Oxford School of Photography

insights into photography

Tag Archives: Magnum Photos

Photography industry shows mass opposition to government copyright changes

More than 70 organisations representing photographers, agencies and picture libraries – from Associated Press, Getty Images, Magnum Photos to the Press Association, Reuters and Tate – have joined forces, urging Parliament to vote against proposed changes to UK copyright law, BJP can exclusively reveal………..”The reason why all these organisations came together is because these proposals to change the UK’s copyright law will have a serious adverse impact on everybody in the visual creative industry,” Serena Tierney, head of Intellectual Property at law firm Bircham Dyson Bell, tells BJP

This is not scare mongering, this law will have an impact on everyone who has ever uploaded an image and not placed meta-data and copyright information on the image. READ MORE HERE

‘Does Magnum Photos still make sense?’ A report

This report by Olivier Laurent in the BJP is interesting in the way that there seems to be a re-evaluation of what it now means to be a photographer. This section from part of the report makes me wonder how possible it now is to make a living as a photographer, if Magnum photographers have to consider whether it is food on the table or pursuing photography is there much left for the rest of us.

“If you want to pursue your personal projects, you have to give up other things,” says Majoli. “You have to reduce the cost of your life and dedicate a lot of time to what you want to do. It’s a compromise you have to find within yourself – the family you live with and within the market and the resources you can find in that market.” In his case, Majoli has to apply for grants and accept commercial jobs to put money aside for his personal projects. “I have to reinvent myself every day.”

When you take the economics out of the equation, though, things aren’t so bad, says Anderson. “This is going to sound strange, but speaking just as a photographer and not as someone who makes a living from photography, I feel happy because, in many ways, I feel more free from the chains of the press.”

He adds: “As a photographer making images, I feel less controlled by making images for a market. The other side, the professional side, is much more difficult to make a living in and make ends meet. But, purely from the point of making images, it’s somewhat liberating that there’s no market left.”

But however you juggle the money issue, the deeper question is what it means to be a photographer, says Meiselas. “How do you find the work that engages you and sustains you? What do you contribute? Because the landscape is so much broader now, we see a lot, but it doesn’t necessarily last long. For me, it’s those dialogues. It really is the relationship with the subject that sustains me.”

Wylie agrees. “I think one of the priorities today, especially for a young photographer, is really engaging with your own voice. How do you find your own voice? Photography has changed dramatically since its beginnings. [Now we have Google Earth and cameras everywhere], so we ask ourselves, ‘Why photograph?’ You photograph because you want to make work. It’s like writing a novel. You make work that has layers, that contributes to a collective history, a broader history. The challenge is to get to that point.”

Magnum celebrates its 65th Annual General Meeting in Arles. Image © Rene Burri / Magnum Photos.

Magnum Photos celebrated its 65 years by holding its annual general meeting at Rencontres d’Arles. It was an opportunity for photographers to come together to discuss Magnum’s future in an ever-changing market. Olivier Laurent reports from the conference….READ MORE HERE

New photographic grant launched for women photographers

To finance the establishment of a new photographic grant dedicated to European women photographers, the founder of the Firecracker online platform has released an exclusive 2012 diary featuring the work of 12 photographers writes Olivier Laurent in The BJP

“The Firecracker Photographic Grant will be awarded to a woman photographer to assist the completion of a project in late 2012. The award will be open to entries this summer and will be judged by a panel of jurors that include BJP’s deputy editor Diane Smyth, as well as Jessica Crombie of Save The Children, Shannon Ghannam of Reuters News Agency and Francesca Sears of Panos.

Launched by Fiona Rogers in January 2011, the Firecracker platform is dedicated to supporting European women photographers. “During my career in photography, the under-representation of women photographers struck me on several levels,” says Rogers, who is also the cultural and education manager at Magnum Photos London.”...MORE


Image © Mona Simon / Vea Collective.

