Last night we unveiled a new set of simple challenges for TPS Members in 2021. Our popular daily/weekly/monthly photo challenges are back, plus a bonus challenge for those taking photos weekly or monthly to create a ’21 in 21′ panel of images by the end of the year.
Countless TPS members have taken part in our challenges in recent years and this year looks set to be our best yet. But it’s not just about improving our photography skills, it’s also about given local photography enthusiasts a simple discipline to help support their mental health and wellness throughout the year.
A study by Lancaster University looked into the benefits of using photography for everyday wellbeing and found the simple act of taking and sharing a photo each day can be hugely beneficial in improving wellbeing. The study found it to be a positive act of self-care, an effective way of boosting community interactions and reducing loneliness, and an enabler of regular opportunities for positive reminiscence.
But, don’t take our word for it, here’s a short video from the researchers themselves:
Some of the most interesting findings came from research participants whose words echo many of the sentiments shared by TSP members at our talk last night:
Photography has been quite good for me over the years because I think it forces me to look at the world again. And also there’s a postural thing. If you’re only looking down, when you’re depressed and hunched over, it encourages you to look up or at least squat down and look at something different and to stop and smell the flowers … So I find it to be a very versatile self-care technique.
And this, another reminder of the value of giving ourselves just a few minutes of quiet time each day:
It’s really good to be able to take that five minutes every day to do something slightly creative, which I enjoy doing and I think is good for well-being. It’s positive in that it gives me something to look for. […] I think that’s very good for someone’s well-being.
You can read the full research extract here, but why not optimise your time by getting involved with one of our challenges instead?!
The 2021 TPS Challenges are as follows:
TPS12 – our simplest challenge. Just take one photo a month and share it to our Flickr group at www.flickr.com/groups/tps12-2021.
TPS52 – our weekly challenge. Just take one photo each week (ending on Sunday) and share it to our Flickr group at www.flickr.com/groups/tps52-2021.
TPS365 – our premium challenge for maximum long-term benefits. Take one photo every day and share it to our Flickr group at www.flickr.com/groups/tps365-2021. Daily photo sharing is not required just encouraged, but taking a photo each and every day is key.
Plus, for 2021 we’ve added a little twist, especially for our TPS52 and TPS365 participants where we’re inviting members to compile a unique ’21 in 21′ panel of images that captures the spirit of their year. To take part members take photos for our weekly and/or daily challenges as usual, but then collate their 21 favourite images into a 7×3 grid of squares like this:
There are no rules about what to feature and it’s up to each TPS member to decide how they would like to approach this task. Some may simply feature their favourite 21 images while others may wish to create a visual pattern using colours or image themes. The possibilities are endless; what matters most is that you choose something you like:
’21 in 21′ is just a bit of fun. One extra creative challenge to carry us through 2021 and create a truly unique memento of a year-long photographic journey. Plus, as the Lancaster University researchers have taught us, opportunities for positive reminiscence are good for the mind and great for the soul. More of that please!
We’ll add additional details about ’21 in 21′ to our website soon but for now, start thinking about what you might like to feature in your panel and begin taking photos that could make their way into your final grid of images. And be sure to join your chosen groups on Flickr today so you can start adding your images. Don’t worry if you’ve missed the first few days or weeks of the year; get involved when you can and start feeling the benefits right away!
Thanks to all our TPS members for sharing their photography and experiences with us, and special thanks to last night’s speakers Mike, Kirsti, Peter, Toni and Seb. Lovely work guys!