Oxford School of Photography

insights into photography

Tag Archives: The Guardian

‘I take portraits of gods’: Nobuyuki Kobayashi

With his gorgeous and patiently realised black and white images, Kobayashi searches for a spiritual dimension in the calm beauty of nature. Using a large-format 8×10 camera, the platinum palladium printing technique and sumptuous paper, Kobayashi fills his nature photography with a deep sensuality. An exhibition of his work, Portraits of Nature: Myriads of Gods, is at Sway Gallery, London, to 28 March. All photos: Nobuyuki Kobayashi

As seen in The Guardian

'I take portraits of gods': the photography of Nobuyuki Kobayashi – in pictures

Kodou Platinum prints allow for deep dark tones and create a beautiful matte finish

609

Souzou Kobayashi prints on Hosokawa paper, a product that has been made in the same way since 1642. He says he uses this paper to add a ‘Japanese identity’ to his work

750

Zen ‘I just keep walking around until I can find a place that incites my emotions,’ says Kobayashi. ‘I feel as though I am not the one who finds places to shoot but am led there by places’

607

Shin ‘Strength, beauty and nobleness: all characteristics reveal themselves to me’

See more here

The body art of Aida Muluneh – in pictures

Sometimes the most startling things show up and it is with thanks to the Guardian this time. Aida Muluneh is a photographer and film-maker from Ethiopia.

Born in Ethiopia in 1974, Aïda left the country at a young age and spent an itinerant childhood between Yemen and England. After several years in a boarding school in Cyprus, she finally settled in Canada in 1985. In 2000, she graduated with a degree from the Communication Department with a major in Film from Howard University in Washington, D.C.

After graduation she worked as a photojournalist at the Washington Post, however her work can be found in several publications.

Her work is beautiful and surprising in colour and presentation and also quite wonderful.

Aida Muluneh

Memory of Libya

Aida Muluneh

Sai Mado. The Distant Gaze

Aida Muluneh

The Morning Bride Muluneh has had an uprooted existence since her birth in Ethiopia, living in Yemen, the UK, Cyprus, Canada and finally the US, where she worked as a photojournalist for the Washington Post

Aida Muluneh

Age of Anxiety She has since returned to Ethiopia, a move she describes as ‘a lesson in humility, and what it means to return to a land that was foreign to me’

Aida Muluneh

Denkinesh Birth on Ground These works are from her series The World Is 9, named after a saying of her grandmother: ‘The world is nine, it is never complete and it’s never perfect’

See more of these images here on the Guardian page

Visit Aida Muluneh site here

Unhappy families: Weronika Gesicka’s warped Americana – in pictures

As seen in The Guardian

These rather disturbing but fascinating images are by Weronika Gęsicka

2953

Gęsicka is a guest artist at the Circulations festival for young European photographers, Paris, until 5 March. All images: Weronika Gęsicka

Polish photographer Weronika Gęsicka takes corny American photography and manipulates it into something surreal and uncomfortable.  Weronika Gesicka, born in 1984 in Włocławek (Poland). Graduated from the graphics department of the Academy of Fine Arts in Warsaw and the Academy of Photography in the same city. She received a scholarship from the polish Minister of Culture and National Heritage. Weronika is doing projects about memory and its mechanisms. She is interested in the scientific and pseudoscientific theories, mnemonics and various disorders concerning it. Her main field of activity is photography, but she also create objects and artifacts, often in collaboration with craftsmen and sometimes with other artists. An important part of her art is working with archive materials of various sources. These are both image banks or images found on the Internet and police archives or old press photography.

2363-1

‘Who are, or were, these people in the images? Are they actors playing happy families, or real persons whose photos were put up for sale by the image bank? That is not fully clear’

2953-1

‘Who are, or were, these people in the images? Are they actors playing happy families, or real persons whose photos were put up for sale by the image bank? That is not fully clear’

2363

Polish photographer Weronika Gęsicka takes corny American photography and manipulates it into something surreal and uncomfortable

See more from The Guardian article here

 

Malick Sidibé: The Eye of Modern Mali – Exhibition in London

Les jeunes bergers peulhs, 1972. Photograph: © Malick Sidibé Courtesy Galerie MAGNIN-A, Paris.

