he even exhibited a roadster that he’d built himself at the Paris Motor Show in the 1950s. Sadly, during the 1970s, his dream fell apart when his business suffered a setback and he was forced to sell some 50 cars. After that, the rest of the collection stayed totally untouched, all these years, until its very recent discovery.

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Photos: Rémi Dargegen for Classic Driver © 2014

See all of these wonderful old cars and read the jaw dropping histories here

Oxford Photo Walk – October 11th

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

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©Keith Barnes

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©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

Photography Oxford Festival Exhibitions Highlights Part 3

I have only managed one venue since my last review but I wanted to alert you to the the work most worth seeing. Joanna Vestey has the best gallery experience anywhere in Oxford, it is her studio at 45 Parktown, easy to find, turn into Parktown from Banbury Road and go as far as you can and it is in the bottom left hand corner. The space cries out to be a permanent gallery, it has light and space and is just gorgeous. But to the pictures, two photographers Joanna and Drew Gardner . Joanna Vestey has a series called Custodians, it shows interiors of some of the most beautiful locations in Oxford, and some which may not be beautiful but are equally intriguing. The custodians of the title only take up very little space in the images, they are located but not dominant, there can be different interpretations of this but honestly it doesn’t much matter. The images are quite beautiful and so much better for being seen as prints than on a screen. I would recommend that you get down to 45 Parktown before the show closes.

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all © Joanna Vestey

It is possible that of all the exhibitions on show during the festival Drew Gardner may have received the most press coverage. The Telegraph for one, this is the premise of the exhibition titled Descendants from his site 

Born out of his passion for history, Drew recreates portraits of some of the world’s most famous historical figures featuring their direct descendants. After in-depth research tracing the direct descendants and verifying their lineage, the famous portraits are recreated with painstaking attention to the smallest of details. From sourcing the period costumes and props to the authentic backgrounds. Drew then carefully analyses the lighting in each portrait and patiently recreates them using the latest lighting techniques. The end results often show startling resemblances to their forebears.

The pictures are things to be admired there is no doubt, the attention to detail borders on the obsessive and they are stunning images, I just have the nagging feeling of ‘so what’. I doubt there are many people who could have made such remarkable facsimiles of the originals and the descendants do look like their forebears but I just wonder why so much effort was put into the work. Anyway it lead me to his website where I found much to like. The images as prints are so much more than they are on the screen so go to see them.

I suggest you go to Parktown to see Joanna’s pictures and grab a snap of her as a custodian in her own space and see the Descendants too

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all ©Drew Gardner