Post-processing in the digital age: Photojournalists and 10b Photography

In the days before digital capture became the norm, photographers would, shoot the film and photographic labs would process and sometimes print the images. Rarely did photographers do their own lab work. It has been assumed that since the digital world overwhelmed us all that a photographer would undertake post processing themselves, I certainly do and most photographer I know do likewise however this very interesting article in the BJP by Olivier Laurent tells of photographers who hand over digital images to labs for post processing. Certainly the skills of being a photographer and working with Lightroom or Capture 1 or Photoshop are not the same so there is some logic to this. Also post production is tedious as hell and takes for ever, so if you can hand it over to someone who can do it better and more quickly why not?

“10b Photography has established itself as one of the world’s leading digital darkrooms, handling post-production for scores of award-winning photojournalists who trust that the company knows where to draw the line between processing and manipulation. Olivier Laurent meets the founders.

When Yuri Kozyrev was covering the Arab Spring, working in Bahrain, Egypt, Libya and Yemen for Time, instead of wiring his images direct to the magazine in New York, he sent them first to Claudio Palmisano in Rome, who would process them according to the photographer’s specifications, and then forward them to picture editor Patrick Witty. Palmisano is the co-founder of 10b Photography, which has been working with some of the biggest names in photojournalism for the past five years, including Paolo Pellegrin, Finbarr O’Reilly and Marcus Bleasdale, among many others. Their work has appeared in The New York Times, Newsweek and Russian Reporter, and they count among their clients the Nobel Peace Center, Saatchi & Saatchi, Magnum Photos, Noorand VII Photo.”.………MORE

“10b is a digital darkroom and, for all intents and purposes, works similarly to an old-fashioned darkroom. “The recent introduction of the raw shooting format has enabled digital photography to share a very similar workflow than with analogue photography,” says 10b on its website. “Just like a negative, a raw file cannot be printed the way it is and needs to be ‘developed’ first. Contrast, saturation and hue, for example, have to be set during the editing process. This step takes the name of ‘raw conversion’ and, with the exception of chemicals, it resembles the developing process of a film.”….…….MORE

Images © Yuri Kozyrev / Noor for Time.

Magnum – Contact Sheets

Yesterday I was in Blackwells Art Book Shop and saw the new book from Magnum, the picture agency. Called Contact Sheets it shows images from Magnum photographers and the contact sheets from which the images were chosen. Many of the images are very famous and you will know them even if you do not know the photographer. This is a fascinating book because as well as the pictures there is extensive text and explanations of the editing process that determined the chosen image out of so many.

I was interested to note at first that looking though the pages of contact sheets and recognsing the one image I knew so well that it was obvious why it was the first choice but then I wondered if this was just my familiarity with the image.

Anyway I haven’t bought the book yet but will, the £95 was more than I was ready for however with Christmas coming if any of my family read this make a note.

There is an extended article on the BBC website discussing and reviewing this book by Phil Coomes, here is some of what Phil has to say

The contact sheet is often described as the photographer’s sketch book. It is the result of those moments of exploration, moments spent waiting for a scene to develop before the final moment when, ‘click’, you know you’ve got the shot in the can.

The godfather of photojournalism, Henri Cartier-Bresson is famously known for analysing other photographers’ contact sheets as a means to judging their work.

You can learn so much from what is left out from a final edit as well as seeing how the photographer explored their chosen subject. Although Cartier-Bresson used to cut up his own contact sheets, preserving only those that worked well as sequences or the best individual frames.

The out-takes also remove a little of the mythology around the final image as it begins to show what else was happening around the moment of capture. And that’s no bad thing. They also offer the photographer a chance to discover something new when revisiting those sheets many years later.

A new book from the archives of the Magnum Photo Agency brings together 139 contact sheets by 69 photographers, each one accompanied by the thoughts of the photographer.” 

There is so much more here, do go and have a look at the images and read the text

Peter Marlow: Margaret Thatcher, 1981

Philippe Halsman: Dali Atomicus, 1948

Magnum Contact Sheets edited by Kristen Lubben is published by Thames & Hudson.

I am sure this available from all good book shops or you can get it here

A photographic competition celebrating the power of the image

Full details are on the web site here

The Opportunity

Photographers of all levels and styles are invited to participate. Our esteemed panel of judges including Natasha Egan, Director of the Museum of Contemporary Photography; Stephen Walker, Photo Director of NYLON Magazine; Michael Shulman, Director of Publishing, Broadcast & Film at Magnum Photos; Conor Risch, Senior Editor of PDN Magazine; and award-winning photo editor Susanne Miklas, will select one photographer to receive the Grand Prize Award.

