OPS Weekly Newsletter 24 March 2024

OPS Weekly Newsletter 24 March 2024


  • The Silverband Hall will be close in April for three to four weeks due to renovation work. Our 2 April evening will be held at Old School House, Hertford Street, East Oxford, OX4 3AJ. Subsequent April evenings will be held at Holton Village Hall, Holton, Oxfordshire, OX33 1PR.
  • Our next Digital Projected Image competition will take place on 9 April so please start selecting your entries.


  1. Last meeting – Best Use of Light with Phil Joyce judging


Phil started the evening explaining the history of the Best Use of Light competition. It was set up to commemorate Peter Upton who, back in the day, was a leading member of the club and had a very distinctive style, powerful use of colour and light.


Phil then went on to explain what he will be looking for:

  • Is it a good photograph?
  • Does it use light appropriate to the subject?
  • Has the light been exploited to make the image standout?


Phil then ran through all the images, which were of a very high standard, commenting on each one, and holding back quite a number. His aim was to whittle the list the images down to five and make the order in which they stand. Which were, in reverse order:


5th: Sandra Devaney – Mosque Eyes

4th: Linda Wride – White Light

3rd: Ian Bray Daisies in Vase

2nd: Dave MacKay – Rakher Upobash Festival

1st : Keith Worthington – Kingfisher with Catch (back curtain flash)


If you are not sure what back/rear curtain sync flash is then please see video here of what it is, what it does and how to use it. And if you are intrigued by the Rakher Upobash Festival see more here.


Many thanks to everyone who entered the Best Use of Light. The standard was very high and we eventually had 38 images to view. And congratulations to all the top five and to Keith for winning with a remarkable image.


And speaking of excellent judges… we have received this request below to step into the considerably large boots of Ron to judge images in Horton Cum Studley this autumn. Please do email the organiser if you are interested. There is a free calendar on offer…


“Horton Cum Studley parish has a photo comp every year to produce their annual calendar.


“Ron Perkins, as a resident, used to be one of the two judges. When he moved away he asked me to take over the reins and it has been a fun thing to do.


“I am unable to continue to do this and I was hoping that you or someone else at OPS might be interested in taking it on.


“It is one evening in the Autumn at a house in the village. The two judges, the other chap is an artist, view the photos and score them 1-5. The scores are added to get a position list. We then have a bit of a chat over our decisions and may do some adjustments. All in all a pleasant evening.


“The bonus is you get a free HCS calendar. Wow.


“Let me know what you think.”




Rodney – rodhugs1@googlemail.com



  1. Next week’s meeting Tuesday 26 March: Willie and Dave A will be giving the presentations.


Willie says: In my 26 March talk I’ll cover some historical images from photographers in my family long gone, discuss a couple of image restorations, review a dozen or so of my favourite images from 2016 to 2022 then cover trips in 2023 to Islay, Norfolk, Mull, Wales, Paris and Vienna.


In the second half Dave will present his images.


  1. Upcoming meetings in April


Tuesday 2 April: Confessions of a Landscape Photographer (Change of Venue – see details below)

Paul Mitchell FRPS MCSD : Born in East Yorkshire, Paul’s interest for photography began at school. He then studied graphic design at art college and soon after began his design career in London working for many well known FMCG companies and brands. He now lives in East Dorset as a professional landscape photographer and specialist book designer.


Paul has had numerous exhibitions in London and the South East and has had articles and images published in many photographic magazines. He is a Fellow of the Royal Photographic Society and is the current Chair of the Landscape Distinctions panel. He also serves on the Visual Art and PhotoBook panels. A member of the prestigious Arena group of photographers and a founder member of The Landscape Collective UK (LCUK). Paul is also a well respected photographic judge and lecturer.


Paul has also been successful in the prestigious Landscape Photographer of the Year competition, winning the Sunday Times Choice Award in 2013, the Urban Category winner in 2015 and commended in 2017 and 2018. He has also had successes in the Outdoor Photographer of the Year and the International Garden Photographer of the Year. In March 2022 Paul won the RHS Gold Medal and Best in Show at their Botanical Art and Photography Show held at the Saatchi Gallery.


You can see more details by visiting his web site : www.paulmitchellphotography.co.uk


His talk tonight is titled ” Confessions Of Landscape Photographer ” : An illustrated talk about how Paul researches and plans ahead before going on his landscape photography trips at different locations (coast, woodland etc.). He also gives an insight as to what techniques he uses when composing landscapes and the type of landscape images he would make under varying weather conditions. It also covers the type of software apps, filters and equipment he uses. Paul’s talk is fully illustrated with digitally projected images and prints.


