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Oxford School of Photography
insights into photography
Tag Archives: Photographers Workshop
Williams F1 Grand Prix Team- the tale of a shoot
September 11, 2014Posted by on
A short while ago I was extremely lucky to be invited to photograph the Williams Formula 1 Racing Team. The brief was loose but based on the work of one of the world’s great photographers but given a twist that was my own. It started with a call from Angela Burt of Williams, asking about availability for a shoot and then a long conversation about what they were looking for, did they have any ideas, what was their time scale….the usual things. It turned out they had some very distinct ideas about what they wanted which I have to say is unusual, and a very short time scale which was not unusual. They showed me work of a very famous photographer and said something like this, but definitely in black and white. The final images were going to be used as prints in their new motorhome, this is a three storey, 21 pantechnicon construction that travels to every European Grand Prix, with restaurant, offices and top floor cocktail lounge. The discussions went backwards and forwards until we had a clear idea. The plan was for just one session but as is probably always the case in F1 only two of the four drivers were available that day so it extended into three sessions at the Williams Factory in Grove. I took over a portable studio ending up using 6 lights. Here is a picture of the set-up.
Usually F1 teams look very serious and lacking in humour and I wanted to get away from that, I found them all to be very nice a friendly and I wanted to show that in the pictures. It took a little while to convince the drivers to lose the ‘focussed’ look that every other photographer wanted from them and to go with the flow a bit. The results were a great success, when Williams released some on their Facebook page there were thousands of comments and the Twitter feed went quite bonkers.
Texture: The Secret Sauce of Atmospheric Photography
August 9, 2014Posted by on
Knowing how to properly use texture in your images can make a profound difference to your photography. Composition, lighting, and tonal range are all important elements to consider…but by looking at the texture as well you can really ensure that the image you create is a true work of art……..more here Here’s a question for you…..why do photographers take long siestas in the middle of the day?
20 Invaluable Tips for the Aspiring Wedding Photographer
July 10, 2014Posted by on
You’ve heard there is big money in wedding photography and you want a piece of the action. After all, it sounds like a good gig, right? Five hours of work one evening on a weekend and a $1000+ payday! What could be simpler?
Before the dreams of grandeur and big pay checks start clouding your vision, here are 20 tips I hope will help steer your growth so you are an asset to the happy couple entrusting you with their fond memories.
20 Invaluable Tips for the Aspiring Wedding Photographer.
Keith Barnes photography podcast on Daily Information
June 28, 2013Posted by on
Daily Information is a pretty unique part of Oxford; starting out as printed sheets of everything going on in Oxford and delivered to every college, cafe, library etc. it has morphed into a website and the only place to go to find anything of interest happening in Oxford. The massive amount of information is handled by the most dedicated bunch of individuals who populate the website with all sorts of information and goodies. They have been further promoting all things Oxford in a weekly podcast and we at OSP Towers were asked to go along and give a few tips on photography for inclusion in this week’s broadcast. Unfortunately our verbosity and all round excess of knowledge was just too much for their regular podcast so the created a special just for us.
You can catch this podcast and hear all the tips we brought with us on that day, of course we have more to share but we do that here on our own site. That is unless they ask us to go back for another session.
So to hear rather than read, The Daily Info Special Feature Podcast go here
and here to brighten up your weekend is a picture
Vouchers for Photography Courses
December 22, 2012Posted by on
We start a new term in January and have a mix of our most favourite and some of the more unusual courses we run. You may not know what to buy someone who is interested in photography but, well frankly, needs help. A voucher that can be used against any of our courses or for 121 tuition can be purchased and downloaded on line, here is a link OSP VOUCHERS
Step by Step a gallery by Steve McCurry
November 16, 2012Posted by on
One week left to enter BJP’s International Photography Award
September 26, 2012Posted by on
There’s just one week left to enter British Journal of Photography’s International Photography Award, which offers photographers a chance to win a two-week exhibition at one of London’s best-respected contemporary galleries.
Chloe Dewe Mathews won the 2011 International Photography Award (series category) for a project called Caspian, which included this shot of two sisters running down to the underground mosque in Beket-Ata, Kazakhstan. Image © Chloe Dewe Mathews/Panos Pictures.
Read more: http://www.bjp-online.com/british-journal-of-photography/news/2200252/one-month-left-to-enter-bjps-international-photography-award#ixzz27ZXpUX5H
Subscribe to BJP and save money. Click here to save 29% today.
Subscribe to BJP and save money. Click here to save 29% today.