The Grand Prize Package As selected by the jury panel

  • A $10,000 cash grant
  • An exhibition at Aperture Foundation in New York City’s Chelsea arts district
  • A projection series of your images throughout New York City
  • A feature on Artists Wanted’s website
  • Worldwide Exposure for You and Your Work

The People’s Choice Award Granted to the photographer whose portfolio garners the highest number of public votes

  • A $2,500 cash grant
  • A trip to NYC during the New York Photo Festival in May 2012. Experience high style with a one week stay in a New York City loft in Dumbo, the heart of the photo festival
  • One week in Paris, the birthplace of photography, where you will stay in a beautiful art apartment with passes to over 60 museums and attractions
  • Airfare to New York and Paris
  • A feature on Artists Wanted’s website

The Category Awards
A $500 cash grant and online feature will be awarded to photographers selected by the jury panel in the following fields:

  • People & Portrait
  • Documentary / Photojournalism
  • Cloudscape, Landscape, Aerial and/or City Scape
  • Travel / Vacation
  • Action & Adventure
  • Events (Parties, Weddings, Celebrations)
  • Art / Conceptual
  • Nature (Plants and Animals)
  • Commercial (Fashion, Product & Food)
  • Analog / Film

The Exhibition

Exposure 2011 is your chance to show your work in the gallery of one of the most respected organizations in photography. Aperture — a nonprofit foundation dedicated to promoting photography — was founded in 1952 by photographers Ansel Adams, Dorothea Lange, Barbara Morgan, and Minor White; historian Beaumont Newhall; and writer/curator Nancy Newhall; as well as Melton Ferris, Ernest Louie, and Dody Warren. Aperture’s list of artists includes: Robert Adams, Diane Arbus, Robert Capa, Chuck Close, Bruce Davidson, Joan Fontcuberta, Nan Goldin, Josef Koudelka, Sally Mann, Mary Ellen Mark, Richard Misrach, Sebastião Salgado, Stephen Shore, Paul Strand, and Edward Weston, to name a few.

The Projection Series

Have your work shown all over New York City. If selected, your images will be splashed across the streets of New York City with a vivid high-powered projection system. Your work will be seen by tens of thousands in the most compelling way possible, larger than life and unforgettable.

Magnum Photos to hold contact sheets symposium

“To coincide with the release of its Magnum Contact Sheets book, Magnum Photos is organising a high-profile symposium in London

Magnum Contact Sheets “presents an unparalleled wealth of unpublished material, revealing the story behind many iconic and historical images of modern times taken by the world’s most celebrated photographers,” says Magnum Photos. “The book shows their creative process and also acts, in the words of Martin Parr, as an ‘epitaph to the contact sheet’ as it marks the end of the analog era as we move to a digital generation.” writes Olivier Laurent in the BJP


To coincide with the launch of the 508-page book, Magnum Photos is organising a symposium with the photography department of London College of Communication. The one-day event, held on 26 November, will see editors, curators and photography experts discuss the importance of contact sheets in understanding a photograph’s meaning and context.

Advice from 35 Magnum Photographers to Aspiring Photographers

This is a really great post on the Eric Kim site

35 Magnum photographers, surely the greatest photographers agency ever, give pithy and insightful advice on being a photographer. This sort of advice should be bottled and sold, so that like water you can have it with you all the time. I have chosen just a couple of photographers to highlight and recommend you go and look at the rest. If you care about photography, if you want to be a better photographer then read this

Alec Soth

What advice would you give young photographers?
Try everything. Photojournalism, fashion, portraiture, nudes, whatever. You won’t know what kind of photographer you are until you try it. During one summer vacation (in college) I worked for a born-again tabletop photographer. All day long we’d photograph socks and listen to Christian radio. That summer I learned I was neither a studio photographer nor a born-again Christian. Another year I worked for a small suburban newspaper chain and was surprised to learn that I enjoyed assignment photography. Fun is important. You should like the process and the subject. If you are bored or unhappy with your subject it will show up in the pictures. If in your heart of hearts you want to take pictures of kitties, take pictures of kitties.