Les jeunes bergers peulhs, 1972.
Photograph: © Malick Sidibé Courtesy Galerie MAGNIN-A, Paris.

Jeune homme avec pattes d’éléphant, sacoche et montre, 1977. Photograph: © Malick Sidibé Courtesy Galerie MAGNIN-A, Paris.

Jeune homme avec pattes d’éléphant, sacoche et montre, 1977.
Photograph: © Malick Sidibé Courtesy Galerie MAGNIN-A, Paris.

The first major solo exhibition in the UK of the late Malian photographer. Sidibé is known for his black-and-white images chronicling the lives and culture of the Malian capital, Bamako, in the wake of the country’s independence. The exhibition will present 45 original prints from the 1960s and 1970s around three defined themes: ‘Au Fleuve Niger / Beside the Niger River’, ‘Tiep à Bamako / Nightlife in Bamako’, and ‘Le Studio / The Studio’.

Sidibé was the first photographer, and first African artist, to receive a Gold Lion at the Venice Biennale in 2007. Other significant awards include The Hasselblad Foundation International Award in Photography in 2003, as well as the Infinity Award from International Center of Photography in 2008 and winning the Arts and Entertainments category at the World Press Photo competition in 2010.

Accompanying the photographs, the gallery soundtrack will recreate the spirit and soul of the nightclubs where he shot and his own Studio Malick, where “often it was like a party”. Curated by DJ, presenter and African music expert Rita Ray, it will feature an eclectic mix of music and urban sounds to which Sidibé’s photographic subjects may have listened, from the familiar rock ‘n’ roll, pop songs and fusions of the continent in the 60s and 70s to timeless Malian roots music.

Launching at 1:54, the exhibition will continue throughout the winter season.

6 October 2016–15 January 2017
Monday, Tuesday, Saturday & Sundays 10.00-18.00 (last admission 17.00)
Wednesdays, Thursdays & Fridays 11.00-20.00 (last admission 19.00)

Terrace Rooms
Free admission

From The Guardian

As a photographer working in Mali just after independence, Malick Sidibé captured the spirit of the post-colonial nation’s new identity, as seen through the changing scene of its capital.

He went on to become the first African artist and the first photographer to receive the prestigious Golden Lion award at the Venice Biennale, and his portrait photography has been shown across the world.

But less is known about the place it all started: Studio Malick, the poky room on Corner 19, 30th Street, in the Bagadadji neighbourhood in Bamako which by the early 1990s had become a local landmark, with queues of customers keen to sit for a portrait.

As the first solo exhibition of his work opens in London as part of the 1:54 African art fair, I went in search of the people who had met the man, to find out more about the setting in which these now famous images were taken……

 

See more pictures here

Abandoned places: the worlds we’ve left behind – in pictures

There is a great interest in what is known as Urbex Photography. This is the discovery  and photography of abandoned buildings, usually in an urban setting, we have featured these images often as they are so popular. New photographers are entering this arena and coming with their own take on the meme.

Kieron Connolly’s new book of photographs of more than 100 once-busy and often elegant buildings gives an eerie idea of how the world might look if humankind disappeared. Here are 10 evocative, stylised images of nature reclaiming the manmade world as seen in The Guardian

Rubjerg Knude lighthouse, northern Jutland, Denmark This lighthouse was built on the top of a cliff in 1900 and ceased operating in 1968. With coastal erosion and continually shifting sands a major problem in the area, it is anticipated that by 2023 the cliff will have been eroded so far that the lighthouse will fall into the sea. Photograph: Elisabeth Coelfen/Dreamstime

Rubjerg Knude lighthouse, northern Jutland, Denmark
This lighthouse was built on the top of a cliff in 1900 and ceased operating in 1968. With coastal erosion and continually shifting sands a major problem in the area, it is anticipated that by 2023 the cliff will have been eroded so far that the lighthouse will fall into the sea.
Photograph: Elisabeth Coelfen/Dreamstime

Rotunda, Wola Gasworks, Warsaw Opened in 1888, destroyed during the second world war, then rebuilt, the Wola gasworks finally closed in the early 1970s when the city switched to using natural gas. Today, part of the gasworks is a museum, but other areas, such as the rotunda, remain dilapidated. Photograph: Fotorince/Dreamstime.com

