We meet at DeMolay House, 90 Margaret Street, Toowoomba at 7:00 pm on the 2nd and 4th Tuesday of each month. The second Tuesday is our competition judging night and the fourth is our skills night.

Additionally, we meet at Jilly’s Cafe, 181 Margaret Street, Toowoomba at 6:00 pm on the 1st, 3rd (and 5th) Tuesday of each Month. These nights are for our micro skills presentations, developing one small area of photography’s skillsets.

About us

Our aim is to promote, improve, share and enjoy photography in Toowoomba and the surrounding district offering many services, all specifically designed to improve photography and photographic skills in a friendly social atmosphere. Membership is open to all comers regardless of whether you are a beginner, an amateur or a professional photographer.

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Upcoming Events - mouse over for details
7:00 pm TPS Competition Night @ DeMolay House
TPS Competition Night @ DeMolay House
Oct 13 @ 7:00 pm – 9:30 pm
Set Subject: At Night Ideally this set subject encompasses any image taken at night – the aim is to illustrate some aspect of that time when we are in darkness – after the sun as[...]
7:00 pm TPS Skills Night @ DeMolay House
TPS Skills Night @ DeMolay House
Oct 27 @ 7:00 pm – 9:00 pm
Image Challenge: Social Documentary
7:00 pm TPS Competition Night @ DeMolay House
TPS Competition Night @ DeMolay House
Nov 10 @ 7:00 pm – 9:30 pm
Set Subject: Conceptual Conceptual photography illustrates an idea.  The subject of conceptual photography is often staged to represent an idea.  The ‘concept’ is both ‘preconceived’ and, if successful, understandable in the completed image.  It is[...]
7:00 pm TPS Skills Night @ DeMolay House
TPS Skills Night @ DeMolay House
Nov 24 @ 7:00 pm – 9:00 pm
Image Challenge: At Play
7:00 pm TPS Competition Night @ DeMolay House
TPS Competition Night @ DeMolay House
Dec 8 @ 7:00 pm – 9:30 pm
End-of-Year Competition
Recent Posts Archives

Spring garden and modelling field day is on!

TPS “Spring garden and modelling” field day      

Dear TPS Member. 

Great news! – our field day cancelled earlier this month will be on Saturday October 17.  We will have several models and up to 5 stations or areas in different locations and settings for you to use your imagination.  Our models will show off their costume skills – you may find anyone from Alice under a Faraway Tree, to a girl hanging upside down in a hoop, to a lady taking tea. Locations include a courtyard with rustic furniture and rusting galvanised iron, a large tree with bench seat, a tree house (at ground level) and various garden settings.

This is an opportunity to use different lighting set-ups, fill-in flash, reflectors, and so on, and put your own interpretation on the various locations. At the end of the session, pizza will be served.  BYO drinks. 

Please let us know if you are staying for a meal for pizza ordering purposes.

Payment of $25 per head to Treasurer Val before the event is required.  Payment ensures you have a place.  Thank you to those who have paid previously.

BSB: 638-070, Account number: 4278291; Name:  Toowoomba Photographic Society

Date:  Saturday 17 October         Time: 3pm

Place: 7 Crestview Crescent, Blue Mountain Heights (just off Hi winds Rd)

Duration: 3-5.30pm, plus pizza.

Cost: $25 p.p. including pizza.  Pre-payment required

BSB: 638-070,  Account number: 4278291; Name:  Toowoomba Photographic Society

Please put your name and the event on your deposit to help our Treasurer identify the payment.

Contact: Geoff Adams 4696 8746

by Geoff Adams, September 22, 2020

For those who haven’t seen the award and pointscore proposal and a reminder to vote.

A rural based TPS member contacted me last night saying she had not seen the proposed changes to the TPS awards and pointscore system. I have put the proposal in the body of this email. If you have already seen this and voted, please accept my apologies for adding to the volume of messages in your in-box. As we can’t have a physical meeting and have a show of hands, we are asking for you to vote by sending an email to the president, indicating either yes or no, along with your name.

TPS Aggregate Competition Award System


TPS changed its competition year from a mid year to mid year to a January to December cycle when it became apparent that the difficulty in obtaining non-TPS PSQ accredited judges was due to TPS being out of step with most other clubs.  In the 2020, a near 50:50 TPS: non-TPS number of judges has been achieved.   

This highlighted another problem – marked differences between the two sets of judges – see graph below

Reasons for the lower scores from non TPS judging could be:

  • Lack of familiarity with our scoring system
  • A mis-understanding of the Accepted award – in national or international competition this is a high award (often 25% or less are “accepted”, whereas in TPS, this is a poor image scoring only 1 point.)
  • Not reading and comprehending our current guidelines.

