Oxford School of Photography

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Tag Archives: BBC News

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


Jessops goes into administration

Is it camera phones, is it the wonder web, what has caused the death of the high street camera shop?

customized-geek-coffins-2We learn today that Jessops has thrown in the towel and is in administration. The death of camera shops is a great loss to everyone interested in photography because where do you go now for personal advice and to get the chance to handle a camera you want to buy. I believe the fit of a camera to an individual is very important, I know that I cannot use small compact cameras because of the sausages on the ends of my hands which other people call fingers, that is important when buying a camera. I also know that I will never buy the Canon EOS 1D mk 3 because it is so heavy, how do I know, well because I had the chance to handle one in a camera shop. The internet has brought savings to our equipment buying but it has not brought a better service. Here in Oxford we used to have 5 camera shops, mostly staffed by knowledgeable and enthusiastic staff who wanted to help you buy the right camera for you, now we have none. The best Morris Photographic has moved to a small town about 20 miles away, to an industrial estate, still they exist, here is their web address in case you want to find them in the wilds of Oxfordshire

This article int The Telegraph tells the tale of Jessops demise, if you prefer the BBC go here


Photos show another side of Andy Warhol

Photographs of Andy Warhol in ladies’ wigs and full make-up have gone on display in the UK for the first time. His friend and collaborator Christopher Makos, who took the photos, talks about working with the patriarch of pop art.  By Ian Youngs Arts reporter, BBC News...more

Christopher Makos is an unusual photographer and his website is worth a visit

Warhol and the Diva is at The Lowry in Salford until 25 September. Christopher Makos’ new book Tyrants and Lederhosen, a collaboration with Paul Solberg under the name The Hilton Brothers, will be published in October.