The week's best pictures: the peculiar side of life

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First published in News

Our deputy picture editor Richard Cave takes his pick of the week’s best photographs and tells us why he reckons they make the grade

It’s strange, very strange, but peculiarly engaging, this picture (above) by Dave Fleming from an Oxford Science Festival event at the Natural History Museum.

My eyes flick back and forth between the prehistoric looking pickled creatures and the gaze of Adam Wood as he peers from the other side. With echoes of a Victorian freak show justified by science and the neat row of lab jars, they make challenging subject matter, brilliantly photographed.

Witney Gazette:

This one certainly makes you do a double take as you pass it in the news stands (it was on the front of The Oxford Times).

Jon Lewis’s picture from Deddington CofE Primary School’s production of Beauty and The Beast certainly grabs your attention as you stare the beast full in the strange-looking face. More of the narrative is then revealed as you see the fallen rose petals in its grasp and notice Beauty gazing off into the distance.

Witney Gazette:

Jon Lewis got really creative on this shoot, and it worked a treat. Having photographed cast members with their (impressive) but nonetheless cardboard dinosaur, Jon then used the Burton Taylor Theatre lighting to create the giant shadows and positioned Ellie Lowenthal so she appeared to be nose-to-nose with the Tyrannosaurus Rex’s head. Really excellent work.

Witney Gazette:

Marking the third anniversary of the start of the Syrian crisis with a candle-lit vigil, this Oxfam-organised event made for poignant images. Mark Hemsworth used the available light to capture the atmosphere, without suffering any image blur.

Witney Gazette:

Members of West Oxford Bowls Club returned to their clubhouse for the first time after it had been under 2ft of water for months due to the floods.

Mark Hemsworth got various shots as they surveyed the damp and the damage, but it was this one of them peering through the bar windows full of condensation that caught my eye.

It doesn’t reveal the whole story, but it’s another intriguing image that makes you want to know more.

Witney Gazette:

Frozen Light’s Tunnels, a special performance for teenagers with profound and multiple disabilities, was photographed at the Cornerstone Arts Centre in Didcot by Mark Hemsworth.

To capture the ambience, Mark avoided using flash and instead lit the subjects with the strings of tungsten bulbs they were holding.

Combined with nice composition and an ultra wide lens, this made an atmospheric picture.

Witney Gazette:

Another theatre image, this time it’s Tim Watts performing The adventures of Alvin Sputnik, Deep Sea Explorer at The North Wall Arts Centre.

It’s engaging and ever so slightly odd, and so is splendidly in keeping with the rest of this week’s spread.

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