Oxford School of Photography

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Tag Archives: California

The electrification of Los Angeles: a photographic history

The title of this piece gives little hint as the wealth of images held in the archive of the Edison Electrical Company. Los Angeles’ chief electrical supplier, Edison, commissioned photographers to document the electrification of the city. The result is an extraordinary archive of 70,000-plus images – some of them reproduced here – that form an evocative social portrait. This is an exceptional example of how industry used photography as a means of documenting their work but also showing the grand sweep of social history. It is a huge shame that industry, business, governments no longer consider the photographic image as important.


South Pasadena Recreation Center

South Pasadena recreation centerPhotograph: Doug White/The Huntington Library, Art Collections, and Botanical Gardens


People Living in all Electric Home, 1955.

People living in an “all electric home”, 1955Photograph: Joseph Fadler/The Huntington Library, Art Collections, and Botanical Gardens

Wilco Gas & Sieberling Tire Store, 1954.

Wilco Gas & Sieberling Tire Store, 1954Photograph: Joseph Fadler/The Huntington Library, Art Collections, and Botanical Gardens

Pokey's Restaurant, Beverly Drive at Santa Monica Blvd, Los Angeles, 1955.

Pokey’s restaurant, Beverly Drive at Santa Monica Blvd, Los Angeles, 1955Photograph: Joseph Fadler/The Huntington Library, Art Collections, and Botanical Gardens

Shopping Bag Market, Los Angeles

Pokey’s restaurant, Beverly Drive at Santa Monica Blvd, Los Angeles, 1955Photograph: Joseph Fadler/The Huntington Library, Art Collections, and Botanical Gardens

See more of this collection here

Thanks to The Guardian and   for alerting us to this



Captured: The 85th Anniversary of U.S. Route 66

Here is another excellent set of images from the Denver Post pblog series. This is a celebration of Route 66 and if like me you are drawn to the music of popular culture the name of this road is quintessential rock and roll. “”(Get Your Kicks on) Route 66“, often rendered simply as “Route 66“, is a popular song and rhythm and blues standard, composed in 1946 by American songwriter Bobby Troup.”

I must say though for me my interest in pop music is always about the future rather than the past and as such I devour the music blogs that bring me new sounds, my favourite is The Recommender based in Brighton but finding music from all over the world. On Friday based on The Recommender I went to see The Braids supporting Wild Beasts at a venue just across the road from my studio. The Braids were magical, powerful, inventive and absorbing, I liked Wild Beasts but sometimes they strayed too far into the world of Coldplay for my tastes. If you are interested you can hear the Braids here

Back to the photography, it seems that in the way rock and roll has become a tired medium so has Route 66, many of the images in this extensive selection show a route in decline, I have no idea why that is but it reminds me of the post we did on that other former music giant now in decline Detroit, Forgotten Detroit – 100 Abandoned Houses

If you would like to see the full set of images go here

Cars at “Cadillac Ranch” on historic Route 66  in Amarillo, 06 July 2003. As a tribute to America’s relationship with one of it’s favorite automobiles, a collective of artists called Ant Farm in 1974 placed 10 Cadillacs, ranging from a 1949 Club Coupe to a 1963 Sedan, in a wheat field located west of Amarillo.  Visitors are encouraged to draw or paint on the cars.  Cadillac Ranch is a popular stopping off point for tourists on historic Route 66 which stretches from Chicago to Los Angeles.  (ROBYN BECK/AFP/Getty Images)

A lone motorcycle rider travels on historic Route 66 across the western Arizona desert on the approach to Oatman, AZ, 12 July 2003. Route 66, 2,448 miles (3,939 km) of two-lane highway, was once the main artery between Chicago to Los Angeles. Between the early 1970’s and 1984 the road was slowly bypassed as Interstate 40 was built.  Now remaining sections of 66, including this desolate and winding 50-mile stretch from Kingman, AZ to the California border, still serve local traffic and attract motorcycle riders and tourists in search of classic Americana. (ROBYN BECK/AFP/Getty Images)

A motel stands abandoned on June 16, 2007 in Newberry Springs, California. (Photo by David McNew/Getty Images)

19 Of The Greatest Driving Roads On Earth

This is a bit of a diversion, sorry for the pun, and the pictures are not especially photographic but the roads do look magnificent, and if you love driving and carry a camera you will find this interesting.

“Here’s a rundown of what we believe are 19 of the most beautiful and challenging roads in the world.  If you’re a fan of negotiating challenging bends, with great views, long fast straights and little to no traffic – then it might be time to dig out your passport and book some time off work!”...……..more

NatGeo Traveler Photo Contest Winners 2011

National Geographic Traveler magazine has announced the winners of their 2011 photo contest! First place went to the photo shown here, taken by Ben Canales at Crater Lake National Park. Read the story behind the picture, and see ten other amazing winning photos at NatGeo here….

Photo and caption by Ben Canales

Here on my first time visit to Crater Lake National Park, I wanted to leave with an image that I could look back on and remember the experience. I was with a friend taking pictures also, and before I took the picture, I called over to him and said, “Hey man, watch this!” With a laugh, I spread my arms out and fell backwards into the snow. A second later, the camera timer clicked the shutter and the long exposure began. After the shutter clicked back closed, I stayed on the ground for a good while staring up mesmerized by all the sparkling stars overhead.

Photo and caption by Holly Baker

While visiting the WAGGGS World Centre Sangam, located in Pune, India, I had the privilege of attending the Bharat Scouts and Guides Thinking Day celebrations. These young ladies were demonstrating a game they were teaching us and I had just enough time to snap this photo before dropping the camera (literally) and joining in!