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!




Stunning Panel Competition Winners

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.

Keep snapping!

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.