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Oxford: finals exam celebrations, 2015 – part 1

Sunday, December 6th, 2015

One of my favourite things to photograph at the beginning of summer is when Oxford University students celebrate the end of their exams which is also known as trashing. I love the riot of colour and carnival atmosphere of pure celebration and relief all mixed together. I’ve got quite a backlog of pictures to post going back to last year. Here are some pictures from this year with lots more to come.

[Tech info:] Nikon F100, 85/1.8D, Fuji Press 400 film (expired), Rollei Digibase C41 kit, Pakon scans.

Oxford: finals exam celebrations, 2014 – part 4

Saturday, June 13th, 2015

I photographed my first trashing in Oxford around 25 years ago and this set of pictures from a trashing last year (summer 2014) is one of the most memorable ones for me so far. Not only was the light perfect but the amount and variety of different substances that got layered on was very impressive. Just when it looked like it was all over out came a roll of cling film! I’ve been looking forward to posting this set and after a year of waiting I’m very pleased to show these now.

[Tech info:] Nikon F100, Fuji Press 400 film (expired), processed in a Rollei Digibase C41 kit, Pakon scans.

Oxford: finals exam celebrations, 2014 – part 3

Friday, June 12th, 2015

The great Oxford tradition of trashing is here again so it’s time for me to continue posting some of my shots from last year (summer 2014). Recently I’ve been enjoying the idea of not rushing to post images as soon as I can but instead to hold them back for a while and let them mature in my archive. I have no idea where the students in this set of images are now but I’d like to hope that seeing these a year after the event would bring back some happy memories for them of celebration and relief.

[Tech info:] Nikon F100, Kodak Hawkeye film, processed in a Rollei Digibase C41 kit. Pakon scans.

Oxford: finals exam celebrations, 2014 – part 2

Wednesday, November 12th, 2014

Now that winter is here and the weather is getting colder and wetter I think it’s the perfect time to start posting my coverage of the trashing that happened here in Oxford during the summer when it was a lot warmer and sunnier. This was such a lot of fun to photograph but also quite difficult, not only because I had to avoid getting in the firing line of the various liquids that were flying around but also because I kept getting accused of being from the Daily Mail after they published an article about binge drinking and used pictures of Oxford students getting trashed to illustrate it – the two things couldn’t be further apart. It’s hardly surprising really because if the Daily Mail are good at one thing it’s publishing lies – just ask George Clooney.

[Tech info:] Nikon F100, Agfa Vista 200 (Poundland) film, processed and scanned by ASDA Swindon.

Oxford: finals exam celebrations, 2014 – part 1

Friday, June 13th, 2014

It’s the time of the year when some Oxford University students are sitting their final exam and immediately after they’ve exited the exam schools they celebrate with their friends in various different ways that can involve lots of colourful confetti, silly string, shaving foam and various liquid refreshments and sometimes food as well. The celebrations are known as trashing and looking through my archive I first photographed it in 1989 (last two pictures). Back then I don’t remember as many students doing it as they do now but no matter how crazy it looks I’ve always enjoyed photographing it because I haven’t come across any other occasion where you can see such a visual expression of pure joy and elation. Friends greeting friends to show their support and help celebrate freedom. Still images can’t really canvey the atmosphere because you really need to hear the laughing, cheering, screaming and shouting that goes along with all of the colour.

This is my first set of pictures from this years’ trashing and there will be lots more to come. Unfortunately I keep being accused of working for the Daily Mail because of a ridiculous article they put out recently about binge drinking that used pictures of Oxford University students celebrating the end of their exams. Tabloid junk at its best. It’s no wonder the Daily Mail have removed the ability to leave a comment under the article. My passion is photography and documenting life, particularly in Oxford which is a place I am proud to call my home town. I don’t judge and I certainly don’t supply my pictures to the tabloid gutter press.

[Tech info:] Nikon FM2, 100/2.8 Series E lens, Kodak Hawkeye film. Processed by ASDA, Swindon.

Oxford, 1989

Oxford: Exam celebrations

Thursday, April 3rd, 2014

This is how some students celebrate the end of their exams, Oxford style (aka trashing). After weeks of not coming across anyone in my lunch hour I finally managed to bump into quite a few students on the same day. These shots are from last summer but I didn’t want to post them too soon because I didn’t want anyone to get into trouble for it. I think almost a year after the fact is probably fairly safe.

[Tech info:] Rolleiflex SL66, 80/2.8 Zeiss Planar, loaded with Kodak Portra 160VC (expired), processed by Ag Photo lab, scanned by me.

Oxford: celebrating the end of exams

Thursday, July 18th, 2013

There is a long standing tradition for Oxford university students to celebrate the end of exams (aka trashing) by spraying champagne and throwing various food stuff on whichever friend has just finished their exams. I first came across this in the early 1990’s and in my archives I have a great series of pictures of an unsuspecting student as he is followed down Queen’s Lane by his friends with Tesco carrier bags full of food and little by little he is covered with all manner of things as he made his way to the Kings Arms pub for a celebratory drink. Back then the Kings Arms seemed to be the place for students to go after exiting the Examination Schools so it was fairly easy to make some great pictures but now things seem to be different and it’s not so easy to know where the trashing might take place.

I spent a few weeks hoping I would come across some trashing in my lunch hour photo walks into town but unfortunately I didn’t have much luck until this particular day when I came across this group of students waiting around the corner of Brasenose Lane for their friend to come along. It was perfect timing and I happened to have the perfect camera and lens for it. Everything happened so quickly that I only managed to make these five frames but I’m very pleased with how they turned out and that I managed to avoid getting covered in the food that was being thrown around.

[Tech info:] Pentax 67 with 55mm lens, loaded with Ilford Delta 400, processed in Ilford DD-X 1+4.

Oxford university students celebrating the end of exams

Getting trashed after exams