To address these possibilities, a working group comprising the TPS committee, senior judges and 2 members (1 B grade, 1 A grade), met on 15 August 2020 to review the TPS awards and point score system.

Graham Harris undertook a review of the systems used by other clubs.  The meeting agreed that the current TPS system was wordy and prescriptive and titles of the awards were uncommon.  Many other clubs have fewer awards.  The meeting also agreed that the terms Accepted and Rejected would no longer be used.  Accepted has been deleted, and Rejected changed to Out of Category.

The following is based on Graham’s subsequent suggestions and has been modified following a discussion by TPS committee members on 24 August 2020.

Points to note:

  1. The proposal is to use the most commonly used terms for the awards – Honour, etc as below.
  2. The number of awards has been reduced but points remain the same.  Hence Honour = six points, as is the TPS Gold award.
  3. Accepted and Bronze are deleted, and Rejected changed to Out of Category.


Alice Black Award – this is the image of the night in the opinion of the judge.  This image is one that has significant impact for the judge as a result of technique, composition or story telling.  It can be chosen from any grade or medium (print or digital)

Honour – This is awarded to an exceptional photograph which has impact, is technically excellent, well composed, shows originality and artistry, and has few if any flaws.

Merit – This is awarded to a very good photograph which meets high technical standards and also shows originality, artistry and good composition.  Any flaws present are very minor.

Highly Commended – This is awarded to a good photograph with good technique, artistry and minor flaws.

Commended – This is awarded to a photograph which may have significant flaws that detract from the image and can be overcome or amended.

Out of Category – A photo that does not fit the criteriafor the competition is given this award.

A possible awards and points system for TPS could be:

Highly Commended3
Out of Category0

In addition Graham suggested assigning additional points to the image awarded the Alice Black Award – for example 2 additional points on top of the award received.  This would be like a “jackpot” score, but at the end of year competition, the Alice Black of the Year could not have any point score as these have already been decided after the previous monthly competition.  This is endorsed by the majority of the TPS committee.   It will need to be added to EOY point scores manually, as there won’t be an automatic means of recording this on MPC, but a record of each image is kept and filed for the EOY competition.

Point scores and grading

The August 24 meeting is generally not in favour of grading by folio appraisal, but recognises its role for outstanding or highly proficient photographers.  Such a folio requires being assessed by a panel, and the time involved could be onerous if significant numbers of members chose this option.

Instead, the meeting recommended an average point score system for movement between grades. A cursory examination of the pointscores to date shows that a maximum of 24 images could be submitted in the competition year to date (at August 2020).  The maximum possible score is 6 golds x 24 images = 144.  The top scoring competitor has 111 points, followed by a few with scores in the 90s.  This means our top scoring entrants are attaining around 2/3 of the points on offer, and one has achieved ¾.

There has been further analysis on 2019 and 2020 – see attached below.  These comprise 5 competitions in 2019 and 6 in 2020.

It is recommended that the % of total points attained for movement between grades be as follows:

% of total competition year points attainedB grade to A gradeA grade to Salon gradeMovement between future levels in Salon grade

Points to note:

  • Grading by points provides incentive to enter the maximum number of images in a competition year.
  • Grading by points rewards consistency of effort by members.
  • Grading by points removes variability from “chance” or random effects based on awards only – i.e. a certain number of medal types.
  • It may be possible to consider a combination of awards achieved and pointscore when considering grading, but it should not rely on awards alone.
  • The points system starts at 2 out of six, rather than 1 out of six, and the wording of the Commended (2 points) award is intended to provide a clear separation between it and higher awards, and for the judge to only give this award to images where the first “impact” on viewing is technical error, rather than other qualities of the image.  An example might be an image out of focus, overly dark, burnt out, etc.
A grade 201920192019202020202020
No of entriesPoint score% of total 90 ptsNo of entriesPointscore% of total 108 pts
  B Grade  201920192019202020202020
No of entriesPoint score% of total 90 ptsNo of entriesPointscore% of total 108 pts
Salon grade 2020Score%Score/108 Total Pts2019Score%score/90 total pts

by Geoff Adams, September 19, 2020

TPS awards and pointscore proposal

Topic: Toowoomba Photographic society

Time: Sep 15, 2020 07:00 PM Brisbane

Join Zoom Meeting


Meeting ID: 895 5174 5512

Passcode: 233535

One tap mobile

+61861193900,,89551745512#,,,,,,0#,,233535# Australia

+61871501149,,89551745512#,,,,,,0#,,233535# Australia

Dial by your location

        +61 861 193 900 Australia

        +61 8 7150 1149 Australia

        +61 2 8015 6011 Australia

        +61 3 7018 2005 Australia

        +61 731 853 730 Australia

Meeting ID: 895 5174 5512

Passcode: 233535

Find your local number: https://us02web.zoom.us/u/kRvlZMJ6h

by Geoff Adams, September 15, 2020

Tuesday 15th Awards and pointscore presentation

Next Tuesday, our Zoom session will be a presentation on the TPS Awards and Pointscore System following a workshop attended by senior TPS judges, committee and member representatives last month.

