William Eggleston – Portraits


William Eggleston is known as a pioneering portrait photographer. Currently the National Portrait Gallery is showcasing the most comprehensive display of his work ever, from the 1960s to the present day.

The exhibition includes never before seen vintage black and white prints, his earliest work from the 1960s. Also a range of his colour photography, which is celebrated as being pivotal in the recognition of colour photography as a contemporary art form.

The exhibition showcases 100 of Egglestons works. Here are just a few of our favourites:






Of this last photo, Eggleston said, “Some kind of pimply, freckle-faced guy in the late sunlight. And by God, it all worked.” He regards this as his first successful colour image, the first frame he shot.

Although small, the exhibition is perfectly curated and a really stunning collection of Eggletsons work. An exhibition you could walk around again and again. A definite must-see show!

It is on at the National Portrait Gallery until 26 October.

Tickets cost £8 or £6.50 for concessions. Book yours now here – www.npg.org.uk

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Firecracker Photographic Grant 2016


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Firecracker Photographic Grant 2016 is now open for entries

Firecracker Photographic Grant is an annual award for female photographers, born or residing in Europe, who are pursuing documentary photographic projects. The award offers £1000 plus £1000 towards printing/ mounting/ framing.

The winner of the 2015 Firecracker Photographic Grant was Spanish photographer Lua Ribeira. Ribeira won the award for these stunning images from her series, ‘Noises in the Blood’, exploring British Dancehall culture.



More details about the application process can be found online: www.fire-cracker.org

Good luck! We’d love to see some PCL students in this year’s line-up :)

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The Skygarden

We recently visited the Skygarden and took a few photographs! Located on Fenchurch street & at 155 meters high, there are plenty of amazing photo opportunities!

The Skygarden is completely free to visit, but you need to book tickets in advance. Click here for some more information.

If you want to get out in the City this summer to take some of your own photographs, book onto our Street PhotographyStreet Photography Assignment courses or Street Photography Summer School!


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Operation Long Drive


Operation Long Drive is a project started by Haydon & Me-An Bend. They have both just set off on a trip of a lifetime, driving overland from the UK to Australia. We first heard of the project back in April 2015 and instantly decided to get involved!


After listening to the plans for this incredible project, we agreed to sponsor Haydon & Me-An with some of our photography courses.  With going on a once in a lifetime trip like this, documenting the amazing moments is going to be imperative. The Long Drive started today (Wednesday 1 June 2016) from Greenwich Park in London, with the adventure set to last a good few months.

Check out some of these awesome images below taken on a recent shakedown in Scotland!

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Haydon & Me-An completed the Beginners Guide to Digital Photography – Level 1 & Beginners Guide to Digital Photography – Level 2. These are two of our most popular courses and gives students a really solid understanding of their camera and how to use it creatively. If you’d like to get involved with our Beginner or Intermediate courses, please check our website for upcoming dates.

Take a look at this great long exposure taken by the pair on one of our courses last winter!


On their return we will have the pair come into the office to give a talk, sharing some stories & photographs from the trip. To be the first to hear about this and to keep up to date with all things PCL, click HERE to subscribe to our mailing list.

Be sure to follow Operation Long Drive on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram to keep up to date with their adventures!!!


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Strange & Familiar by Martin Parr

Last weekend we went to check out the Strange and Familiar Faces of Britain exhibition at the Barbican, curated by Martin Parr. A massive show covering 2 full floors of the Barbican, we spent a good two hours looking at hundreds of works by different photographers from around the world.


There is a huge variety of work on show, ranging from the early photographers of the 1930’s such as Edith Tutor Hart, right up until the present day with works from Bruce Gilden. We particularly loved the candid street photography of Henri Cartier-Bresson, the striking portraits of Paul Strand and the detailed shop window displays by Jim Dow.


Other artists include; Hans Eijkelboom, Frank Habicht, Candida Höfer, Akihito Okamura, Raymond Depardon & Rineke Dijkstra. There are 200+ photographs being exhibited  throughout the show.


We really loved the show and if you can make it down to the Barbican before the 19th June we would highly recommend you do so! Some more information on the show & how to book tickets can be seen here – http://www.barbican.org.uk/artgallery/event-detail.asp?ID=17922

Also, be sure to look around the amazing conservatory that is open on Sundays! It’s home to an abundance of topical plants, flowers and wildlife, with plenty of great photographic opportunities. The conservatory is free to visit on and open from 12.00 – 17.00 on Sunday’s only. – http://www.barbican.org.uk/visitor-information/conservatory



Be sure to follow us on Instagram for more photos from the conservatory!


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2016 Sony World Photography Awards now open at Somerset House!

somerset house

Last chance to visit this year’s Sony World Photography Awards!

Somerset House presents an exhibition of 500 of the best contemporary photographers selected from all over the world. The winning and shortlisted photographs were selected from a global call-out which attracted over 230,000 entries. The competition acknowledges the work of professionals as well as, photography students, young photographers and amateurs.

Here are some of our favourites…

Picasso's Women

Cristina Vatielli- 2nd Place in the ‘Staged’ category for her series inspired by the women who influenced Picasso.

Salt Cleansing

Congratulations to 17 yr old Sepehr Jamshidi Fard, one of the winners of the Youth competition.


Maroesjka Lavigne is the winner of the Professional Landscape category with this image ‘Rhino’ from the series ‘Land of Nothingness’.


Professional Environment category winner Kevin Frayer with his image ‘Eagle hunters of Western China’.

To book tickets and for further info visit: www.worldphoto.org. Or get a sneak preview of the winning entries here.