Change of venue: Our 2 April evening will be held at Old School House, Hertford Street, East Oxford, OX4 3AJ.


Tuesday 9 April: Digital Image Competition No. 3 ( Change of venue – Holton Village Hall )

Peter Cox

President – Tring & District Camera Club

Is also a speaker and judge.


Change of Venue: Village Hall, Holton, Oxfordshire, OX33 1PR


Tuesday 16 April: An evening in Oxford with our cameras

OPS members to take images in and around Oxford showing the very diverse way people see images from each other. We are going to have our second one of these evenings following on from the success of the first one we held on the 16th January.


  1. Photo themed events in Oxford


Make a traditional black and white portrait photograph in central Oxford

Sessions in our beautiful riverfront workspace. Make a portrait and see it develop in the darkroom.

Salter Brothers Yard, Folly Bridge, Oxford OX1 4LB

Fri 29th March   2pm                      £50 and a little more for 2 people

Mon 15th April  10am or 2pm     £50 or £65 for 2 people

Mon 29th April  10am or 2pm     £50 or £65 for 2 people



Sun Printing – Cyanotypes

Friday, 5th April 2024 14:00-16:30


This workshop is at Hunsdon House Garden School, Headington, Oxford

Explore the historic photographic process of cyanotypes, also known as sun prints in this half day workshop with Abingdon-based artist Emma Williams aka Natural Learning Oxford. Use a specially coated paper, arrange your items on top and expose it to the rays of the sun. You can use plants, objects, stencils, even your hands to make patterns. Then, just rinse your print in water and your picture will appear like magic!



Bluebell photography course

Capture spring’s stunning display of colours whilst exploring the Arboretum. Learn various methods to photograph trees, plants and views with your own camera

10.30am – 1pm/£50/Sat 4th May 24 Harcourt Arboretum Nuneham Courtenay


Meadow photography course

Capture our wonderful meadow in bloom in the summer whilst exploring the Arboretum. Learn various methods to photograph trees, plants and views with your own camera

10.30am – 1pm/£50/Sat 15th Jun 24Harcourt Arboretum Nuneham Courtenay


Natural Photography Workshop

Leave the cameras at home and try a photography workshop with a difference. Create your own beautiful prints from plants and explore a new experimental photographic technique that references Sir John Frederick William Herschel’s discoveries in the 1800s

10.30am – 2.30pm/£50/Wed 3rd Jul 24. Harcourt Arboretum Nuneham Courtenay


  1. Photo exhibitions further afield


Best photography exhibitions to see in 2024

One of the best ways to gain inspiration for your photography and exploring different styles is by experiencing and viewing the work of other photographers and artists. We’ve put together a selection of the best exhibitions on around the UK during 2024 to see photography; including exhibitions that present photographs alongside other disciplines.


Below, you’ll find the information you need including dates, location and ticket details to plan your trips.



  1. General photographic interest


How to Know If Your Photography Is Good: The Art of Self-Critique

Which images should you include in your portfolio? Which should you share on social media? And which should never see the light of day? Determining which photos to present to the world is a common problem for amateur and newbie photographers (and it’s something that plenty of professionals struggle with, too!).



15 Photos to Inspire You to Use Patterns in your Photography

By Jessica Barnes

Patterns occur all around us – they can be naturally occurring or man-made. In photography, it can be a powerful tool to use in composition. As a photographer, it can be a great skill to learn how to look for patterns, and also recognize patterns to use in your shots. You can use patterns to draw attention to your subject or even test your own creativity and create your own pattern photographs.



Becoming a Human Tripod

An often forgotten topic in the photography schools and courses is the physical (I would say, physiological) side of the game. True, a Leica Noctilux and a Leica M can deliver exceptionally sharp images, but if your hands tremble or your body wobbles, no gear, no matter the cost,  can save your shot from being shaken.



Francesca Woodman and Julia Margaret Cameron: Portraits to Dream In review – an intriguing double act

National Portrait Gallery, London

The Victorian portraiture pioneer and the mysterious 70s American photographer who died at 22 both surprise in a quietly subversive exploration of their contrasting processes



The big picture: George Hoyningen-Huene’s mysterious Divers

Seemingly shot on the French Riviera, the grand make-believe and glamour of this famous image is characteristic of the photographer’s work for French Vogue’s golden age