Oxford School of Photography

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EXHIBITIONS \ Alexander Gronsky

I like to keep you updated on interesting looking exhibitions, it doesn’t matter where there are as we have followers all over the world, so if you can’t get to see them on the wall you can see them here. I was alerted to this photographer by someone we have featured before, Jane Buekett.

The Wapping Project Bankside is pleased to announce Estonian photographer, Alexander Gronsky’s first exhibition with the gallery.

Gronsky’s Pastoral series of large format photographs of Moscow’s suburban areas are reminiscent of the arcadian images created by 19th century landscape painters and reconstructs them in a way that jars with the romantic representations of a bygone era. Once defining borders becomes blurred in these photographs – the divisions between urban and pastoral, utopian and dystopian and the actors within these spaces are rendered ambiguous. Gronsky’s arresting use of colour and intelligent compositions are alluring, but these layered works are a study of how people inhabit a territory and what becomes evident in these images is the effect human life has on the environment in this Apothocene age.

Included in the exhibition are three works from Gronsky’s Reconstruction series that documents reenactments of historic Russian battles whilst simultaneously rendering them anachronistic with the inclusion of onlookers into the frame, constructed as triptychs, these works are filmic in nature and alludes to a panoramic view of an important battle whilst titles such as “Siege of Leningrad”are reminiscent of a Hollywood film. Continuing Gronsky’s study of perspective, in these works it appears formal whilst the colouring offers a certain flatness to the photographs.

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The images are very reminiscent of the work of Nadav Kander who I really appreciate, we have also featured his work before here and here , you can see more of Kander’s work on his site here

This link will take you to Alexander Gronsky’s site

The exhibition is here

The Wapping Project Bankside
Top Floor, The Bishop’s Palace
Ely House
37 Dover Street
London W1S 4NJ

14th April – 29th May 2015

André Kertész: the photographer’s photographer – in pictures

Henri Cartier-Bresson said: ‘Each time André Kertész’s shutter clicks, I feel his heart beating.’ Now, the Hungarian artist who pioneered photojournalism, influencing Cartier-Bresson and Brassaï, is back in the spotlight. To mark the 120th anniversary of his birth, France’s Artcurial is auctioning some of his most notable images – from a candid shot of Colette to a bricks-and-mortar view of the Eiffel Tower

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See more in The Guardian

Nikon D810 vs Canon EOS 5D Mark III comparison: full-frame DSLRs go head to head

If you are in the market for a top of the range full frame DSLR with expert video capabilities these two are probably in your thoughts, so it is very kind of Digital Camera World to do a comparison for you

The Nikon D810 launch might not have had the meteoric impact of its predecessors; it’s more evolution than revolution, after all. But Nikon’s latest high-resolution, high-end DSLR offers some key upgrades that shouldn’t be overlooked. Is this the camera that the D800/E should have been, and how does it shape up against the Canon 5D Mark III? Find out in our latest Canon vs Nikon comparison.

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The Nikon D800 and D800E have lasted barely two years and already they’re both being replaced – by one camera.

The new Nikon D810 is the latest in Nikon’s FX format full-frame DSLR line with a stack of sometimes subtle improvements designed to make the camera appeal to both photographers and filmmakers alike.

SEE MORE: Nikon D810 vs D800: is it time to upgrade?

Nikon can’t emphasise that last point enough. In fact, the D810 press release issued by Nikon USA highlights the D810′s video upgrades above all others. Nikon USA is also promoting D810 bundles tailored specifically to filmmakers and animators.

The Nikon D810′s price tag is just under £2700, with a release date set for July0. The new camera shares much in common with the outgoing D800/E, including sensor resolution, 51-point AF array and 3D color matrix metering III.

However, the D810′s sensor is a new design with the optical low-pass filter removed, the autofocus is upgraded to bring it in line with the Nikon D4s and it gets an expanded ISO range.

It might seem unfair to compare the Nikon D810 and the Canon 5D Mark III, Canon’s camera being from the same generation as the D810′s predecessor as it is.

SEE MORE: Canon EOS 5D Mark III review

But the price difference between the two cameras is relatively small, and Canon’s semi-pro full-frame DSLR still puts in a tremendous performance where Full HD video recording is concerned – the area that Nikon is keen to focus on with the upgrade of its D8XX line.

Let’s take a look at the key areas of comparison in this Nikon D810 vs Canon 5D Mark III head-to-head…

Here is the full report

LILLIAN BASSMAN talks to Rankin

You may remember the rather beautiful pictures by Lillian Bassman that we featured previously here well she has popped up again and this time talking to that man Rankin

Lillian Bassman entered the world of publishing at Harper’s Bazaar as a protégée of Alexey Brodovitch, the acclaimed art director of the magazine from 1938 to 1958. Initially a student on his Design Laboratory course, Bassman was given an internship at the magazine in 1941, and a permanent title four years later, when Junior Bazaar was launched. She stayed with Harper’s Bazaar until the 60s, and during this time she became a photographer. She was known to spend hours in the darkroom experimenting with unusual techniques, including using tissues to bring certain areas of a photograph into focus, applying bleach to change tone and washing prints in the bath to achieve dreamy effects. Her signature high-contrast, black-and-white, graphic-style images won her a new-found appreciation in the 90s, when a cache of discarded negatives resurfaced. Before her death in 2012, at the age of 94, Rankin had a conversation with Lillian Bassman about her career and the art of photography.