Brighton Biennial – Photography 2012
September 22, 2012Posted by on
Two years ago the Brighton Biennial had some very strong photographic exhibitions during the month of the Biennial and I hope it will so again. This year the dates are from the 6th October to the 7th November.
Under a title:
Agents of Change: Photography and the Politics of Space
Bringing international and emerging photographers and artists to the city, the fifth Brighton Photo Biennial explores the theme Agents of Change: Photography and the Politics of Space with a packed programme of free exhibitions, new commissions, talks, screenings, workshops and masterclasses.
Four Versions of Three Routes
Preston is my Paris
An original body of work produced for BPB12 by the collective Preston is my Paris, directed by Adam Murray with photographers Jamie Hawkesworth, Robert Parkinson, Theo Simpson, and graphic designer Ben Mclaughlin. Four Versions of Three Routes explores possible constituency reformation in Brighton. Photographs taken and displayed along the debated constituency borders question how electoral districts are decided and how change might affect residents. Follow the routes to discover over 40 site-specific street posters. The routes can be found in a specially produced pamphlet available at all BPB12 venues…...MORE
Urbex, the name given to Urban Explorers and the photographs they take is a very well appreciated genre, when we posted about it here and here they were some of our most popular articles so it is with interest that I see the Biennial has an exhibition of the work of these adventurers. I look forward to seeing the exhibition
Room (West of Brighton Bandstand) 153 King’s Rd, Brighton, The City of Brighton and Hove BN1
Bradley Garrett, Hanging from a Crane at the New Court building, City of London, 2010. © Bradley Garrett.
Taking nothing but photographs, leaving nothing but footprints, urban explorers around the world risk injury or arrest to infiltrate unseen or off-limits city spaces. They create astonishing images of abandoned buildings, construction sites and underground tunnels. By photographing closed and hidden spaces and sharing those photos online, explorers bring these spaces to public view and add transparency to the urban make-up.
Housed in a repurposed shipping container, this exhibition presents a split-screen projection of hundreds of images taken in cities around the globe.
There are many other exhibitions, talks, workshops and events and if it is as good as 2010 then it would be worth arranging a weekend by the sea on the south coast during October. Full details of the
Brighton Photo Biennial
6 October – 4 November 2012
Photography Tutorials and Links 14.9.2012
September 14, 2012Posted by on
From the vaulted halls of Lightstalking comes this from Toad Hollow Photography. A weeks worth of great photography links and tutorials in one hit.
Sometimes referred to as a “photography addict” the Toad never seems to stop hopping around the internet looking for great tutorials, photography and interesting blogs. This weeks list contains a comprehensive set of links to some of the best resources that Toad Hollow Photography could find during the course of the week. We really hope you enjoy viewing and reading these images and articles as much as the Toad did in bringing them to you.
Enjoy the Silence… by 85mm.ch, on Flickr
Check out the Toad’s latest blog post that takes us inside the oldest schoolhouse in Western Canada to see what life was like over 150 years ago! The feature “Don’t Be Late For Class” showcases 15 new images of the interior and discusses the rich history and heritage that makes this one of Canada’s most prized National Historic Sites.
Here is a small taste of what is on offer this week
Let’s Talk About Water: Tips for Photographing Waterfalls – this brief article from Blake Rudis discusses varying techniques to use to capture waterfall images. Blake includes a set of example images in this post to help illustrate the point he is making here.
Photographic Equipment: The Reflector – as a natural light photographer myself, I use reflectors periodically in my work. This is a brief but good article discussing this practice by Joe Baraban that also includes 12 sample photos that showcase the results.
Master the Art of Photographic Composition – this is a fabulous post that discusses the art of composition in photography. Illustrated with great images, this feature goes in-depth into the concept of composition, with the promise of more articles to come in the future.
Norman McBeath – Photographer
August 24, 2012Posted by on
This is part of our Photographers Workshop alumni series. I have known Norman for nearly 30 years and only ever as a photographer although there are rumours that he had a life before he picked up a camera although I would guess it was never as much fun as it has been since he did. Norman was one of the many people who came to our original incarnation at The Photographers Workshop where we hired darkrooms and taught people how to develop and print and how to be a photographer. As I have said many passed through our doors in the 25 years or so that we operated as a darkroom hire centre and some became professional photographers. Norman went from trade to art. Norman did a lot of work for various publishers and the university but his heart was always in the art sphere of photography. He moved to Edinburgh and there worked exclusively as an artist whose first medium was photography. This is what he has to say.
