It was good to see so many of you online for the opening meeting of our 2021-22 season. As explained, we start the season with a hybrid approach involving both online and physical meetings. We’re aiming for a 50/50 split so that, whether you feel comfortable about returning to physical meetings or not at this stage, there’s something for everyone in our new season programme.
While no-one can give any absolute guarantee on safety, we’ve taken some major steps to make our physical meetings as safe as we possibly can in the current environment. First, our meetings will take place in a bigger and airier venue than our usual ‘home’ at the White Hart Barn. Second, we’ve developed a safe meetings code which we are asking all those attending to adhere to. TPS Safe Meetings Code.
We look forward to welcoming those of you who intend to come along next Thursday. It will be our first physical meeting since the beginning of March last year, so it will be great to meet up again. We’ve lined up a super guest speaker to get us under way – Stephen Leslie is a London-based photographer who brings his own special approach to the Street Photography genre. You can find out more about him and see some of his work on his website Stephen Leslie, but here’s a little preview to whet your appetite! Look out for the email with final versions of the venue directions and the safe meetings code in the next few days and we look forward to seeing you on the 16th!
TPS Out and About, Lingfield (Photo Credit – Dominic Murtagh)
Well we made it through an unusual season, responding to the pandemic and its risks and restrictions with a full programme of online events, supplemented with our biggest ever programme of out and about activities, enabling us to socialise and photograph together in small groups outdoors. Thank you all for staying with us!
As the schools break up, we now enter a different kind of summer. Some will be determined to travel, others are focusing their attention as never before on the beauty and variety to be enjoyed closer to home. Dominic Murtagh will continue to put in place regular ‘Out and About’ opportunities through the summer months, but we really do need more of you to offer to lead these events to add to the variety of ideas.
In the background, your Committee is working hard to review the options for the season ahead and to find the best way through the ongoing uncertainty. While – with thanks to Simon Bedwell – we now have an almost complete programme of Thursday evening events in place for the new season we’re holding back a little on sharing those details, and on starting the membership renewals round, in the hope that a few extra weeks will enable us to give you all a clearer picture of our plans. We hope that as many of you as possible will be able to join us for the special online meeting on 29 July where we will present our findings so far, and you have the opportunity to air your thoughts and hear how others are feeling before we firm up the plan for how and where to hold the new season’s meetings.
In the meantime, make the most of the weather while it lasts, and enjoy your summer photography!
Congratulations today go to our fabulous TPS photographers who really impressed the guest judge at our annual TPS Panel Competition.
It’s a special challenge, finding three images that sit well together and convey a story or meaning that one image alone could not portray. That’s why we always enjoy our panel competition!
Here’s a selection of the judge’s favourite photo panels including the amazing winning panel from Clare Wigfield.
Well done Clare, stunning photos! And, for everyone else, give yourselves a generous pat on the back if you got a mention; lovely work all round!
[click on any image to expand and view full size]
WINNER: Clare Wigfield – Water Fun
SECOND PLACE: Andrea Watson – Wild Things
THIRD PLACE: Simon Bedwell – Reflecting on Architecture
HIGHLY COMMENDED: Susan Potter – Calm Between the Storms
HIGHLY COMMENDED: Kirsti Brown – Make a Wish
HIGHLY COMMENDED: Dominic Murtagh – Bowl Bat Field
HIGHLY COMMENDED: Jon Cowdock – Winter Wonder in Miniature
Well done to all our TPS members who took part. We hope this was good practice for our year-long 21 in 21 challenge, which we’ll be discussing next week on April Fool’s Night! Plus we’ll have a series of ten minute talks from our members, exploring different aspects of their photography passion. See you there, 8pm on 1st April 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!