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Our Newsletter

LSP Newsletter #8


LSP Newsletter #8

Antonio Leanza and the LSP team would like to start this newsletter with a big THANK YOU to everyone responsible for the success of the LSP 2012 Exhibition opening night, last Wednesday.

It is an incredible achievement to all Professional Photography students, who, in only 6 months, learning  photography from scratch, put together an excellent show. We have no doubt in their future success as photographers. There is is still time to see the exhibition this weekend. Please scroll down for more information.

Last month assignment’s winner is James Blackburn with a panning shot of a cyclist during the Olympics in London. Great shot! This month’s assignment “At the Zoo” is  also published. Upload your images for a chance to win.

We send monthly newsletters with tips and news about photography and LSP. Each month we publish a Photo Assignment, and by entering images, our subscribers have the chance to win a £150 Discount Voucher redeemable towards the value of any workshop at London School of Photography*. 

WINNER – Assignment #7 – PanningCongratulations to James Blackburn, winner of  August’s Newsletter Assignment # 7 – Panning.

Great shot of a team GB cyclist (who is he, James?) feeling the strain and being encouraged by the crowd. It looks to me like James has used flash at slow sync (or second curtain) combined with a slow shutter speed, which helped to keep the main subject sharp, while at the same time blurring the background. Let me know if I’m wrong, James. This gave me an idea for another assignment which will get published soon. Keep an eye on this section.

James wins a  £150 Discount Voucher redeemable towards the value of any LSP Course or Workshop. For your chance to win every month, follow the assignments and upload up to five images to the respective Flickr Gallery.

September’s Assignment #8 is published bellow and the deadline to submit images is 03/October/12.  The winner will be announced on Newsletter #9 / October.

Good luck to all!


Photo Tip & Assignment #8 – At the ZooAs in London there is always something new and fresh to see, going to the Zoo is one of the things I always put aside since I moved here, ten years ago.

Maybe part of my reluctance is the fact that it saddens me to to see animals in cages, even though I’m very inspired by wildlife photographs. But a couple of weeks ago, one of my students suggested that we do a lesson at London Zoo, in preparation for a Safari in Tanzania, so off we went.

My curiosity soon overcame my worries. There are so many species and so much to see and photograph that I almost forgot the fact that we were in the middle of one of the biggest capitals in the world.

There are at least two approaches when it comes to photographing at the zoo. One is to photograph the animals making it look like they are in the wild (that is, trying to make the cage bars disappear out of focus, for example), and the other approach is to embrace the zoo’s nature and photograph the visitor’s interactions with it’s inhabitants, which can be extremely engaging and funny.

We did a bit of both that Sunday, and here are some good tips:

For the first approach, the most important elements are depth-of-field and focus. Use your longest lens (telephoto), with the widest possible aperture (small f/number). This will give you very shallow depth-of-field, and if you manage to get accurate focus on your subject, it will make the other elements on the frame go very blurry, and even “disappear”. Patience is important here, wait until the animal is as far as possible from the cage bars and at the same time try to be as close as possible from the cage yourself (at a safe distance, of course).

Manual focus might be necessary as sometimes cameras keep focusing the foreground element (the cage), struggling to find focus in the background (animal). Either choose a single focus point or switch to manual focus and turn the focus ring yourself until you see the animal sharp and be quick, as most animals move all the time, unless you chose a three-toed sloth as your subject to start with.

Shutter speeds are also an important factor when it comes to moving subjects. Leaving a wide aperture (small f/number) for shallow depth-of-field, automatically gives us the fastest possible shutter speeds. The more light getting into the camera, the quickest we can capture it. ISO 400 or a bit higher is recommended if you photograph in the shade.

The second approach requires you to become an observer. Step back a little, find a great angle of view and wait. As families, couples and groups of children pass by, observe for patterns of reactions that will enable you to prepare for the best shot.

The penguins on that day were giving a little show. On a side of their swimming pool there was this magnifying glass that looks very much like a fish-eye lens perspective. Hundreds of people were passing and stopping by to see, I had some good shots, either of people or the penguins alone, but it took a good while until I captured both elements in one single shot. In the picture (left) the exposure was set at the pool water, making the children become silhouettes, which is also a great way of preserving their identities.

Be non intrusive and confident. If confronted by people, be polite, show your images and delete any frame that identifies them if they request. Smiling helps a lot, and you will always find someone who is OK with that. That day, no one complained to me.

Upload your Zoo images to the Flickr Gallery: ASSIGNMENT #8 for a chance to win a £150 Discount Voucher towards Courses and Workshops at LSP*.

Photo and Text: Luciana Franzolin


Kirsten Kooiman
The LSP 2012 EXHIBITION 05-10 SepDon’t miss the chance to see LSP’s first ever photography Exhibition.

The Part Time Professional Photography students’ exhibition shows a variety of projects, with traditional and experimental approaches. Open all weekend, until September 10th, from 10:30am to 6pm at Blackall Studios in Shoreditch.

PHOTOGRAPHERS: Andrea Campanini – Diogo Duarte – Graham Garner – Jessica Jäger – João Amaral – Katie McDonald Liegeois –  Kirsten Kooiman – Maria Mouskos – Melanie Smith – Patrick Carney – Pony Burridge – Richard Gray – Rochelle Brodin – Sandrine Aim – Val Masferrer Oliveira

We are looking forward to seeing you there.Location: Blackall Studios

73 Leonard Street, Shoreditch

London, EC2A 4QS

Nearest Station: Old Street.