Well another year has passed and I come away (yet again) feeling refreshed, inspired and a little more knowledgeable. The Photography Show this year was bigger & better and did not disappoint. It was very similar to last year except more exhibitors, bigger stages and more to see & do. I went for the weekend with one of my photographer friends Jessica Morris (sneaky plug for her photography page here). Unlike last year, we decided not to fill our days too much as we wanted to take it easy and take in more, we even stayed longer than we expected as there was just so much to attend and so many people to catch up with.
We started with a few classes from the Adobe Theatre, which was much bigger this time around which was great for Adobe as there were more allocations for attendees to watch their seminars. Glad we caught Eric Renno (aka the Tip Squirrel) & Gavin Hoey as I learnt a few tips & tricks from them both. We spent a lot of our time wondering the hundreds of exhibitors from camera equipment companies, lighting companies, framing companies, custom USB makers, book vendors and even a stand selling second hand camera equipment (where I purchased an old Polaroid camera). This then made us head to the Impossible Project stand so I could purchase some Polaroid film. The vast amount of companies to see, all under one roof, was fantastic! A real treat for the newbie & professionals in the industry.
I was fortunate enough to say hello & catch up with a few people that I had met over Twitter last year so it was finally nice to put names to faces. A very big shout out goes to Jonny Sullens who I spent a lot of time speaking with about the Show over Twitter and it was great to catch him at the show and have a quick chat. It was great to find out from him about the ins-and-outs of a new show called Photo Live which is happening at a few locations later in the year, something that I will definitely be heading to.
One person that I couldn't leave the show without having a chin-wag with was Dave Clayton, who was working on the Live Stage. We had a good chat both days with him which was brilliant. Talking about Photoshop, Kelby Group & Photoshop World as well as general happenings. I've definitely made a friend for life in him - Thanks Dave!
We spent quite a bit of time over at the Wacom stand, which not only offered attendees the chance to trial the tablets but also had Photoshop / Wacom demonstrations which were brilliant. I caught up with Ian Sayers who works with Wacom, talking about technology and the show - it was great to have a natter, again someone I will be following in the future. Richard Curtis quickly came over to us as well which was great, he was setting up on the Wacom stand so we had a quick chat about his demos/seminars. Tigz Rice was also at the Wacom stand where Jess had an audience surrounding her as she edited an image on one of the tablets (I think people thought she was a Wacom representative). We also caught up with Tigz on the Sunday as she was presenting a demonstration on Photoshop / Datacolor Spyder which was really great and I managed to pick up a few tips & tricks from this. We had a quick chat with her after the demo, was great to check out her work; again another very down to Earth person. All of the people we saw were very humble and made us feel welcome!
As I mentioned before we saw Gavin Hoey's class, which I learnt a few titbits about HDR images and also using settings on the Refine Edge tool, these tips I will definitely be using in my workflow. I managed to catch him after the class as I wanted to thank him for giving me feedback on my website. I reached out to him early this year in hopes that he could critique my website and help me further my career by having an established site. He gave me a lot of great feedback and invaluable advice which enabled me to amend and change aspects of it. I really wanted to say thank you in person to him, as I really appreciated him taking the time to do this for me.
Jessica made arrangements to meet up with some family friends, Garreth Anderson and his wife Viv. Garreth is also a photographer and we had a good chat about everything and anything, including his 1-to-1 tuition and photography holidays. A really funny guy who I hope to continue to follow, thanks to Jess for the introduction.
We watched a number of Photography classes as well on everything from lighting to portraiture, street photography and equipment, but my favourite class from the whole weekend was the one that Adam Bronkhorst presented. The class was titled the "Naked Photographer", in other words he had no equipment and no script. He pulled equipment from audience members and also had a volunteer model. He only used a entry level camera (from the audience), the flash from the camera, a flashgun (again from an audience member) and the show's lighting (no lighting setups or equipment). It was him and only a few bits of equipment, but he made really good end products from it. This really made me think that you don't need all the fancy equipment and gear to produce beautiful work; it's all about the eye and the knowledge. It was a great class and I hope he got a lot of positive feedback from it. After the class we went to The Photography Farm stand to speak with the stand girls and to tell him what a great job he did, we also spent some time chatting to them all about using less equipment and using your head more to create something great; really wonderful stuff.
We both had a superb time at the show, we made some new friends and learnt so much. I came away feeling very refreshed and inspired to do more for my career. I want to thank everyone we met and for taking the time to talk to us. I'll definitely be at the Photo Live event in September in London and if I don't see you there, see you at the next Photography Show.