RANKIN: I’M A BIG FAN OF YOUR WORK. HOW DID IT ALL START FOR YOU?....want to know what she said? Go here

Lilian Bassman

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Five Ways to Improve Your Eye for Composition

Here is another post to get you seeing and shooting better. There is no doubt the best thing you can do is to practise your photography, that doesn’t mean practising taking great pictures it means learning by repeating techniques so that when you really need them you know them by heart. Imagine you were learning the piano you wouldn’t just sit and play pieces you would practise well do the same with your photography.

This article on Digital Photography School By: Andrew S. Gibson should help you by giving you some specifics to concentrate on

An eye for composition is one of the things that elevates the work of the best photographers above the rest. One of the best ways to learn about composition is focus on applying one idea at a time. You can treat it as an exercise that will help you improve your composition skills, the same way that piano players practice scales. Here are five ideas to get you started.

#1 Use a single lens

Lenses have an enormous influence on the look of a photo, and the best way to learn exactly what effect they have is to spend some time using just one lens. Ideally it would be a prime lens, but if you have a zoom you can use a piece of tape to fix the lens to one focal length (some lenses have a locking switch you can use instead).

If you use a single focal length you will become intimately acquainted with its characteristics.

While it is useful to own multiple lenses, the ability to switch from one to another may mean that you don’t get to know any of them very well. This exercise helps overcome that tendency.

Improving Composition

Improving Composition

 #2 Work in black and white

Improving Composition

My favourite recommendation for learning more about composition is to work in black and white.

Colour is such a powerful element that it dominates most photos. It becomes more difficult to see and appreciate the underlying building blocks of composition liketexture, line, pattern and tonal contrast. Take colour away and all these things become easier to see; once you are aware of them, you can start using them to improve the composition of your photos.

For example, in the black and white photo above, did you notice the shapes in the photo? I’m referring to the white rectangle of the cinema screen (yes, that’s what it is), the shapes of the Chinese letters and the diamond pattern in the stones on the ground. All these things are easier to see in black and white.

Do you want to see the next three ideas…..go here

CBRE Urban Photographer of the Year 2014 – winning images

The theme of this year’s competition – Cities at Work – challenged photographers from around the world to capture the beauty and day-to-day reality of working life. The overall winner of the CBRE sponsored competition was German photographer Marius Vieth with his striking image ‘Masks of Society’

I found this in the Guardian, these images are all worth your time, go and have a look here

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Overall winner – Urban Photographer of the Year
Mask of Society  Photograph: Marius Vieth

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1pm: Beijing, China
Nappers  Photograph: Aron Suveg

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Winner – Europe, Middle East and Africa region
Dancing in the Street  Photograph: Carlos da Costa Branco

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7pm: Santiago de Compostela, Spain
An Exhibition Photograph: Manuel Paz-Castanal

These are all so good you have to go and look at the others here

this is a link to the organisers website

PhotoStartSheet – Best Photo Links – the one place where every link you will ever need is listed

You know how it is, you are trying to look something up, you start with google, sometimes it is there first time but so often you are sent down blind alleys by advertising that you didn’t realise was advertising. Well here is a page of links that really does cover everything you are likely to need, although I am a bit pissed off that under UK Workshops The Oxford School of Photography is not listed, they clearly haven’t done their homework completely. Any way this is a really excellent resource, book mark it and use it for everything you need about photography.

The Photographers Start page

I always like to include pictures on every post but there are no obvious contenders for this one as it is just about links to other photographic related sites so I have chosen this picture of Isambard Kingdom Brunel by the launching chains of the SS Great Eastern by Robert Howlett, 1857 because it has more links than any picture that I can think of

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99 Common Photography Problems (and how to solve them)

From Digital Camera World.

You know how so many of these types of lists are full of useless information, well this one on the first page addresses questions I am regularly asked in class which means it is a really useful list. How about full frame sensor or cropped sensor, or micro four thirds or the same but without the micro bit or how many focussing points do you really need? All good questions. Go here for some answers

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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

Remembering the work of Shirley Baker

I was at a talk recently where it was said that there no places for a discussion or reporting about serious photography. In some ways I agree, newspapers have yielded to the might of the blog but each of our major broadsheets still feature photography, The Telegraph, The Guardian, The Independent , The Denver Post,  On the BBC website Phil Coomes writes so well and brings new work to our eyes. This week he has an article about Shirley Baker, a photographer I had never heard of before.

One of the leading photographers of the past century, Shirley Baker, sadly died towards the end of September. Here Tom Gillmor, of the Mary Evans Picture Library, who are guardians of her archive, pays tribute to her work.

Shirley first contacted Mary Evans Picture Library in early 2008. From looking through the first few printed pages she sent to me, featuring a mass of small contact photographs, I was immediately struck by a body of work of terrific quality and amazing potential. Shirley’s work in Salford and Manchester (shot mainly between 1960 and 1973) captured a time of rapid social and economic change in the lives of working class people in Manchester and Salford.

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Read all of the article here