Oxford School of Photography

insights into photography

Tag Archives: Flickr

Cloud Storage

When I am teaching I am often asked about cloud storage as a means of backing up images. It seems to me that most people shoot a lot and backing up to the cloud is OK if you have a fast broadband connection but there is the additional issue of cost. We have been seduced by the likes of Google and Amazon offering free or cheap storage but when that free storage is say 30GB that is not much use when you are regularly filling 32GB cards with images. Then came the options of unlimited storage, Amazon were one of the first in on this and it seemed a good deal but as we now learn from DIYPhotography this is coming to an abrupt end and if you have Amazon as your storage you have to look at what you are using because otherwise it might all disappear.

Clouds above Sydney Opera House

Clouds above Sydney Opera House

 

Google have been pushing people towards Google Photos as a means of cloud storage and you get 15GB free, less than one card! a 1TB of storage is $10 a month. Currently I use 3TB external hard drives to back up my images, so that would cost me maybe $30 a month with Google.

Cloud storage is fine if all you do is back up your phone snaps but for any serious photographer the cloud is adding to the expense. So you say external hard drives connected to the computer cost too, this is correct, my Western Digital drives cost about £70 so in 3 months or so I get free storage and the peace of mind knowing Google etc are not tracking my images.

I still like Flickr you get 1TB (1000GB) free and if you want a more pro feel you can upgrade for about £32 a year. It allows for RAW file storage unlike Google and although 1TB is not enough for all my images I use it for my personal work. The trick would be if you want more than 1TB then have more than one account, break your storage down into subject areas.

 

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The Taj Mahal: 26 Images from Traditional to Unique

If you have ever had the opportunity to visit The Taj Mahal you will know that everywhere you point a camera there are pictures you want to take, and at the same time every picture you see has already been photographed by someone else. This can be frustrating, trying to find something new from one of the most photographed buildings in the world. But then you shoot anyway because whatever you capture is yours. Interestingly the towers on the corners are built leaning but look straight from a distance, at least that was what I was told by a guide, then again he could have been having a laugh at my ignorance. These pictures are not groundbreaking but are a good selection of what can be achieved from the obvious to the inventive. From those nice people at Light Stalking What these pictures prove is that a photographer requires patience and planning. Planning to be at the location when the light is just perfect and patience to wait.

Travel photography always acts as a great push for me, that saying “a photographer needs to see as a child or as a tourist….for the first time” is always easier in another country. Last year I went to Syria and here are some of my pictures, you may be interested, this year I am off to Libya to see Leptis Magna. If you doubt my reasons for Libya have a look at the pictures

24 Blue Hour Photographs for Inspiration

From those nice people at LightStalking The blue hour is that beautiful period of time that isn’t quite day time and isn’t quite night time. The quality of light thrown off is an absolute gift for photographers who can really use that quality of light to produce special colors in photography. It’s had enough of an impact on the general public for at least on restaurant in every city to be called L’Heure Bleue too. This collection should show you why it’s such an inspiration to people.

Tom Palumbo – Paris

Palumbo has work on the Flickr site, his Paris images are atmospheric and beautiful.

Images from Paris cafés and nightlife in 1962, the same week Yves St. Laurent’s runway show vaulted Dior to new heights.

here is the link to the Flickr photostream http://www.flickr.com/photos/tompalumbo/sets/72157604469886784/

How to Get Genuine Feedback On Your Photographs

In many of our courses we set up a blog site where students upload their assignment images. This is to allow us to see progress but also to enable the students in a particular group to interact and comment on each others’ pictures. This is universally seen as a really good process, everyone wants feedback and getting it from your peers who understand what you are trying to achieve is hugely valuable. There are many online sites where you can upload your pictures for comment but these often become very anodyne and the process is one of mutual back slapping. The nice people at Lightstalking have also recognised this as a problem and have introduced The Shark Tank, the name is much scarier than the experience. Once a member of Lightstalking, which is free, you can upload your pictures for constructive criticism, I have looked at the early images and commenters and it is hardly a Shark Tank but I am sure it is useful. Here is what they say about the Shark Tank

When you start getting into photography, it’s very easy to get swept up in the awesomeness and friendliness of the online photography community. People love sharing photos online in places like Flickr and 500px, commenting on websites about how much they love each other’s photographs and getting that instant satisfaction that community and encouragement brings. And that is great.