Professor Richard Dawkins, ethologist and evolutionary biologist ©Norman McBeath
My life changed forever after I came across The Photographers’ Workshop in Oxford. This happened twenty-five years ago, when I’d just moved to Oxford after seven years living overseas and at a time when I wanted to give up my teaching career to become a photographer. It was perfect timing and the perfect place – lots of very friendly, helpful people and a huge open-access darkroom where I could learn about printing and processing and so start to hone my skills as a photographer. Keith Barnes, who ran the place, was one of the first people I met there and he has remained a very close friend ever since.
There were always interesting prints being produced at the Workshop but there’s one which I watched appearing in the developing tray which I’ll never forget. It was probably the first really top-quality print I’d ever seen and I thought it was wonderful – the incredible range of tones, the deep blacks, the quality of the image and the powerful balance of the composition looking up at a military helicopter coming in to land. A month later I came across that same picture. This time it was the cover of one of the Sunday magazines and I learned that the person who had taken it and who had been gently rocking it into existence under the red light that day was Stuart Franklin, former President of Magnum.
People have always fascinated me so right from the start I was drawn to reportage photography, then portraits after I’d had more experience. I worked a lot for the University of Oxford and Oxford University Press as well as covering glitzy events and parties for Harpers & Queen magazine in London. Although working in such different environments, a lot of the skills involved were very similar – the ability to be unobtrusive, to gain peoples’ trust quickly and to be ready at just the right moment.
Princess Margaret and Dame Elizabeth Taylor ©Norman McBeath
Baroness Margaret Thatcher ©Norman McBeath
Dame Beryl Bainbridge ©Norman McBeath
My work at the university in particular brought me into contact with a lot of well known people which in turn led to me devoting more time to portraits. The National Portrait Gallery in London now have forty-four portraits of mine in their permanent collection. (http://www.npg.org.uk/collections/search/person/mp10633/norman-mcbeath). The Scottish National Portrait Gallery in Edinburgh have fourteen works in their collection and two other portraits are in the Australian National Portrait Gallery’s collection in Canberra.
Cardinal Jean-Marie Lustiger ©Norman McBeath
Sir John Tavener ©Norman McBeath
Things change though and about ten years ago I moved to Edinburgh – rather sad to leave so many close friends and such an interesting place as Oxford but at the same time very much looking forward to the challenge of new circumstances and living in another beautiful and characterful city. But I have to admit I was completely unaware and unprepared for the impact that the digital revolution would soon have on photography – clear evidence of which was the near bankrupting purchase of two new Leicas shortly before the move. I had thought these cameras would serve me well for the rest of my working life. However, not only had I failed to realise how soon they would be superceded but (apart from the lenses) they turned out to be the most unreliable cameras I’ve ever had.
The new environment of Edinburgh had a huge impact on my life and work linked, in many ways, to a curious parallel with my time at the Photographers’ Workshop in Oxford. This time my epiphany was the result of contact with another open-access studio, Edinburgh Printmakers, a printmaking studio with a world-wide reputation in fine art printmaking. Here I discovered the incredible beauty of photogravures – one of the earliest techniques for printing photographs, relying on inked metal plates pressed onto dampened, hand-made paper using a traditional etching press.
Photogravure – Ibis ©Norman McBeath
I have recently collaborated with two leading poets: Plan B (Enitharmon Press, 2009) with the Pulitzer prize-winning poet and former Professor of Poetry at Oxford, Paul Muldoon and Simonides (Easel Press, 2011) with Robert Crawford, Professor of Modern Scottish Literature at the University of St Andrews. Both these collaboration have been exhibited as part of the Edinburgh Art Festival. Simonides is due to be exhibited at Yale University in September.
I had a photograph showing, as an invited artist, at this year’s Royal Academy of Arts Summer Exhibition in London and currently have four photographs showing in an exhibition called Cast Contemporaries at Edinburgh College of Art as part of the Edinburgh Art Festival. The next thing is a trip in mid-September to Yale with the poet Robert Crawford to give a talk about our Simonides exhibition which will be showing there until October.
Norman McBeath 2012
Although Norman is serious about his work, his art, he also has, as anyone who knows him, a lighter, fey side that is full of humour and joy. When I speak to past clients about their time at the original Workshop they often comment on Norman’s explosion of laughter that could be heard above the excellent tunes we were always playing. Here are some from the section on his website called ‘Documentary”
Spider Boy, Paris (from ‘City Stories’) ©Norman McBeath
St. Mark’s Square, Venice ©Norman McBeath
Here are a couple of related posts about Norman’s exhibition and book Body Bags
You can see more of Norman’s work on his website here