Below is a link to the proposal which you can read ahead of next Tuesday. The Tuesday session will be open for discussion after the presentation. It is not intended any vote would be taken on Tuesday – that will be decided later.


by Geoff Adams, September 11, 2020

Alice Black award September

To perpetuate the memory of our late member Alice Black, the club has introduced the ‘Alice Black Memorial Trophy’ to be contested each year on a perpetual basis.

At each month’s Aggregate Competition the judge will select an image from all those entered as the monthly Alice Black Image – they will use their own criteria to select the image regardless of the score given.  All images submitted in the Aggregate Competition have the potential to become a possible winner of the Trophy as there is no restriction on the grade of the entrant or the medium in which the image is presented.

This month’s winner is Changing Skyline by Graham Burstow

by Geoff Adams, September 9, 2020

Tuesday Night Club Competition – Architecture

Val Shield is inviting you to a scheduled Zoom meeting.

Topic: Toowoomba Photographic society

Time: Sep 8, 2020 07:00 PM Brisbane

Join Zoom Meeting


Meeting ID: 828 4104 3847

Passcode: 074840

One tap mobile

+61861193900,,82841043847#,,,,,,0#,,074840# Australia

+61871501149,,82841043847#,,,,,,0#,,074840# Australia

Dial by your location

        +61 861 193 900 Australia

        +61 8 7150 1149 Australia

        +61 2 8015 6011 Australia

        +61 3 7018 2005 Australia

        +61 731 853 730 Australia

Meeting ID: 828 4104 3847

Passcode: 074840

Find your local number: https://us02web.zoom.us/u/kphyfp0d8

Judge’s comments on September 2020 TPS competition

Geoff Adams    4/9/20

Thank you for the invitation to judge this month’s competition.  Let me say a couple of things at the outset.  Firstly, congratulations to all who entered the TPS competition this month with architecture as the set subject.   It always takes a degree of courage to put your work up for judging as well as for public viewing.

Secondly, as most judges say at the outset, mine is an opinion, but judges shouldn’t hide behind that statement.  By this I mean, that a person should become a judge armed with some knowledge of the subject, and a willingness to build on that knowledge.

How well I succeed in that task tonight is for you to judge.

The starting point for any judge should be to consider the club award and pointscore system, and the set subject guidelines.

Here are the architecture guidelines.

“This includes buildings or structures, interior or exterior, and any part thereof; dynamic images of architecture or architectural details. It includes industrial, bridges, historical sites, buildings, interiors.”

Architecture is a specialised field of photography, and no doubt there are specialised means of judging such competitions for architectural award photography.  This is a club competition which happens to have architecture as its theme.

Hence, I am looking to see how well you have handled your assignment – technically, artistically, originality, your narrative and so on.  The specific technical aspects of the genre are not of interest to me, and I confess to not even having tried to find out what these might be.

However, I have kept the guidelines in mind, and made reference to these on some occasions.

Even though the set subject seems on the surface like a record-taking topic, find a structure and photograph it, I am looking to see how you interpret the scene.  Those who combine a unique or different approach, together with technical excellence, should score the higher awards, or least that was my intention.

Some of these same principles also apply to open images, particularly those that are common place.  Examples might be sunrise/sunsets, water (rivers or oceans), and so on.  You will occasionally hear from judges that they are looking for something just a little bit different.  This means they have seen too many common place images, and are jaded as a result. If you take a common place image, it will score better if it has a less common feature or event occurring.  Birds silhouetted against the sky/on the water, etc.  As photography becomes even more ubiquitous, and images by the thousand flood our daily lives, the result is that the bar keeps being lifted. 

In summary, the exception, or the less usual is what gets noticed.

In this competition I will have commented that some images are technically excellent, but these may not necessarily score the top awards unless I saw something less usual, even unique, in your image.

I am not a particularly “technical” judge, but I would comment that after having witnessed several years of judging, there are some issues that always draw comment.  I have elaborated more on some of these in the references below.

