Welcome

OXFORD PHOTOGRAPHIC SOCIETY is a progressive photographic club which has been in existence for over a hundred years.

Our membership includes everyone from beginners to high-end achievers and as a club we are well respected
within the U.K. photographic fraternity.

Our web site will, hopefully, give you an insight into the eclectic mix of genres from street, wildlife, abstract and landscape photography taken on anything from smartphones to top of the range digital equipment.

Please, take some time to browse through and, if you like what you see, come and join us for an evening of photography.

Ivor Porter
Chair Person

What We Do

OPS continues to be one of the UK's leading photographic societies and our aim is to promote an appreciation of all forms of photography, as well as encourage participation no matter what your level of experience or area of interest – newcomers are very welcome. If there is something you think we could or should do, then please let us know!

Our key activities include:-

  • Meetings – every Tuesday during our September – May season. This is our main point of contact with each other, The programme has a variety of guest speakers, competitions and discussion evenings, with occasional practical sessions. Your first visit is absolutely free and you are welcome to attend as a visitor for as long as you like whilst you decide if membership is for you. We hold a pre-meeting huddle for newcomers – between 7.30~7.45pm - you are invited to join other newcomers in hearing more about the evening’s events and what to expect.
  • After the meeting their is always a social gathering in the pub. This gives an opportunity for informal chats on all sorts of things including photography!
  • An annual exhibition to showcase the work of all members.
  • Special interest groups, supported by enthusiasts who arrange a variety of activities to share their knowledge and experience.
  • Photo Trips – informally day trips arranged by various club members to visit places of interest in the UK. Past trips have visited Stonehenge, Sheffield, Brighton and Slimbridge.
  • Opportunities to enter club competitions, national and international exhibitions/salons. Our members have achieved wide ranging success and will be happy to support and encourage others.
In addition we still have established ways to develop your photography.
Photo-walks – join a small group on a walk around Oxford led by one or more experienced OPS members. With expert one-to-one support we will show you how to use your camera, compose pictures and perhaps more importantly how to start ‘seeing’ pictures in the world around you.
Photo-Tutorials – at small informal group meetings OPS members will demonstrate how to use photo-software and make basic and artistic improvements to your pictures.
Photo-mentors – improving your photography can seem daunting, especially if you compare your work to those who have been doing it for ages. OPS photo-mentors know this because like everyone they started at the beginning and know how much there is to learn; they will be there to answer your questions (even if you think they’re stupid – the questions not the OPS photo-mentors!) as well as offer whatever support you need. You can choose your mentor and decide how much help you want.
Website - as a member you can publish images to galleries on the website and receive constructive comments from other members. You'll also be able to see, and comment on, the work of other members. There is a forum for discussion of any photography-related topic.
We are also continuing our link with Oxford University Photographic Society offering great new mutual benefits to members see our Collaborations page to learn more.
See our Our History to find out more about the 120-year history of the OPS.

Our Subscription rates are:

  • Annual Subscription - £35
  • Joint Membership - £65
  • Visitors - £3*
  • Paid up members - £1*

 

First time visitors pay the visitor fee of £3 (£5 for premium events) which would be refundable against the annual membership subscription if membership is taken out during the season

50% discount for membership of OPS, if you are a member of OUPS

* Per meeting including free drink and raffle entry

OPS promises a great season - if you would like to know more take a look around the web site or contact us - we look forward to hearing from you!

Ivor Porter
Chairman

Our History

A brief account of the history of the Oxford Photographic Society by Vernon C Brooke ABIPP AMPA ARPS President OPS June 2007.


The very early days of the OPS are poorly recorded due to the loss of the archives between the first and second world wars. During WW 2 the secretary ship changed hands so many times due to the uncertainty of wartime life generally, that the archives up to that time have been lost. I sincerely hope that one day these important records will come to light. One of our club members did some research at the Brandford Museum of photography during our centenary year in 1989. He discovered in the records of the Royal Photographic Society the first known
mention of the OPS was a slide lecture at the Holywell music rooms OU in 1889.