But there’s also a slight problem with how this has evolved. You see, online there is a very strong convention steeped in manners and not offending people that is very easy to see reflected in photography communities. In many cases, this is a necessary thing to avoid communities devolving into a home to online sociopaths and trolling. And that’s fair enough, but it makes it difficult to get genuine feedback on your photography……

Welcome to the Shark Tank

It’s a problem we have been thinking about for a while at Light Stalking and this is what we have come up with.

We have built a specific sub-forum in Light Stalking called The Shark Tank.

Here’s how it’s going to be:

  1. Only Constructive Negative Feedback Is Allowed – This forum is ONLY for constructive negative feedback. All positive comments will be deleted (see the note below).
  2. A Spirit of Camaraderie and Humour is Essential – We’re all in this together and things can obviously easily get heated if we don’t all approach it in the spirit in which it was intended. Reading this forum with a smile on your face is highly recommended!
  3. A Thick Skin is Essential – It can be tough hearing negative feedback about your images. But remember, we are restricting people – they are NOT ALLOWED to post positive feedback so do not take their negative critique personally. Take their feedback in the friendly manner it is intended.
  4. Give to Receive – If you want critiques on your own photographs, make sure you offer your constructive ideas on other people’s work too.  
  5. You would benefit from seeing images and reading comments but you would get much more out of the process by getting involved so go and have a look.

Click Here: How to Get Genuine Feedback On Your Photographs

Is It Worth Sticking With Flickr?

Flickr is fast approaching it’s ten year birthday and has had over 8 billion photographs uploaded to it but in recent years it has been overtaken by services like 500px, Instagram and even Facebook when it comes to deciding where to share your photos on the web. It’s not so much that Flickr was offering a bad service, it was just offering almost the same service as when it started up.

After rumours that Yahoo! may be looking to let Flickr go or even close it down a new CEO, Marissa Mayer, was appointed mid-way through last year and things have started to change. So is it worth sticking with Flickr? Let’s look at the pros and cons…read more here

On Lightstalking  Mark McGowan writes. Mark is a UK based urban landscape and architectural photographer, looking for the hidden details of city life, trying to show the city from a different point of view. You can visit his website here.

Alison Ryde

Alison Ryde

The Oxford School of Photography Flickr group can be found here

Click Here: Is It Worth Sticking With Flickr?

15 Thoughts on Fine Art Photography Composition

By  on Lightstalking

What are the most important aspects of composing a Fine Art Photograph?  The answer to this question certainly varies from photographer to photographer because each of us places more importance on some aspects than on others.  What follows is what I personally consider to be the most important aspects of Composition….

Much of what Alan says I think is fundamentally true and good starting points to think about photography as a medium for art. I do think that art is a much wider subject than can be addressed by consideration of composition, the definition between fine art and photography as a medium for art is a strongly debated. Just search ‘define fine art photography’ to see how difficult it is to nail a definition. Wiki says

Fine art photography is photography created in accordance with the vision of the artist as photographer. Fine art photography stands in contrast to photojournalism, which provides a visual account for news events, and commercial photography, the primary focus of which is to advertise products or services.

We don’t have to believe or agree with everything in the Wiki world though.

So basically is anything that is not photographed for the purposes of making money art? But that can’t be correct, just look at a site like Flickr to recognise that most people using cameras are not artists they are at best recordists.

These are questions we pose of our students in our Intermediate Photography course, our aim is to stretch their understanding of photography and to encourage them to incorporate these ideas within their own work. To help them to stop just recording what is front of them and to start using their cameras as a means of expressing their ideas.

Here are  of Alan’s suggestions about making images with the intention of creating fine art. As I say I don’t disagree with any of these but I don’t think adhering to a set of rules can create art, fine or otherwise. I think that art is in the intention of the creator, therefore if you intend to make an image that is more than mere representation then you are attempting to create something with art at it’s foundation. Using Alan’s suggestions may certainly help.

Rhine 2 by Andreas Gursky; this is the most expensive photograph ever sold and is considered by some criteria as a pinnacle  of photographic art. What do you think?