Rotunda, Wola Gasworks, Warsaw
Opened in 1888, destroyed during the second world war, then rebuilt, the Wola gasworks finally closed in the early 1970s when the city switched to using natural gas. Today, part of the gasworks is a museum, but other areas, such as the rotunda, remain dilapidated.
Photograph: Fotorince/Dreamstime.com

City Hall station, New York City Designed as a showpiece for New York’s new subway system, City Hall station (towards the southern tip of Manhattan) opened in 1904. It’s an elegant structure in Romanesque revival style with skylights, coloured glass and brass chandeliers, but because of its tightly curved platform longer subway carriages were unable to stop there. It was always a quiet station, and passenger services were discontinued in 1945. Photograph: Michael Freeman/Alamy

City Hall station, New York City
Designed as a showpiece for New York’s new subway system, City Hall station (towards the southern tip of Manhattan) opened in 1904. It’s an elegant structure in Romanesque revival style with skylights, coloured glass and brass chandeliers, but because of its tightly curved platform longer subway carriages were unable to stop there. It was always a quiet station, and passenger services were discontinued in 1945.
Photograph: Michael Freeman/Alamy

Uyuni Train Cemetery, Bolivia In the late 19th century, the Andean town of Uyuni served as a distribution hub for trains carrying minerals to Pacific ports. After the mining industry collapsed in the 1940s, the railways fell into ruin, leaving the trains to the harsh winds blowing off the Uyuni flats, the world’s largest salt plain. Today, though, the rusting, graffiti-covered hulks have become one of Uyuni’s attractions. Photograph: Javarman/Dreamstime

Uyuni Train Cemetery, Bolivia
In the late 19th century, the Andean town of Uyuni served as a distribution hub for trains carrying minerals to Pacific ports. After the mining industry collapsed in the 1940s, the railways fell into ruin, leaving the trains to the harsh winds blowing off the Uyuni flats, the world’s largest salt plain. Today, though, the rusting, graffiti-covered hulks have become one of Uyuni’s attractions.
Photograph: Javarman/Dreamstime

see more here

More Urbex here

 

Celebrating ​James Barnor – the first photographer to shoot Ghana in colour ​

As seen in The Guardian

James Barnor helped put black women on the covers of British magazines and documented fashion in a country marching towards independence. Now, aged 87, he has taken to Instagram and a London gallery is exhibiting his work

His early works recorded Ghana as it headed towards independence and came to terms with modernity through new inventions, music and fashion. In the 1960s, Barnor moved to the UK to continue his work with South African magazine Drum, for which he shot numerous cover images throughout the decade, as well as developing his own brand of street reportage and documentary photography

His early works recorded Ghana as it headed towards independence and came to terms with modernity through new inventions, music and fashion. In the 1960s, Barnor moved to the UK to continue his work with South African magazine Drum, for which he shot numerous cover images throughout the decade, as well as developing his own brand of street reportage and documentary photography

Barnor returned to Ghana in the early 1970s to open the first colour processing studio in the country. During this period, he was the first person to shoot outdoors and process images in full colour

Barnor returned to Ghana in the early 1970s to open the first colour processing studio in the country. During this period, he was the first person to shoot outdoors and process images in full colour

Embracing contemporary photography, Barnor recently set up an Instagram account aged 87. A collaborative exhibition between Barnor and the award-winning Italian photographer Daniele Tamagni is on show at the October Gallery in central London until 30 September

Embracing contemporary photography, Barnor recently set up an Instagram account aged 87. A collaborative exhibition between Barnor and the award-winning Italian photographer Daniele Tamagni is on show at the October Gallery in central London until 30 September

see more here

 

Shortlist announced for Taylor Wessing portrait prize

The Taylor Wessing portrait prize is one of this country’s premier photography awards. It is always controversial with those outside the art firmament. If your idea of a portrait is something that flatters the subject then the annual winners of this award will disappoint you. Long ago I gave up trying to understand or justify the shortlist and winners and so now like just to alert you to what is coming in Taylor Wessing world.