This is the earliest record of the club so far but it is likely that the club existed before that. In another reference in Practical Photographers Annual of 1908 details of the OPS stated that in 1894 the society had a membership of 100, the entrance fee was 1 shilling and the annual membership was five shillings, meetings were held on the second and forth Mondays of each month at the University museum, ladies where admitted, Exhibitions of photographs where held Bi-annually and the society was affiliated to the Royal Photographic Society. The secretary at the time was George Newton and the president was none other than Sir John Hershel the famous astronomer. A copy of an old photograph from the Oxford city archives shows a group of OPS members on an outing to Clifton Hampden in 1890. the picture shows a horse and trap, a crowd of photographers and a forest of tripod legs!


Our present archives start around 1943. these are a little sketchy so a lot of the following information comes from my own recollections as a continuous member for 58 years having joined in 1949, when I first joined the leading lights in the club were Bob Rose, Harold Crawley ARPS, Jock Williams ARPS and Jim Forest (secretary) in the years immediately following the war photographic materials were in very short supply, government war surplus
was available in the form of five inch roll film normally intended for use in military aerial cameras, members would purchase this film and by use of a home made gadget split the film down the middle to produce two strips two and a half inches wide (standard 120 roll film) this was then cut to the appropriate length and attached to second hand backing paper for re use, all these operation had to be carried out in total darkness, Unfortunately there was never an indication of the film speed so a lot of experimenting was required, it was common practice for most members to make up their own chemicals using stock supplied mainly from Boots the Chemist, book on formulae were supplies by Ilford , Kodak ,Agfa and others, this was the age of innovation, the club had an extensive library where books could be loaned at meetings and returned in two weeks, various venues were used for meetings including the Oxford Girls school rooms at the rear of Rowells silversmith in the high street, the Geology department OU, Oriel College lecture rooms and some meetings a Southfield school. Practical
meetings included Portraiture, film and print processing and lens testing. In the 50s and 60s two print portfolios were circulated one for East Oxford and one for West Oxford, Each folio had about fourteen members who each in turn placed a print together with all details of the camera, lens, film, paper, developer etc inside. also included was a sheet for comments by each member, When the circuit was complete the print and comment sheet was taken out and a further print and details put in, this provided useful information on various processing and technical details.


For many years the club held a Christmas Social evening where wives, partners and friends were invited to come along, unfortunately this has been discontinued which is a pity as the social side is an essential part of club life , recently small groups of members have enjoyed trips to Wales, Canada, Kenya and Romania with more venues suggested, this allows for a broader outlook and also produces some excellent images.


At the present time the club membership stands at around 57members and new members are joining through logging on to our website. In recent years the change over to digital imaging has been dramatic where the use of computers allows freedom of imagination (where would we be with out Photoshop?) more members are changing from traditional film to digital, partly due to the increasing difficulty in obtaining 35mm film stock, (perhaps a trip to the army surplus is needed?). The club has a healthy future as we look to the next 100 years.

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Where We Meet

We meet Tuesday evenings September to May in the City of Oxford Silver Band Hall, Temple Road, Cowley, Oxford. OX4 2EZ.  (Map)

Meetings start at 7:30pm-7:45pm - finishing around 10:00pm - with a break for tea and coffee, and a chat.

FROM THE NORTH

1 Approach Oxford on the A34 (southbound from J9 M40).
2 Take the slip road at the Peartree Roundabout (NB: passing Holiday Inn on the left).
3 Turn left at the roundabout and head for the Oxford ring road .
4 At the next roundabout, turn left onto the ring road A40 (NB: BP petrol station on the other side of the carriageway as you approach this roundabout).
5 Proceed along the A40 ring road (Sunderland Avenue) to the next roundabout and straight across.
6 Proceed to the next roundabout (approx. 1.5 miles) and straight across to the A4142 (NB: Macdonald’s on your left as you continue on the dual carriageway on the other side of the roundabout).
7 Proceed a short distance to traffic lights and straight on.
8 Proceed a longer distance to traffic lights and straight on.
9 Proceed a very short distance to traffic lights and straight on (you will now have the BMW works on your left).
10 Exit on the COWLEY slip-road and travel ¾ of the way around and exit on the road into Oxford (B480).
11 Proceed a short distance to a roundabout (with Obelisk) and straight on.
12 Proceed a short distance to a double set of traffic lights and straight on.

