Oxford School of Photography

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Tag Archives: Jane Buekett

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

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

S is for Simplicity: How Simplicity Will Improve Your Photography

The truly excellent  tom dinning writes on Lightstalking about the need to improve your photography by simplifying your images

In a complex world of action and vision it’s often difficult to separate the trees from the forest. In the early days of photography there was a tendency for photographers to emulate the painters or to use the photograph to assist the artist with his composition. The photograph was a means of recording the complexity of the world with all its detail. It was ‘real’. As photographers experimented with their new tool, they discovered that the photograph was also a way of simplifying the sometimes chaotic view before them. They could choose what would be ‘in the frame’ or not, eliminating the unnecessary and focusing on the important detail. 

The photographers were finding another language; the language of photography.

But often there were no words to describe what they had achieved, so they drew on existing words to define their pictorial vocabulary.

‘Simplicity’ is one such term. It was used to give a sense of ‘oneness’ in which the image could stand on its own and tell the story, that the contents contained nothing more in detail than was required by the photographer to achieve his purpose. READ ALL OF THIS ARTICLE HERE

 

©Jane Buekett©Jane Buekett

My great friend and superb photographer Jane Buekett understands simplicity, have a look at all her pictures here but as a taste a few..

©Jane Buekett

©Jane Buekett

summer9

lyme7

all images ©Jane Buekett
Click Here: S is for Simplicity: How Simplicity Will Improve Your Photography

Craft & Vision ebooks

You know I always say in class that if you don’t like your pictures don’t blame your camera. I meet so many people who would love to make better pictures and their route to doing so is to buy ever more expensive equipment. Don’t misunderstand me, I recognise that good equipment is important but one of my favourite photographers, Jane Buekett,  still only uses her Pentax K1000, that is not the digital Pentax, that is the the film one that is at least 30 years old. Actually that is not exactly true, the bit about Jane ‘only’ using her ancient film camera, I recently converted her to a bit of digital and now she carries a Canon G10 too. This is all beside the point, which is that on our courses we stress that the route to better photography is not through spending more money on cameras or lenses but by learning how to use them properly and how to improve your ‘eye’, your vision, your craft.

I have purchased many of the Craft & Vision ebooks because for me other peoples’ version of the things I do is valuable, another viewpoint, a different way of expressing is uplifting and re-affirming. It is for this reason I recommend you read Tom Dinnings Blog. One of the great things about the internet is the ability to engage with others who you may never meet but who share your version of being creative, your vision. That doesn’t mean they take the same pictures as you or that it is a mutual back slapping club but that you share attitudes and thought processes about how you make pictures. In class last night on our Intermediate Photography course a student, Sarah, explained that in German the term is distinctly to ‘make a photograph’ rather than the ‘take’ that we consider here in England. I definitely prefer the idea of making a photograph. What do you say wherever you are in the world, I would be very interested to hear, and does it infer a difference of approach?

Another photographer whose attitudes I concur with is the man behind Craft & Vision, David du Chemin, his work is completely different to mine, how I would enjoy his life for a short while, traveling almost continuously making images with the intention of making a difference. Go and have a look at his site, sign up to his blog.

So the Craft and Vision ebooks. As I said I have purchased a number, they cost almost nothing, are beautifully produced and interesting and informative.

Here is a link to their pages, go and have a look, save money on equipment, make better pictures

‘the true wonder of bloody everything, no less’ – Jane Buekett

The Photographers Workshop was originally a darkroom and studio hire centre. We opened in 1982, and at that time we were the only privately funded darkroom hire centre in the country. Our ethos was access to equipment and access to knowledge. The equipment when we started was better than many colleges of photography had and our tuition was given freely and on a 121 basis. we later ran courses but the most important part of what we did was to teach everyone at their level and at the speed they wanted to learn. In the subsequent years we went through transformations due to the rise of digital. We no longer have darkrooms and our teaching is now exclusively through courses and weekend workshops. One of the best things about the Workshop was seeing the development (no pun intended or otherwise) of people and their technical skills. People would come with a desire to make pictures and we made that happen for them.

So I thought it would be a good idea to track down some of the photographers, both amateur and professional (some started as one and became the other) who used our darkrooms in the distant past.

Today I would like to introduce you to Jane Buekett. I consider her pictures to be some of the most beautiful and mature images. Taste is an interesting thing, what some love others hate, no don’t even think of Marmite this is much more important than that.

Jane was to be found working in the darkrooms every week, either in the evenings or on a Saturday, quietly going about making gems.  As she quotes “I photograph to find out what something will look like photographed.” Gary Winogrand

She has a blog with a small selection of the thousands of images she must have made and some of her writing which like her pictures is a joy to read if not always joyful. Here is a link to her blog

I asked those alumni who responded to my requests for pictures and words, pictures from the past as well as pictures from now. Here are some of Jane’s images and later her words. The older work shows first

“I photograph to find out what something will look like photographed.” Gary Winogrand

When I joined the Photographers Workshop in the early 1990s I knew nothing about black and white photography except that I wanted to do it. On my first evening Norman McBeath showed me how to load and process film, make a contact sheet and a basic print. He was kind and encouraging, the process was magical, and I was hooked.

The workshop was very male: rather spartan, with loud music playing and a constant teasing and banter between staff and regular customers. All day people would be calling in to chat or have a coffee. I sometimes felt the place was more like a drop-in centre than a darkroom. But it became somewhere I felt very much at home.

I took classes there, I learnt to print from evening after evening of working at it and getting advice from whoever was on duty. I became obsessed with making pictures, with the silver print, and, like Gary Winogrand, with photographing things to see what they looked like. I had exhibitions at the workshop. I met people who became a big part of my life, I developed a passion, I learned to see.

I liked those Saturday afternoons in the darkroom, wearing my horrible printing shirt stained with hypo, and my yellow rubber glove, when my prints would be sharing the developer with wedding photos, professional portraits, a snapshot of someone’s cat, an artist’s photograph of the moon. Often it was frustrating – trying to make exhibition-quality prints with other people poking at my fibre-based paper or contaminating the chemicals with dirty tongs.

Today I have my own darkroom. The music is more tasteful. There is no-one accidentally pouring stop into the developer. I don’t have to compete to get my favourite enlarger. But I miss having someone to ask, ‘Does this print look OK?’

Jane Buekett

Die bleierne Zeit

Trüb ists heut, es schlummern die Gäng’ und die Gassen und fast will
Mir es scheinen, es sei, als in der bleiernen Zeit

(Gloomy it is today, sleepy are the pathways and lanes and it seems as almost, we are, in the leaden times.)

(Friedrich Hölderlin)

Wish you were here

©Jane Buekett

©Jane Buekett

©Jane Buekett

©Jane Buekett

©Jane Buekett

I hope you have enjoyed these and would like to see and read more, you can do so here