Boosting your Health & Wellbeing with TPS Challenges in 2021

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!

Here’s to brighter days…

Here’s to brighter days…

As we hurtle, perhaps rather uncontrollably, towards the end of the year, we’d like to express our immense gratitude to all our fabulous TPS Members for their support and tireless enthusiasm.

2020 has been even more challenging than an ‘annus horribilis’; its been a year that no-one could have foreseen and that no sane person would want to relive. When the novel Coronoavirus, Covid-19, first reared its ugly head in the UK, we acted quickly to shut down our in-person TPS meetings and were one of the first camera clubs in the country to start running virtual meetings. In those early days, things were a bit higgledy-piggledy as we hastily threw together a new programme of events, but we soon figured out how to make the most of our Zoom time together. It was lovely seeing so many faces smiling back at us from our respective places of lockdown incarceration. And it was fun letting a judge tear into our competition images while we listened in from a comfy chair with maybe a glass or two for company. At times, those scores didn’t feel half as important, but the learnings and community spirit became more valuable than ever.

Our Out & About programme was also thrown into disarray but we managed to host several small group outings as well as some very successful ‘Not Out & Abouts’ which challenged us to take photos under time constraints and without editing. Despite everything that the pandemic threw at us, many of us managed to keep snapping, re-discovering why we love the feeling of escapism that photography can bring.

We even managed a couple of club quiz nights and welcomed some world-class speakers including Joe Cornish, Heather Angel and David Clapp. All in all, it’s been a busy year.

And here we are at the Winter Solstice, the shortest day of the year, and the magical moment when we all start looking forward to brighter, longer, more joy-filled days.

Thank you to all our TPS members for sticking by your friendly little camera club. You make our club what it is. And thank you to all the committee members who have worked tirelessly behind the scenes to make the magic happen.

And here’s to 2021. A New Year, new opportunities, and, we hope, a year that will go down in history as an ‘annus mirabilis’. Stay safe, stay happy, keep snapping.

How to sign up to TPS12, TPS52 and TPS365

How to sign up to TPS12, TPS52 and TPS365

As another year looms large on the horizon, it’s once again time for TPS members to gird their loins and sign up to a magnificent challenge (or two, or three…) for 2021.

We create new challenges each year to encourage our club members to take more photos and discover new ways to share their images and get helpful support from TPS friends.

In 2021, we’ll be running three challenges. TPS12 is the simplest, where members must take one image each month in 2021. TPS52 is a popular challenge, where members must take one image every week. And, finally, TPS365 is our most demanding but arguably most beneficial challenge, where members take one photo each day of the year.

We’ll share full details of how the challenges will work at our first club meeting on 7th January, but keep in mind you may need to take your first photo(s) before this meeting if joining in with TPS52 or TPS365. The headline rules though are simplicity themselves: take a photo, any photo, using any device, edit it if you wish (optional), then upload it when you can to your dedicated Flickr Group. To keep life simple, you don’t have to upload the image right away, but you must take your photo in the day/week/month relating to your chosen challenge(s). So, for TPS52, that means taking a photo each week (ending Sunday), then uploading them to Flickr when you can. There are no judges, no constraints, just some simple rules to help you develop greater photographic discipline and get supportive encouragement from other TPS members.

We’ve now created the private groups on Flickr where members can share their challenge photos throughout 2021. To sign up, you’ll need a free account on Flickr. If you don’t have this, you can sign up at https://identity.flickr.com/sign-up. Next, visit the link for the challenge(s) you’d like to join and request access by clicking the +Join Group button at the top of the screen.

TPS Flickr Groups (for TPS members only):

TPS12 https://www.flickr.com/groups/tps12-2021

TPS52 https://www.flickr.com/groups/tps52-2021

TPS365: https://www.flickr.com/groups/tps365-2021

Your request to join will be approved by one of the group admins and you’ll then be ready to start uploading your images in 2021.

We hope you’ll feel inspired to take on one or more challenges in 2021. There’s simply no better way to improve your photography than by taking more photos. Get involved and get inspired! We think you’ll love it, the future’s bright!

If you have any questions or issues, please contact Dominic or leave a comment below.

Not Out & About

Even in semi-lockdown, hardy TPS photographers have been hard at work tackling photographic challenges in our latest Virtual Out & About event. While a few ventured outside into the wintry monsoon conditions, most chose to stay at home in the warm. But the resulting images were equally fascinating!

This month’s challenge was to take three photos aligned to any of the following themes:

  • Vintage
  • Winter
  • Three of a kind
  • Intentional camera movement

The catch? Photos had to be taken and uploaded to Flickr between 9am and 3pm. And no editing was allowed, the photos had to come straight out of the camera. Trickier than it sounds…

All of the photos can be enjoyed on our TPS Out & About Flickr Group. Here’s a small selection to whet your appetite. I’ll leave you to decide which category each image belongs to. Enjoy, and remember, none of these images have been edited, just straight from the camera:

Well done to everyone who took part. Creative and imaginative as always 👍

TPS PDI Competition – Final Round

I missed last night’s TPS meeting so find myself at a distinct disadvantage when tasked with the write-up of the night. Dominic tells me the evening passed without incident. So, with no major dramas, glitches, or even streakers on the pitch to report, I’ll stick to sharing the cold hard facts of the scores, the overall winners, and your wonderful images.

There were some gorgeous photos on display for our guest judge, Peter Merry, to review. I’m constantly impressed by the quality and variety of images we produce at our special little club. Congratulations to everyone who had a go and I hope our judge gave you some constructive feedback to inspire your next photographic adventure.

And so to the scores… There are plenty of big numbers on the scoresheets, including eight, yes eight!, perfect tens. Susan Potter and Andrea Watson hit the high note in Club Class, Tim Baugh, Chris Fenton and Jeff Vianna reached perfection in Intermediate Class, and in Advanced Class the clever clogs were Sarah Bedwell, Marie-Ange Bouchard, and Jon Cowdock. Give yourselves a Covid-secure pat on the back!

The individual image scores are available here.

But this was also the final round in our 3-stage PDI competition so we also have some overall winners to announce:

CLUB CLASS
Winner: Sheila Tattershaw (28.0 points)
Joint Runners up: Chris Cumming and Rehana Uddin (27.0 points)

INTERMEDIATE CLASS
Winner: Jeff Vianna (30.0 points)
Joint Runners up: Chris Fenton (27.5 points)

ADVANCED CLASS
Winner: Peter O’Hare (29.5 points)
Joint Runners up: Jon Cowdock (29.0 points)

And a special mention must go to Jeff Vianna in Intermediate Class for achieving the stunning feat of getting a perfect score in every round. That’s a pretty special achievement, well done Jeff!

The final league tables are available here.

But I know you’re really here for the photos. So here are the judge’s favourite images from last night. All of these photos scored 9 or more out of 10. You can see their individual scores by hovering over each image. Or click to enlarge to take a closer look. You won’t be disappointed!

Club Class

Intermediate Class

Advanced Class

FAB-U-LOUS! Thanks to everyone for sharing their talent and inspiring so many others to get out and capture some photographic magic. Our next competition will be a welcome return to colour prints on 21st January. Dust off that printer, it will be submission time before you know it.


Next week at TPS things look set to get a little festive with our annual quiz. The word on the street is that this could be the most ambitious, dramatic and exciting quiz we’ve ever hosted, or I might have just made that up to build some tension! Either way, dig out your festive sweater and Santa hat, and we’ll look forward to seeing you all on Thursday 17th December at 8pm for our Big Christmas Quiz!

PS Jeff will be buying the first (virtual) round 😉