13 Then take the first right into Temple Road (NB: health centre on your right, library on your left)
14 After a short distance turn left past the library, down  a drive past a building site on the left and the hall is located at the end of the no through road, on your right.

FROM THE EAST

1 Approach Oxford on the A40 (westbound from J8 M40).
2 Turn left at the roundabout on the Oxford ring road (NB: Macdonald’s on your left as turn the corner).
3 Proceed a short distance to traffic lights and straight on.
4 Proceed a longer distance to traffic lights and straight on.
5 Proceed a very short distance to traffic lights and straight on (you will now have the BMW works on your left).
6 Exit on the COWLEY slip-road and travel ¾ of the way around and exit on the road into Oxford (B480).
7 Proceed a short distance to a round about (with Obelisk) and straight on.
8 Proceed a short distance to a double set of traffic lights and straight on.
9 Then take the first right into Temple Road (NB: health centre on your right, library on your left).

10 After a short distance turn left past the library, down  a drive past a building site on the left and the hall is located at the end of the no through road, on your right.

FROM THE WEST

1 Approach Oxford on the A420 (eastbound from Swindon, leaving J15 M4 to join A420).
2 At the Botley Interchange on the Oxford ring road travel ¾ of the way around the roundabout and exit on the slip road to the southbound ring road towards Newbury (A34).
3 Proceed to the next big interchange and exit left (signed for London, Cowley, Henley).
4 Turn left at the roundabout onto the Oxford ring road and proceed to the next roundabout and straight on.
5 Proceed approx. less than 1 mile to the next roundabout and turn left, remaining on the Oxford ring road (NB: Sainsburys on your right as you exit this roundabout).
6 Proceed a short distance to traffic light controlled roundabout and straight on.
7 Exit on the COWLEY slip-road and turn left onto the road into Oxford (B480).
8 Proceed a short distance to a roundabout (with Obelisk) and straight on.
9 Proceed a short distance to a double set of traffic lights and straight on.
10 Then take the first right into Temple Road (NB: health centre on your right, library on your left).
11 After a short distance turn left past the library, down  a drive past a building site on the left and the hall is located at the end of the no through road, on your right.
FROM THE SOUTH

1 Approach Oxford on the A34 (northbound from Newbury, J13 M4).
2 At the interchange on the Oxford ring road travel ¾ of the way around the roundabout and exit on the eastbound ring road towards London (A40) and proceed to the next roundabout and straight on.
3 Proceed approx. less than 1 mile to the next roundabout and turn left, remaining on the Oxford ring road (NB: Sainsburys on your right as you exit this roundabout).
4 Proceed a short distance to traffic light controlled roundabout and straight on.
5 Exit on the COWLEY slip-road and turn left onto the road into Oxford (B480).
6 Proceed a short distance to a round about (with Obelisk) and straight on.
7 Proceed a short distance to a double set of traffic lights and straight on.
8 Then take the first right into Temple Road (NB: health centre on your right, library on your left).
9 After a short distance turn left past the library, down  a drive past a building site on the left and the hall is located at the end of the no through road, on your right.

Upcoming Events

Tue Jan 23 @19:45 - 10:00PM
Show and tell
Tue Jan 30 @19:45 - 10:00PM
“Extreme Closeup” by Julian Cremona
Tue Feb 06 @19:45 - 10:00PM
A personal Response” by Chris Palmer FRPS EFIAP DPAGB APAGB (supported by Fotospeed)