OPS Weekly Newsletter 7 January 2024 

  • Tuesday 16 Jan we will not be a Band Hall but out and about in Oxford taking photos. Bring warm clothes.
  • Next month we have another exhibition at the Westgate Library. More details to follow soon.
  • Project Group: Please contact Phil if you are interested in joining a mutually supportive Project Group.
  1. Last meeting – Helen Stewart in the Artic and France plus show and tell 

The Artic – Iceland and Greenland

Helen started her presentation with images of Iceland. Iceland has become a very popular destination for photographers and tourists and at times they tend to photograph the same thing. Helen likes to photograph the scene that their backs are facing.

Her destination was not Iceland but Greenland and she travelled to the north of Iceland to pick up the ship – the Freya – which would take her on her expedition. This was September and the evening light Helen captured was fantastic. They sailed all night, then all day, then another night before they arrived at a village of colourful houses and, besides getting shots of the village and the area, Helen managed to also do some portraits, though the local people were somewhat reluctant subjects.

They sailed on and Helen captured images of icebergs in their eerie abstract shapes and soft colours. There were some extremely beautiful dusk shots. The colours captured throughout her expedition were exquisite.

The next day they hunted – with cameras from the ship – polar bears. Helen got some very good close-up shots of a polar bear’s behaviour post seal lunch. At this point Helen had a confession to make: she never understood the difference between focus and metering and it was on this trip she got to grips the difference and understood how each one worked.

The group of photographers went on land and Helen captured the beautiful autumn ‘Alpine’ plants in the red Tundra. She also managed to get shots of Muskox which feed on the Tundra vegetation.

Helen also managed to get shots of the ‘northern lights’ on the last night of the trip.

Paris, France

Helen went to Paris on Eurostar in May on a three-day photographic workshop to capture the essence of the city.

The first day was an exercise in taking only black and white photo and only in jpeg, the next two days were less restricted. All this freed Helen to take whatever caught her eye: she shot people having their photos taken, she broke the Camera Club rule of never photographing the written word, she cut off peoples’ heads and hands in shots with impunity. Near the river Seine she photographed people dancing, capturing the movement and the details of peoples’ hands.

Helen captured abstract images of the ubiquitous Paris café, tables, chairs etc. She recorded just everything she saw and really enjoyed the liberating experience. She likened it to a stream of consciousness and the results were rich in terms of what Paris is.

All in all an excellent set of images – both from the natural habitation in the Artic and the truly urban of urbane Paris. Many thanks Helen to an thoroughly enjoyable presentation.

In the second half we were given a mix of images from Pete W of shots of his family and places close top home on his mobile phone camera, Dave Mac of a recent trip to Bangladesh featuring some very scary working conditions in the ship repair/building/salvage industry, Les G with images of the action from his local rugby club, and Ian B with his 2024 calendar for his family and friends.

  1. Next week’s meeting Tuesday 9 January 2024: 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.

  1. Upcoming meetings in January 

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. Films and exhibitions 


Directed by Paul Sng | UK | 2023 | 1h 30m

Ultimate Picture Palace

24 and 25 January 2024

Born in the northern coastal town of South Shields, Tish Murtha was driven by a fierce conviction to record the impact of Thatcher era de-industrialisation upon local communities. Her striking black and white photos would become a powerful record of a world decimated by a new and ruthless form of capitalism. In this deeply personal documentary, BIFA-winning director Paul Sng (Poly Styrene: I Am A Cliché, Dispossession: The Great Social Housing Swindle) crafts an intimate portrait of an artist whose work demands to be rediscovered and recognised.

Join us on Wednesday 24th January for a special Q&A screening with the film’s director, Paul Sng.


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.



Huxley-Parlour are delighted to announce a new exhibition of work by American photographer Joel Meyerowitz, his fourth with the gallery. The exhibition, which coincides with an important display at Tate Modern, explores Meyerowitz’ unique approach to colour and light. For the exhibition at Huxley-Parlour, Meyerowitz presents his work anachronistically and in pairs, in order to reveal his enduring, experimental use of colour in his photography.


  1. General photographic interest 

Photography Online 

Find out all about our exciting new 2024 format as we start the UK’s ultimate photo challenge with Accurist Watches. We then give you some ideas for shooting indoor and outdoor macro photos with your digital camera. Then we take a photo tour of Namibia to see why it’s one of the world’s most sought after photo locations. Finally, we do a model shoot on film and process the rolls in the wrong chemicals – just to see what happens.


Coquet valley residents visit neighbours on quad bikes over new year – in pictures 

In one of England’s most remote corners, residents in Upper Coquet valley in Northumberland have, for the past 20 years, mounted quad bikes and gone farm to farm, providing a much-needed injection of company and support to households, not all of which have mains electricity or even telecoms.


‘Poetic glimpses of postwar America’: Garry Winogrand’s colourful streets – in pictures 

The influential street photographer was known for his black-and-white images, but a new book collects the dazzling colour slides he captured from the 1950s onwards


Strapped in? RaMell Ross’s tour of the American south – in pictures 

From teenagers to tornados, the artist, film-maker and photographer captures the ‘earth, dirt, soil and land’ of his adopted home



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