I suggest especially to beginners, to pay close attention to these and address them in your work.  Judges are only human, and if there are obvious technical faults, that provides an instant screening mechanism.  This is more likely to go against you in competitions where may be thousands of images, and judges look for a quick way to get to the final few for higher awards.

Let me give an example in a completely different field – that of quilt judging.  Hundreds can be sent to a national competition.

Quilts are held up quickly and the judge decides almost instantly, which of two piles they will be placed in. Any with an obvious technical flaw are never considered again.

In summary, the first thing all of us can do to give ourselves the best possible chance in competition is to minimise or eliminate obvious technical faults in our work.

Another point is to always read the set subject guidelines carefully.  Some fields such as travel, nature and others have certain conventions or rules of which you should try to be aware.  I have attempted to include some of these in my article “Traps for young players”, but having recently received a set of lengthy guidelines for nature and wildlife, these are a separate and quite specific field, and easy to fall foul of.  I have added this to the references below.   A club may decide to have a nature category for example, but unless the international guidelines are considered or at least brought to the attention of club members, the judge appointed may judge with these wider guidelines in mind, and not the comparatively brief set subject definition.

The next point is that having eliminated obvious technical faults, the process then is a subjective one.  To me, this means making an emotional connection or responding in some way to your image.  As a narrative type of person (which is already obvious), the story of the image is particularly important, and some of my commentary will reflect this.

Lastly, remember that if your particular image did not do as well as you had hoped, try it again in another competition.

In bigger competitions, the “acceptance” rate of images for further consideration is one in four or less.   Experienced competitors try the same image a number of times, but if it still doesn’t gain the award they hoped for, put that that image aside and try something else. 

Lastly, as a judge, I will remember what it is like to sit where you are sitting and remember a line from The Merchant of Venice.

“If you prick us, do we not bleed”.

Hopefully no-one’s metaphorical blood will be on the floor with the results from tonight’s judging.





by Geoff Adams, September 7, 2020

September 2020 Cable Release

The latest Cable Release is now available. Please note the Sept 19 photoshoot has been postponed due to increased Covid 19 restrictions.


by Geoff Adams, September 2, 2020

This Saturday’s Triple Whammy Workshop.

Saturday Triple-Whammy Workshop

Tryg will be leading this workshop.

We will be meeting at the car park lookout after the saddle, on the upward side of the range, at 4pm.

The workshop will cover ‘Panorama Creation’, Panning’ and ‘Bracketing’.

Bracketing will assist those who have Lightroom for post-processing images into a merged High Dynamic Range (HDR) single ‘tonally complete’ stacked image.

Bring a tripod (if you have), a wide lens would be good too.

For Panorama Lesson, click link below:


For bracketing lesson, click link below:


For HDR Merging, use link below:


by Geoff Adams, August 28, 2020

Alice Black award August 2020

To perpetuate the memory of our late member Alice Black, the club has introduced the ‘Alice Black Memorial Trophy’ to be contested each year on a perpetual basis.

At each month’s Aggregate Competition the judge will select an image from all those entered as the monthly Alice Black Image – they will use their own criteria to select the image regardless of the score given.  All images submitted in the Aggregate Competition have the potential to become a possible winner of the Trophy as there is no restriction on the grade of the entrant or the medium in which the image is presented.

This month’s winner is Zig Zag by Jenny Graff

by Geoff Adams, August 18, 2020

September 19 field day.

The Garden of Earthly Delights.

There will be no Carnival of Flowers to speak of next month, but there will be a Garden of Earthly Delights.

Three nymphs will trip through a sea of white daisies and play peek-a-boo from a forest of white flowering May bush.

You may find Alice in Wonderland in her tree house, a charming young lady suspended from a burlesque hoop under the branch of a towering rain forest tree, a dark eyed girl looking very Italienne on a Vespa, a slinky young lass vamping it up behind a bar, or (quick costume change), a country girl in a backdrop of rusting iron and rustic furniture.

For those who missed our shoot at Blue Mountain Heights in June, this is your chance.

Pencil in Saturday September 19, from 3-5.30 pm now.  Indicate your interest on this post asap, as there are only 30 places.  Cost is $25 p.p.

Did I mention there will be pizza?  Not mine this time I’m sorry, we aren’t up to restaurant numbers.

After you register, I will send you a flier if you are a TPS financial member because I will have your email.  If you aren’t a member you will need to email me.

When you get the flier, it will tell you how to pay.  You need to pay the Iron Lady, Treasurer Val, in advance to secure your place.

by Geoff Adams, August 18, 2020