Three photographers have been shortlisted for the Taylor Wessing Photographic Portrait Prize. The prize winners and the winner of the John Kobal New Work Award will be announced at an award ceremony at the National Portrait Gallery on Tuesday 15 November 2016.

The Guardian is one of the outlets that regularly features TW and so this article and images come from there

Sternbach’s #1 Thea+Maxwell was created using early photographic processes. Photograph: Joni Sternbach/PA

Sternbach’s #1 Thea+Maxwell was created using early photographic processes.
Photograph: Joni Sternbach/PA

Tilly and Itty, Beitar Illit, one of two images shortlisted from Kovi Konowiecki’s series Bei Mir Bistu Shein. Photograph: Kovi Konowiecki/PA

Tilly and Itty, Beitar Illit, one of two images shortlisted from Kovi Konowiecki’s series Bei Mir Bistu Shein.
Photograph: Kovi Konowiecki/PA

Matsenen 2016 by Claudio Rasano, from a series focused on uniforms. Photograph: Claudio Rasano/PA

Matsenen 2016 by Claudio Rasano, from a series focused on uniforms.
Photograph: Claudio Rasano/PA

The shortlisted photographs were chosen from 4,303 submissions entered by 1,842 photographers from 61 countries.

The annual prize, which began in 1993, is considered one of the most prestigious photography awards in the world and is judged anonymously. It is open to professional and amateur photographers.

After the winner of the £15,000 prize is announced on 15 November, the shortlisted works will form part of a wider prize show at the National Portrait Gallery between 17 November and 26 February.

Nicholas Cullinan, the director of the gallery, said: “In an exhibition remarkable for its range of subjects and styles, the quality of this year’s shortlisted works reflects the outstanding level at which photographers across the world are working today.”

You can read the Guardian article herehere is a link to the NPG and exhibition details

here are some links to previous Taylor Wessing Awards

https://oxfordschoolofphotography.wordpress.com/2015/11/11/taylor-wessing-photographic-portrait-prize-2015-david-stewart-wins/

https://oxfordschoolofphotography.wordpress.com/2014/11/13/taylor-wessing-photographic-portrait-prize-2014/

https://oxfordschoolofphotography.wordpress.com/2013/09/12/taylor-wessing-photographic-portrait-prize-2013-shortlist-announced/

 

Weather Photographer of the Year 2016 – in pictures

The Guardian has a good tradition of showing photography, it comes in many guises and not all of it is good in the traditional terms, these pictures of weather are that, pictures of weather. I know the British are endlessly interested in the weather but it is just rain and clouds and colours, anyway here are some pictures and links

Clash of the storms, New Mexico, US: Camelia Czuchnicki A clash between two storm cells in New Mexico, US, each with its own rotating updraft. The curved striations of the oldest noticeable against the new bubbling convection of the newer. It was a fantastic sight to watch and it’s the rarity of such scenes that keep drawing me back to the US Plains each year.

Clash of the storms, New Mexico, US: Camelia Czuchnicki
A clash between two storm cells in New Mexico, US, each with its own rotating updraft. The curved striations of the oldest noticeable against the new bubbling convection of the newer. It was a fantastic sight to watch and it’s the rarity of such scenes that keep drawing me back to the US Plains each year.

Polar stratospheric clouds: Alan Tough In late January, early February 2016, unusually cold Arctic stratospheric air reached down as far as the UK. This triggered sightings of rare and beautiful Polar Stratospheric (Nacreous) Clouds (PSCs). I had to go down to Alloa for a course and took an old compact digital camera with me, just in case any displays were visible from that part of the country. PSCs have a sinister side, though: chemical reactions on the surface of the clouds destroy ozone.

Polar stratospheric clouds: Alan Tough
In late January, early February 2016, unusually cold Arctic stratospheric air reached down as far as the UK. This triggered sightings of rare and beautiful Polar Stratospheric (Nacreous) Clouds (PSCs). I had to go down to Alloa for a course and took an old compact digital camera with me, just in case any displays were visible from that part of the country. PSCs have a sinister side, though: chemical reactions on the surface of the clouds destroy ozone.

