Focus is Dead! Long live The Photography Show!

Focus is Dead! Long live The Photography Show!

This years major photographic industry show at the NEC as rebranded The Photography Show after the demise of Focus on Imaging.  New name and new organisers meant I just had to go.  So on the last day I drove down to the NEC with Holly and Lara to see what all the fuss was about.

Firstly the show had moved to two new halls and with new carpets and more space it already felt better.  Disappointed not to get a Nikon goodie bag and map as we walked in so we spent the first half of the show a bit lost!  Then we went to Bowens Trade area and pickup our free show guide (strangely only for “Trade” like us) and it all became clear.

Despite the lack of a guide it’s not too hard to spot what we were after.  All the usual exhibitors were there from Nikon, Canon, Olympus, Hasselblad down to the smaller, and perhaps more innovative, companies like MagneFlash, Bessel and QTAlbums.

Holly and I were looking for some new lighting equipment for the studio and found what we were looking for from Bessel Studio Lighting.  I have used equipment from there for several years and they are quite local as well – so we actually went to see Sean at the warehouse a couple of days later to collect out gear.  Great kit at great prices.

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Next I always have a look at new presentation methods, particularly albums and books.  This year I spotted QTAlbums a Polish company making very nice hand made linen and leather photo books and even USB stick boxes.  I will be ordering my sample book very soon!

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A few years ago I saw MagneFlash exhibiting a prototype LED based studio flash system and I was delighted to see that these are now in production and were showing off their latex products.  This is a British designed and built lighting system that is somewhere between a speed light and a studio flash.  The “Splash” heads are very light, battery powered and waterproof with built in TTL as well.  A whole kit with two heads fit in a small case for go anywhere lighting.  Coming soon will be a new model with a simple  modelling light as well.  I think these will be great on location, in the rain, and when you want to travel light.

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The Photography Show also gave me the chance to have a BIPP portfolio review with Bryn Griffiths, one of the UK’s top commercial photographers.  He gave me strong feedback and positive advice which really pleased me.  One of my long term goals is to achieve the highest level that the BIPP can offer, a Fellowship, and now I feel ready to go for it – thanks Bryn!

All in all then The Photography Show was a success.  Cleaner, tidier, more going on and fresher than the old Focus.  Apparently it will be back next year even bigger!

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