Then we hope you find the answers to these frequently asked questions a help:
Q: I see on the website that a lot of people have qualifications and it seems a bit daunting!
A: They might have them now, but they didn’t when they joined OPS! If gaining awards is your thing, then we will help you along the way; if awards are not your thing don’t worry about it, there is no expectation that you should have or get awards. It’s all about pictures – not awards.
Q: Is it important what type of camera I have?
A: Not at all. Obviously single lens reflex (SLR) cameras offer more versatility than compact cameras, but your camera is your choice – they all take pictures and that is the important bit!
Q: How can I improve my photography?
A: By looking at pictures and showing other people your pictures. Also by talking to people about how they approach their subject and how they got a particular shot. This is what we do at OPS all the time. We have competitions where judges comment on our pictures and speakers who talk about their own photography and show us their pictures. All OPS members are willing to share their knowledge and experience.
Q: do you have to become a member to come to meetings?
A: No. You can come as a visitor as many times as you like to see if we are offering what you want from your photography. If you like it, you can join and enter our competitions.
Q: Where do you go to take pictures?
A: Some photographers prefer the solitude of working alone whilst others enjoy working in a group. OPS has an informal group who organise trips once a month (usually in the pub after OPS meetings). We share lifts and select destinations within about a 100-mile radius of Oxford – then we head off and look for pictures! Each summer we have a long weekend break to travel further afield – you can see some of the pictures from these trips – follow this link. WE are also running
Photo-walks – join a small group on a walk around Oxford led by one or more experienced OPS members. With expert one-to-one support we will show you how to use your camera, compose pictures and perhaps more importantly how to start ‘seeing’ pictures in the world around you.
Q: Is your club all digital?
A: No. Members are using a mixture of 35mm film and digital camera equipment. Traditional darkroom work is very much in decline and most prints are produced from a PC, but film slide work is still going strong.
Q: Do you run workshops for beginners?
Yes, we have a number of things going on to help you improve;
Photo-Tutorials – at small informal group meetings OPS members will demonstrate how to use photo-software and make basic and artistic improvements to your pictures.
Photo-mentors – improving your photography can seem daunting, especially if you compare your work to those who have been doing it for ages. OPS photo-mentors know this because like everyone they started at the beginning and know how much there is to learn; they will be there to answer your questions (even if you think they’re stupid – the questions not the OPS photo-mentors!) as well as offer whatever support you need. You can choose your mentor and decide how much help you want.
All OPS members are able and willing to help with any questions you have – just ask!
Q: Do you have darkroom facilities?
A: No, unfortunately we do not but you could try the Photographers Workshop off Cowley Road(visit: www.photographersworkshop.com)