OPS Weekly Newsletter 7 April 2024

OPS Weekly Newsletter 7 April 2024


  • This Tuesday meeting starts at 8.00pm and will be held at Holton Village Hall, Holton, Oxfordshire, OX33 1PR.
  • Do start selecting your prints for our 23 April: Print Critique evening


  1. Last week’s meeting Confessions of a Landscape Photographer with Paul Mitchell FRPS MCSD

Paul worked as a graphic designer for many years before he eventually became a professional photographer and given more freedom to expressive himself. His talk was a mix of planned and found photographs and be began by sharing tips on how to plan your landscape photography whether inland or coastal.


Planning: Books, such as the FotoVue Guides, and magazines, he finds Outdoor Photography very useful for discovering good ideas. He warned against tick box exercises and not to put your tripod legs in the same indents on the ground of past photographers. These guides helps you find an area and the opportunities close by.


He also uses google images and Flikr to research locations. Then it is looking at google maps, checking the weather – he thinks BBC Weather is pretty useless and uses the Met Office tool, also Clear Outside. Photo Ephemeris is very good to understand where sun and moon will be.  An analogue sun compass is very useful. For places to park his car Google Earth is very good.


Time is important too. Allow time to walk to your location, give yourself a good half an hour arrival at the spot before sunrise/sunset and avoid peak times. If possible scout the location before the day of shooting.


Equipment: He then went on about equipment and an alarm clock is a landscape photographers best friend. He had a list of things to take: camera, spare batteries, lenses, memory cards, filters (polariser, Neutral Density grad, hard and soft, and solid ND) cleaning equipment (Zeiss lens wipes), blower brush, spirit level for hot shoe, sun glasses, phone with all those apps, black bin bags, note pad, tripod, shutter release and a good kit bag to carry them all.


Composition: For aiding composition and ‘pre-visualisation’ he uses a black piece of card with an aperture (2×3 or 3×4 aspect ratio) cut out. He holds it to the scene he wants to suit to get a sense of what it would look like. Closer to his face a wide shot, at arm’s length a close up.


He showed some shots that emphasized foreground interest, also shots that had clear or implied leading lines.


His images all exploited the light to its full potential for the shot. The golden hour, the hour after sunrise and before sunset, was well used in a series of photographs he took. He also showed shots of Bridlington and Derwent Water shot during the blue hour, an hour before sunrise and an hour after sunset.


Not content with the light Paul also had great shots at night well after the sun had gone down, one of a London skyscraper and another of Horton Tower which he lit by shing a torch at the tower.


His next series of images were using atmospherics. Misty Scarborough panoramic shot on a sadly sold Hassleblad Xpan. There was also Dorset low lying mist and Kingston Lacy’s beech avenue in mist and fog plus Savernake Forest in the rain. Bad weather is good photography weather.


Next was frost in Saltaire West Yorkshire – a very Bill Brandt vibe – and snow in Bournemouth thanks to the Beast from the East, plus Rannoick Moor in Scotland.


Paul then went on to show images using extended exposure to get movement, usually water, in his shots before he ended his talk with a series of infra-red shots.


It was a bravura performance; the images were all superb whichever technique he was using and he more than mastered them all and he was more than generous sharing his tips and advice. An excellent evening and one of the best we have had.


  1. Next week’s meeting starts at 00pm, Tuesday 9 April: Digital Image Competition No. 3 at Holton Village Hall, Holton, Oxfordshire, OX33 1PR.


Our judge will be Peter Cox

President – Tring & District Camera Club


  1. Upcoming meetings in April


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.


Tuesday 23 April: Print Critique

Tonight David Lowe will be reviewing and giving his views on our prints in a Print Critique evening at the Holton Village Hall, Holton, Oxfordshire, OX33 1PR.


Tuesday 30 April:  ZOOM – Speaker event with Joe Houghton “Photography in a AI world”

We have the pleasure of welcoming back Joe Houghton who previously gave us a talk on Lightroom and Photoshop. This evening he will be going through the advantages of using AI.


A link will be sent to all members so that this ZOOM presentation can be done in your own homes.


  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

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

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



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


Saul Leiter: An Unfinished World

17 February – 2 June 2024

10am – 5pm

MK Gallery

900 Midsummer Blvd

Milton Keynes, MK9 3QA


American photographer Saul Leiter (1923 – 2013), one of the most important practitioners of the post-war period and a pioneer of colour photography, celebrated for his evocative images of New York City in the 1950s and 1960s, is the subject of a major survey at MK Gallery.


Leiter photographed every day for sixty years, keenly observing daily life and discovering beauty on the streets of the East Village neighbourhood where he lived his entire adult life and which became his enduring subject. Upon his death in 2013, Leiter left behind a remarkable collection of around 15,000 black and white prints, at least 40,000 colour slides, a similar number of black and white negatives and over 4000 paintings, only a handful of which had seen the light of day. Once lost to obscurity, his work has since been rediscovered and revaluated for its ground-breaking role in the emergence of colour photography.


Saul Leiter: An Unfinished World at MK Gallery is the largest exhibition of Leiter’s work to take place in the UK, featuring 171 photographs alongside a selection of over 40 of Leiter’s lesser-known paintings.



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


The quiet brilliance of street photographer Saul Leiter

This is the second exhibition of mid-century New York street photography at the MK Gallery in Milton Keynes. The first, in 2022, surveyed the work of Vivian Maier, who at her death left behind a vast quantity of prints and negatives: evidence of a hidden life unsuspected even by those in whose household she lived and worked for four decades. There are continuities between Maier and the subject of the current show, Saul Leiter. They were contemporaries, loners who lived into their eighties (Leiter died four years after Maier, in 2013), prolific but uninterested in recognition, their reputations largely posthumous.



RPS Update

Welcome to the April edition of the RPS update. In this issue, we announce the launch of the inaugural Eamonn McCabe Bursary, details of Photo North Festival #5, plus the RPS Members Summer Exhibition is going on tour to Weston Museum this spring.



Twelve Tips for Beautiful Spring Landscape Photography

One of the most rewarding types of photography for beginners, hobbyists, and even seasoned professionals is spring landscape photography. As you see flowers blooming, trees budding, grass growing, and animals out and about after a long winter, there’s a sense of incredible vitality, and capturing it all on camera is a lot of fun.



Blooming lovely: spring cherry blossom – in pictures

Photographer David Levene has been enjoying the sights of spring – delicate cherry blossom in the Japanese garden at the National Trust’s Kingston Lacy country house in Wimborne, Dorset and the Mount Fuji cherry trees at Mottisfont Abbey, sheltered in the valley of the River Test in Hampshire



‘I want the hair ruffled’ – Martin Parr’s authentic take on the glossy world of fashion – in pictures

The legendary photographer has been capturing the industry for the last 25 years. His new book catalogues the chips, cups of tea and shoots in Katz’s deli



World Press Photo 2024 regional winners – in pictures

A selection of photographs from the 24 winning projects and six honourable mentions in the World Press Photo annual competition. This year, the jury included two special mentions. Awarded stories will be part of a global exhibition visiting London in May. Four global winners will be announced on 18 April

Warning: viewers may find some of the following photographs distressing




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