OPS Weekly Newsletter 17 December  

  • Please bring an image to our Christmas Club Night that is different to your accustomed style. We will see if we can put photographer to photograph.
  • Project Group: Please contact Phil if you are interested in joining a mutually supportive Project Group. You would have seen his email earlier this week: “I forgot to mention last night that we used to have a small group that met to discuss and share project ideas. As projects progressed/completed we sought of fizzled out, but if you have any interest in participating in a resurrected group, please let me know and I will co-ordinate it. Also, if anyone would like a copy of the information slides from last night, please ask.”
  • Do visit our photo exhibition at the Central Library, 228, The Westgate, Queen St, Oxford OX1 1PE. It run until 20 December. Not many more shopping days left…
  1. Last week’s meeting – In the Footsteps of Shackleton with Eddy Lane.

This was a fascinating talk about Eddy’s trip to Antarctica and Frank Hurley’s trip with Ernest Shackleton a century earlier. This was a brave thing to do. Showing your images and talking about your journey was a tough call alongside Hurley and Shackleton, as both are the stuff of legend.


Eddy flew down to Argentina to a place near the Welsh speaking area. (Legend has it that the word ‘penguin’ is based on Welsh, ‘pen gwyn’ for ‘white head’) He then took a three day sail by ship to the Falkland Islands. On the way he caught photos of Wandering Albatrosses which, once fledged, spend eight years at sea before returning to the place of their birth to breed. Getting fresh drinking water is a challenge for sea birds. Some sea birds have their own a desalination system. They have a “gland (which) secretes (the) highly concentrated brine stored near the nostrils above the beak. The bird then “sneezes” the brine out.”


Eddy showed his shots of Black Browed Albatross and a short film showing them re-acquainting with each other by lovingly knocking their beaks together. This can go on for days.


He then moved on from the Falklands to South Georgia which has only two permanent residents who run the postal service. We then were treated to the images of the King Penguin in vast colonies. In St Andrew’s Bay there were 200,000 breeding pairs. There were also vast numbers in Right Whale Bay too. Other bays had different types of penguins in colonies and Eddy showed videos of penguins feeding their chicks. He then moved on to Antarctica proper and showed images of the great continent.


Eddy ran through Shackleton’s heroic, but disastrous, expedition. He started with an advertisement Shackleton had put in the Times newspaper: “Men wanted for hazardous journey. Low wages, bitter cold, long hours of complete darkness. Safe return doubtful. Honour and recognition in event of success.” (however it is disputed whether the advert ever ran)


Shackleton pulled his crew of 27 together which included the photographer Frank Hurley.


The choice of ship was Shackleton’s undoing, so was his plan to sail to the Antarctic after being told, when he was in South Georgia, that the sea ice was much greater than usual for the time of year. Sail on he did, and the ship got stuck in the ice for nine months as it circled in the Weddell Sea. Eventually the ice crushed the hull of the ship and it had to be abandoned. The men had to then haul the three lift boats across the ice and eventually sailed to Elephant Island and relative safety. Shackleton then set sail on one of the lifeboats with a couple of crew members, including the captain Frank Worsley, to South Georgia.


The captain remarkably managed to navigate to South Georgia and Shackleton raised the alarm and organised a rescue mission.


For Frank Hurley the trip over the ice meant that he had to restrict the number of glass plate negatives he had taken to a mere 150. These images are stunning and Eddy showed an audio-visual presentation done by the BBC using Hurley’s images set to recordings from a BBC docu-drama of the Shackleton expedition starring Kenneth Branagh.


A thoroughly fascinating evening and many thanks to Eddy for his very special presentation.


  1. Next week’s meeting Tuesday 19 December: Christmas Club Night 

A social evening where we will run our second group event of sharing and viewing each other’s images 4/6 per table. And maybe some mince pies and a glass of fizz. Run by Helen Webb

Happy Christmas. And farewell to our first half of the season.


  1. Upcoming meetings in December and January 


Tuesday 2 January 2024: Show and Tell with Helen Stewart for the first half of the evening 

Tonight we have a presentation in two parts from one of our lady members Helen who will be showing and talking about her images from two recent trips to very different locations, Greenland and Paris. This will be in the first half of the evening the second half is over to the rest of you to bring in images on a USB to present on the evening.


Tuesday 9 January: Wildlife Photography Part 3 – My month in the Falkland Islands with Tracey Lund 

A welcome return of Tracy Lund. This talk is all about my months tour around the Falkland Islands. I will take you on the journey of all the Islands I visited along with the wildlife I photographed with some stories along the way.


This presentation is being done via ZOOM into the silver band Hall.


Tuesday 16 January: A Walk Around Oxford 

Tonight, we will be doing something different we will meet in Oxford at 19.30 (Venue to be Confirmed) with our cameras to take some night-time photography you choose: “Light trails” for” long exposure”, “Street life after dark”, “Buildings” and “Shadows”, basically anything goes. Meet back up at 21.00 for a coffee or a beer and wander off again for some last shots before heading home.


Park and ride is probably the easiest thing for people to do.


We will then show maximum 10 images the following week as a show and tell with a difference.


Tuesday 23 January: Show and Tell from the previous weeks “Walk around Oxford” 

Tonight we will hold the full evening to a show and tell for every photographer who attended the previous weeks trip into Oxford, for the walk about with our cameras.


10 minutes to each photographer and we should hopefully see some very diverse range of images from our talented photographers


Tuesday 30 January: Digital Lecture TALKING PICTURES with Chris Palmer 

A welcome return to Chris Palmer who has been a favourite amongst our judges and now this evening he will be giving his talk called “Talking Pictures”


His talk alludes to the fact that he will be talking about his pictures but more importantly what are the pictures we view say back us/you the Viewer. The image should communicate with the viewer. He will discuss camera craft, and skills and the way he photographs when on location. He will cover Landscape, Urban, Monochrome, and beach photography.


  1. General photographic interest 

 Amateur Photographer of the Year 2023 winners announced 

This year’s Amateur Photographer of the Year competition was particularly tightly fought. Here are your winners…



See the incredible winning low light images from APOY 

The winners of final APOY 2023 round, Round Ten, Low light, are in! Here are the top ten images uploaded to Photocrowd from the low light round with comments by the AP team and our guest judge. Images featured include some fantastic night images, as well as studio portraits.



Dorothea Lange: 10 of the most iconic portraits from a lost US 

An exhibition at the National Gallery of Art in Washington explores the work of legendary photographer Dorothea Lange, who captured some of the most striking images ever shot of American poverty, hardship and resilience in the 20th Century.



These are the most exciting photobooks out this winter 

Our final books roundup of 2023 takes us from Belgium to Lahore to Berlin and beyond, with entries from Jason Koxvold, Keisha Scarville and Tami Aftab



‘You wait for someone to fill the frame’: Remembering Elliott Erwitt in Paris 

The passing of Elliott Erwitt is a major loss for the photo community. We revisit his Paris retrospective from earlier this year



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