OPS Weekly Newsletter 17 September

  • Please upload your five images for Take 5 at Photo Contest Pro website


  1. Last week’s meeting – Craig Jones: “The Beauty of Wildlife” followed by “First Contact”

For someone who left school as soon as he could with little or no qualifications, Craig had the air of a philosopher in terms of his photographer. He saw an approach to photography as more important than the end product. His attitude to his subject matter – wildlife – was equally philosophical. Ethics and respect were his guiding principles: nature needs our love was his mantra.


As a child he was close to his mother and distant to his father. His mother instilled in him a love of nature and he kept zebra finches from the age of 12. Tragically she died of cancer when he was only 15 and at the age of 16 he joined the army and made his way to being a sniper in the paratroop regiment. The skills he learnt – stealth and concealment and accurate targeting – could be seen as perfect skills for photographing wildlife.


Instead of the usual presentation of single image commented upon followed by another and another, Craig showed several slide shows of his images with a mixture of still and moving images. All were well curated and showed the beauty of wildlife. He says that he doesn’t use bait to attract wildlife to where he wants them. Neither does he go out with an idea of the photo he is looking for. His approach is much more organic.


He says that when he is out looking for wildlife to photograph he will not disturb the wildlife. If he sees any wildlife he will be still and will not advance or make movements. He sits down and observes. e sits downb Nature will tell him if you his is not welcome, so he needs to be respectful to nature’s needs and presence.


The first two hours and last two hours of the day is when nature is busy and that is when he is out photographing wildlife. If you want ‘catch lights’ in the eyes look west and east as that is where the sun will be in the morning and the late afternoon.


He said the first contact he had with a soldier was terrifying, with nature it is both powerful and beautiful. Your first contact with nature will last longer depending on your behaviour. Do not shock wildlife, adjust your behaviour and this will show in your photographs. Nature will know you are there and if you get it right it will invite you in. Most importantly: wear smelly clothes!


Besides his advice on the approach and mindset, Craig also had some practical tips: get down to eye level with your subject. Instead of a tripod he uses a ‘skimmer pod’ which allows him to get down and dirty. Also invest in knee pads and a roll matt. He also had some advice on booking photo trips: avoid trips with fancy accommodation, do plenty of research on the places you’re going to and make sure the local guides knows their stuff. Local knowledge is key.


His images were superb, and he captured and showed us some stunning scenes. You can see more on his You Tube channel here: https://www.youtube.com/@craigjoneswildlife1/videos and also on his ethical approach here: https://www.craigjoneswildlifephotography.co.uk/ethics


  1. Annual subscriptions

If you haven’t already paid your annual subscriptions, you can do this via the website at http://oxfordphotosociety.co.uk/annual-subsciption/ or directly to our bank account using the details below.


Subscription are as follows: –

  • Full annual membership £48.00
  • Joint membership £88.00

For those of you who are associate members because you have moved away from the area, please email Keith if you wish to continue. The annual cost is £25. Please note if you are an associate you are required to pay the visitors fee for attending meetings whether in the band hall. This year’s “visitors fee” will be £5.


Payment directly to the club’s bank account for online bankers is always appreciated. The details for this are:


Bank: Barclays

Account Name: Oxford Photographic Society

Account Number: 60707872

Sort Code: 20-65-18


Please include your name as a reference.

For those wishing to pay via debit or with credit cards, this will be available via “stripe” using the following link under “Store”: http://oxfordphotosociety.co.uk/annual-subsciption/


Payment can also be made directly to the above bank account via “the high street banks”.


Confirmation of receipt will be made by email.


Remember Fully Paid-up membership is a prerequisite for entering club competitions, for entering the annual exhibition, £2 attendance at band hall and joining in with special interest groups etc.

Where your renewal has not been completed by 30th September, members’ details will be deleted from the web site and their email addresses will be removed from the members’ circulation list.


Associate members and visitors will be required to pay the visitor fee, of £5, prior to the meeting.


  1. This coming meeting: J P Jones – Story Telling for Photographer

Great storytelling will help an audience connect emotionally to your images, but understanding how to weave narrative into your photography is far from obvious. Contact me for bookings. JP has spent the last decade photographing the same group of Mexica, or Azteca, dancers. In that time he learned how connected the Mexica are to their mythology, to ancient stories passed down across generations. That’s when he realised that, as these stories were so vital to Mexica culture, they needed to play a bigger role in his portraits.


He has presented his talks over 250 times since 2020. Each one is an exploration into Narrative Photography, using videos and photos from my photoshoots here in Mexico.



  1. Upcoming meetings in September


Tuesday 26 September 2023 7:30 pm

Take 5 Competition

Our Annual Take 5 extravaganza where members submit 5 of their best images and the attendees on the night vote for each image.

The totals are added up and the winner announced the following week.



  1. General photographic interest

Park Cameras Wildlife Day, Burgess Hill, West Sussex Saturday 23rd September 2023

If Wildlife’s your thing, then don’t miss the Park Cameras Wildlife Day, held at our Burgess Hill store on Saturday 23rd September 2023.

The Wildlife Day is BACK! Upon visiting the store on 23rd September, you’ll find some incredible one-day-only offers, and product experts available all day from a wide variety of leading brands including Canon, Sony, Nikon, Fujifilm, Panasonic, Sigma, Manfrotto, Lowepro, ZEISS and Vanguard to name just a few!




Fairford, Faringdon, Filkins and Burford Ploughing Championship and Country Show: Saturday 30 September 2023

The next Fairford, Faringdon, Filkins and Burford Ploughing Championship and Country Show is on Saturday 30 September 2023 at Black Bourton Road, Bampton OX18 2PE by kind permission of G J Hook & Son.



Street photography winners revealed

Street photography continues to be a very popular genre, whether you are using a conventional camera or smartphone, and the Society of International Travel and Tourism Photographers has recently announced the winners of its annual Street Photography Competition.



The best black and white photography: 2023 Mono awards – in pictures

Dedicated to the art of monochrome and black-and-white photography in Australia and New Zealand, the annual awards celebrate the very best in three categories: people, place and animals



Astronomy photographer of the year 2023: winners and finalists

The Royal Observatory in Greenwich has announced winning and commended entrants in this year’s contest



Photo of a paper nautilus on a floating stick wins award

A striking photo of a paper nautilus drifting on a piece of ocean debris by 25-year-old marine biologist and amateur photographer, Jialing Cai, has won the Ocean Photographer of the Year award.



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