Alec Soth’s Magnum Portfolio

Chris Steele-Perkins

What advice would you give young photographers?
1) Never think photography is easy. It’s like poetry in that it’s easy enough to make a few rhymes, but that’s not a good poem.
2) Study photography, see what people have achieved, but learn from it, don’t try photographically to be one of those people
3) Photograph things you really care about, things that really interest you, not things you feel you ought to do.
4) Photograph them in the way you feel is right, not they way you think you ought to
5) Be open to criticism, it can be really helpful, but stick to you core values
6) Study and theory is useful but you learn most by doing. Take photographs, lots of them, be depressed by them, take more, hone your skills and get out there in the world and interact.

Chris Steele-Perkins’ Magnum Portfolio

David Alan Harvey

What advice would you give young photographers?
You must have something to “say”. You must be brutally honest with yourself about this. Think about history , politics, science, literature, music, film, and anthropology. What affects does one discipline have over another? What makes “man” tick? Today , with everyone being able to easily make technically perfect photographs with a cell phone, you need to be an “author”. It is all about authorship, authorship and authorship. Many young photographers come to me and tell me their motivation for being a photographer is to “travel the world” or to “make a name” for themselves. Wrong answers in my opinion. Those are collateral incidentals or perhaps even the disadvantages of being a photographer. Without having tangible ideas , thoughts, feelings, and something almost “literary” to contribute to “the discussion”, today’s photographer will become lost in the sea of mediocrity. Photography is now clearly a language. As with any language, knowing how to spell and write a gramatically correct “sentence” is , of course, necessary. But, more importantly, today’s emerging photographers now must be “visual wordsmiths” with either a clear didactic or an esoteric imperitive. Be a poet, not a technical “writer”. Perhaps more simply put, find a heartfelt personal project. Give yourself the “assignment” you might dream someone would give you. Please remember, you and only you will control your destiny. Believe it, know it, say it.

David Alan Harvey’s Magnum Portfolio


Deadline approaching in €50,000 photojournalism prize

“Photojournalists have less than two weeks left to enter the third edition of the Carmignac Gestion Photojournalism Award, which comes with a €50,000 grant.

The Carmignac Gestion Photojournalism Award was created two years ago to help fund a photojournalism report “on a proposed topic directly related to current affairs, over several months.” It has been designed to allow photographers to “continue visiting zones that are neglected by the mainstream media outside of periods of conflict,” while celebrating the photographers’ “courage, audacity, freedom and determination,” according to Edouard Carmignac.

Each year, one region of the world is chosen as the focus of the Prix Carmignac Gestion. In 2009 and 2010, the prize went to photographers who focused on Palestine and Afghanistan. This year, the Carmignac Gestion Photojournalism Award is looking for projects made in Zimbabwe or relating to the South African country. Entries will be judged by a panel chaired by Magnum Photos member Susan Meiselas.” Author: Olivier Laurent in the BJP....more

Image © Massimo Berruti / Agence VU’ for Carmignac Gestion Foundation.


Women Photographers – Firecracker – Street Photography



Firecracker is an online platform dedicated to supporting european women photographers.
Despite many fantastic women working with photographic media, the industry continues to be dominated by male counterparts.
Firecracker assists the promotion of women photographers by showcasing their work in a series of monthly online gallery features.
Photographers are brought to our attention via a network of industry professionals and guest curator spots from high profile individuals.

Established in January 2011, Firecracker is an online platform dedicated to supporting and showcasing talent of women photographers across Europe.

 The project’s founder is Fiona Rogers, who also serves cultural and education coordinator at Magnum Photos in London. She says that “despite many fantastic women working with photographic media, the industry continues to be dominated by their male counterparts,” and it is out of this frustration that Firecracker was born.
Polly Braden and Kate Hooper, two street photographers, are set to appear in the second Firecracker event organised next month to coincide with the London Street Photography Festival