Overall winner: Tornado on show, Colorado: Tim Moxon A classic severe weather setup in the high plains of Colorado near the town of Wray yielded one of the most photogenic tornadoes of the year. We were just ahead of the storm as the tornado started and tracked with it as it grew from a fine funnel to a sizeable cone tornado. At this moment, the twister was at its most photogenic. We were among a number of people, including those you see in the shot, nervously enjoying the epic display nature put on for us.

Overall winner: Tornado on show, Colorado: Tim Moxon
A classic severe weather setup in the high plains of Colorado near the town of Wray yielded one of the most photogenic tornadoes of the year. We were just ahead of the storm as the tornado started and tracked with it as it grew from a fine funnel to a sizeable cone tornado. At this moment, the twister was at its most photogenic. We were among a number of people, including those you see in the shot, nervously enjoying the epic display nature put on for us.

Hail shower over Jodrell Bank: Mark Boardman This picture was taken in April from the edge of Macclesfield Forest looking west across Macclesfield towards the radio telescope at Jodrell Bank and beyond. The weather was cold and a north-westerly wind blew this shower of hail to engulf the telescope. The setting sun gives a warm glow to the end of a cold day.

Hail shower over Jodrell Bank: Mark Boardman
This picture was taken in April from the edge of Macclesfield Forest looking west across Macclesfield towards the radio telescope at Jodrell Bank and beyond. The weather was cold and a north-westerly wind blew this shower of hail to engulf the telescope. The setting sun gives a warm glow to the end of a cold day.

see more here

Pictures of the week 2016-03-19

Just a few of the utterly remarkable images in the Guardian Pictures of the week

5760

 

I knew it was difficult – Animal magic: how to photograph wildlife

So you may have gathered if you are a regular here that I am not bothered about wild life photography. You know they are animals, get over it. But I also understand the pleasure so many people get from taking pictures of animals, I just don’t get it. As for owning animals, just that phrase makes me wonder, why would someone want to own another living being, anyway beyond all that I do admire great animal photography if only for the sheer doggedness of the perpetrators. So when I found this article in the Guardian by  I knew I was on to something, that is something most people would benefit from, how to photograph wildlife by Andrew Forsyth a Wildlife Photographer of the year 2014 finalist. Someone who knows what it takes.

“I want to see you crawling. Get down lower. Crawl!” I am crawling – my elbows hooking uselessly into the large, loose pebbles of Brighton beach, dragging my body another inch forward, while my hands and wrists wobble beneath the weight of a hefty Canon 5D MK III camera. It might look impressive if I wasn’t so embarrassed. Through the unsteady lens, my target bounces about: a flock of seagulls, squatting 10 metres away.

Along the shore people duck and dodge the gulls, which swoop with menacing confidence towards chips, children and ice-cream. Yet, I’m having the opposite problem – every time I get within striking distance of a bird, it soars off into the distance.

I am in Brighton with Andrew Forsyth for a crash course in wildlife photography. In 2014, Andrew was a finalist for the ultra-competitive Wildlife Photographer of the Year for the second time, with an atmospheric photo of Brighton’s starlings swarming above the sea.

46A0238

The first lesson I learn, when Andrew places his huge, heavy, long-lens camera in my hands, is that wildlife photography is tough. When he tells me to take a clean, well-composed portrait of a seagull I think “easy!” but it seems to require the same stealth and effort as photographing a lion in the Sahara. Once you’ve scrambled silently towards your subject, there’s a three-way struggle to focus, compose and shoot before it scarpers.

To improve my chances, he says, I need to know my subject. It took four months for Andrew to take his winning starlings photo, which was one of 25,000 shots. For the first few weeks, he stalked the prom and pier, watching where the birds roosted, how they flew, what time they woke up and went to bed.

“At first the photos were quite conventional, and after a few days of shooting I was sick and tired of it. But I pushed through, and that’s when something interesting happened. I became wildly experimental, trying out whacky things with aperture and shutter speed, more in hope than expectation, but my photographs were more original and exciting.”

For whatever reason, Andrew tells me, it is impossible to jump straight to this wild, creative phase – you always have to push through the slow, methodical bit first.

If you would like to read more of this and get further insights into wildlife photography go to The Guardian here Andrew Forsyth holds one-to-one sessions throughout the year. For details visitthewildlifephotographer.com/workshops

You might also like to see some truly spectacular wildlife photography by Marina Cano go here