Screen shot 2012-11-08 at 17.31.11
Click Here: 15 Thoughts on Fine Art Photography Composition by Alain Briot (With Photos)

28 Cute and Beautiful Photographs of Penguins

I have a relationship with wildlife photography that is difficult to resolve. I know I will never manage to get the fantastic shots we can see on Wild Life Photographer of the year, in fact I am unlikely to get the sort of shots your local wildlife photography group will get. The reason is three fold, I do not have the patience to wait for animals to do their thing, I do not have suitable equipment as buying a 400mm f2.8 would be an excessive expense, I don’t like being cold or wet. Does this mark me out as a photographer who is not prepared to go that extra bit to get better pictures, well no because I do in my professional work or when I travel, I will happily sit and wait for the sun to get lower to achieve the shot I want. Even so I do enjoy pictures of wildlife and when I do have a camera in hand and some fauna does it stuff in front of me I am as likely as the next to start taking pictures. Sadly the results rarely get close to those of wildlife photographers.

I was in Australia throughout December and early January and was thrilled to see Fairy penguins at Bicheno in Tasmania. They came leaping out of the sea at about 8.30 at night to roost in their burrows in the sand dunes. It was too dark to take pictures, next morning I saw emu at a distance, I didn’t have a lens long enough and I saw an echidna but by the time I was ready he was heading off into the bush. At the Jelong caves in the Blue mountains I saw rock wallabies and surprisingly a duck billed platypus. Admittedly I had to get up at 5.30 in the morning to catch the platypus but as someone said they are rarer than whales and I managed to get a picture. So I do not do wild life photography. I leave it to those who have nothing better to do with their time than sit and wait, sometimes for weeks, for the animal to perform in front of their lens. These intrepid photographers will always do a better job than I could and looking at their pictures will always bring me more pleasure than looking at my own poor substitutes.

Here then is a gallery brought to you by Lightstalking of penguins, there are lots of pictures so worth visiting the Lightstalking site here


penguin group small by Antarctica Bound, on Flickr


/.\ by Anne Froehlich, on Flickr

In case you are interested here is my picture of the duck billed platypus, this is a rare image partly because of the animal depicted and partly because I had to get up before sunrise.
_MG_2154©Keith Barnes
_MG_2036©Keith Barnes

 

The Smart Threat: How mobile phones are forcing camera manufacturers to evolve

From Olivier Laurent at the BJP a very interesting article plotting the advances in smartphone camera technology and the response by camera manufacturers.

The rising popularity of smartphones is now forcing traditional camera manufacturers to reassess their strategies by offering devices that can, for example, connect to the internet easily. Nikon, for example, released the S800c, a compact camera powered by Google’s Android system, which allows users to download applications that can help email and share images on social networking websites such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Flickr….A few years ago, the Nikon and Canon brands used to dominate the charts on Flickr’s Camera Finder, which tracks the most-used cameras on the image-sharing website. But since the release of Apple’s iPhone, as well as many other smartphones by the likes of HTC and Samsung, camera phones have taken over. Last month, the iPhone 4S and iPhone 4 were ahead of Canon’s EOS 5D Mark II and 550D, with compact cameras failing to appear in the top 10 of the most-used cameras on Flickr..…MORE

galaxy-camera-rightSamsung’s Galaxy Camera offers 3G, 4G and Wifi connectivity and is powered by the latest version of Android, making it a truly connected camera.

The full monty of photography links and tutorials

From Toad Hollow via Lightstalking

The internet plays host to so many fabulous photographers and artists, and Toad Hollow Photography searches high and low every week trying to find the best links to tutorials, great photography and blogs of interest to share with everyone here.  This week’s list is chock-full of awesome images and great posts by a wide variety of super-talented people.  We really hope you enjoy checking out the photographs and posts as much as the Toad did in bringing this list to you.

TUTORIALS

Top 7 Natural Light Portrait tips that I’ve learnt – a fabulous list of tips and tricks for doing portrait photography in natural light settings.  Tristan Jud outlines a short series of thoughts here that can really help you make the most of this genre of image production.

DIY: Keep Your Turkey Company with Beautiful Photo Place Holders – what a neat idea!  With the Thanksgiving Holidays nearly upon our American friends now, this timely article shows how you can incorporate great photography into dressing up the dinner table.  This step-by-step tutorial takes you through the entire process.