Until Sunday 8th May 2016


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Check out Emily Stein’s new series of portraits ‘Hello I’m Nora’

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PCL tutor Emily Stein, who teaches on our Intense Foundation of Digital Photography, Digital Photography Crash Course and Portraiture Masterclass, launches a new series of portrait photographs of 73 year old beauty Nora, currently featured on itsnicethat.com. These colourful pictures celebrate and embrace individual style, and represent a coming to terms with one’s looks and personal history.

For more examples of this vibrant and unconventional approach to portraiture visit www.emilystein.co.uk.

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Robert Mapplethorpe: Look at the Pictures

Look out for the release this month of a new film about American photographer Robert Mapplethorpe (1946- 1989). This is the first definitive, feature length portrait of the legendary and controversial artist since his death from AIDS in 1989. Robert Mapplethorpe is known for his large-scale black and white images, ranging from still-life to erotic portraits.


The film ‘Robert Mapplethorpe: Look at the Pictures’ is due for release in UK cinemas on 22nd April, and there are several opportunities to engage in Q&A with the Directors at Previews across London:

Wed 20 April – Art House Crouch End

Wed 20 April – Hackney Picturehouse

Thur 21 April – Curzon Bloomsbury

Watch the trailer here: bit.ly/1RSYeIs

For further info:  www.mapplethorpefilm.com/screenings

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Congratulations to Gary Perlmutter, 2nd Runner up in London Photo Festival’s Street Photography Competition!

Congratulations to Photography Course London tutor Gary Perlmutter, who has been awarded 2nd Runner-up in London Photo Festival’s 2016 Street Photography Competition. Gary is one of 20 finalists selected from over 1000 entries to have his work exhibited at The Bridge Lounge and Dining Room in London, on display until 30th May 2016.

Gary Perlmutter



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Happy New Year!

Did you recently get a new DSLR camera? Here are a few useful tips to get you going.

When your DSLR is set in the fully manual mode it behaves very much like a compact camera. The quality of the pictures might be a bit better than what you achieved before but the main advantage of a DSLR is that you can take full control of your camera and the creative effects in your images.
There are two main settings on the camera that will control these effects – Aperture and Shutter Speed. These can be controlled independently in the cameras Manual (M) mode, or semi automatically using the Aperture priority mode (A/AV) or Shutter speed priority mode (S/TV).



The Aperture controls how much light is let in through the lens. It is the iris of the lens if you like. A large aperture lets in more light than a small, giving you a brighter image, or a brighter exposure as we call it. The other effect of a large aperture is a blurred background, or a shallow/short depth of field to use the correct terminology. The aperture is generally expressed as an F-number, e.g. F11. The lower the number – the larger the aperture. Confusing perhaps, but lets not get too technical at this point..

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Using the Aperture Creatively 

Controlling the depth of field is crucial in photography and is a massive part of your composition and creative feel of an image. The camera’s automatic mode tends to choose mid range apertures giving you an average setting and generally as a result, an average looking image. A great way to learn about depth of field is to try the two extremes, shallow/short and deep/long depth of field (D.O.F).

To explore a shallow D.O.F, portraiture is a good topic. Or you could photograph an object such as a plant or flower.

  • Set your camera to Aperture priority mode (A/Av) and choose a large aperture such at F2.8 or F5.6
  • Zoom in the lens (bringing you closer). Anything longer than 50mm should do it. The longer the lens, the more enhanced the effect will be.
  • Get close to the subject.

Make sure to do all three steps described or you might not achieve the best results.



A deep depth of field might not be as exciting to learn how to create but it is equally important as a shallow D.O.F. When doing landscape or architectural photography it is essential to have the whole scene in focus unless you are specifically trying to bring out an element in the image. Achieving this is easy when you know how to create a shallow depth of field – simply do the opposite.

  • Set your camera to Aperture Priority Mode (A/Av) and choose a small aperture such as F16 or F22.
  • Zoom out the lens to around 24-35mm. The wider the lens, the easier it is to achieve an image that is sharp from to back.
  • Focus on an object about 1/3 in of the total distance.
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The other element on the camera we have control over is the shutter speed. When working in aperture priority mode the camera will automatically set the shutter speed to control the exposure. When using shutter priority (S/Tv) the opposite is true, the camera will automatically set the aperture to control the exposure.

Using the Shutter speed creatively

Having creative control over the movement in your image is another crucial element of photography. Typically we either want to freeze or blur the movement. Shutter speed is measured in fractions of seconds. An example of a fast shutter speed could be 1/1000 or a thousand of a second, and a slow could be 1/10. I generally recommend to emphasise the intended effect. For example, if you intend to create motion blur, 1/60 might be enough to create some blur but the effect might not be very strong and the blur might be perceived as a mistake. In a case like that, experiment with a slower shutter speed. Do take care to avoid camera shake though! Using a tripod or resting the camera on something could dramatically improve the image when using a slow shutter.

To explore movement through shutter speed find an object that is constantly moving, ideally at the same or similar speed, such as splashing water in a fountain or traffic.

Photograph using a range of speeds going from the very fastest to about 1” (1 second). The potential problem here might be that you don’t have enough light to go extremely fast or too much light to get all the way down to 1”. You might need to conduct the experiment at different times of the day, or you could increase the ISO value to brighten the image and reduce it to darken the image.




Tip! To avoid camera shake when hand holding your camera try and use 1/60 or faster. If you have to shoot slower than that you generally need to use a tripod or rest the camera on top of something.

If you want to learn more about your camera from a professional photographer, check out all of our beginner DSLR courses here!

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