The Photography Show 2015 Days Diary



The Opening Day

Saturday 21st March

Canon, Nikon, Fujifilm and more launch their latest products


The second annual Photography Show got underway today at the Birmingham NEC, and it has once again given thousands of photographers their first chance of sampling the latest products from the biggest brands.


Enthusiast and professional photographers alike descended on Hall 5, the largest exhibition space at the NEC, to speak with the experts, get advice and most importantly use the latest kit that included…


The new Canon EOS 5DS and EOS 5DS R 50MP cameras got their first public outing, and the new EF 11-24mm lens was also on show. Also on the Canon stand are some incredible cashback offers exclusive to The Photography Show.


Nikon revealed the D7200 camera to the UK photography enthusiasts for the very first time, having only gone on sale yesterday in the UK. In addition the new Nikon 300mm F4 lens was also on display.


Jeremy Gilbert, Group Marketing Manager of Nikon UK commented about the show,

“Looking out at the crowds queuing to get into the show before 10am, it still gives me a huge sense of excitement. Moving to the bigger hall at the NEC gives the show greater gravitas. The Photography Show is now a major focal point for Nikon in the year. The show is perfect for showcasing kit, but also inspiring and motivating more people to get involved in photography.”


Fujifilm unveiled their new X-A2 CSC and the XF16-50mm F2.8 lens, in addition to a full range of super funky Instax cameras.



As well as cutting edge product, some of the most respected photographers in the world presented on the Super Stage. Please see some choice quotes below….


Tom Stoddart – The acclaimed photojournalist:

“I’m a photographer so I carry my camera everywhere with me on the streets. Essentially we’re all street photographers.”

Mary Ellen Mark – Iconic street photographer and documentarian:

On any project that particular sticks in her mind – “It’s always the next thing that sticks in my mind. I’m very lucky that I have been able to work on so many interesting projects. But right now we are working on a film and a book about Tiny, the girl from Street Wise who was 13 years old when I met her. We have followed her for over 30 years. So she was a prostitute at 12 and the book follows her life. She has ten children now.”

“I still shoot in film, it’s a different mind set… I love the whole process of analogue. I have some very good digital cameras but I can’t live without my Leica M6.”

Tim Flach – Renowned animal photographer:

“Many of my pictures are about evoking questions about who we are and how we shape nature.”

“Photography is about drawing and engaging you, and what I often do is use aesthetics to hook people and hopefully take them to the science, or the story, or whatever it is they relate to.”

On the unpredictable nature of the animals “I always believe there is limitation in our ability of reasoning, so sometimes the photographers role is to be very present and to be listening to what is there in a visual sense”

Day Two at The Photography Show, Birmingham NEC



The photographers have continued to flow through the doors of The Photography Show, in Hall 5 of the NEC. Sunday was certainly not a day of rest for the enthusiast photographers of the UK, as they worked their way through the stands.


Bowens unveiled their new magenta and white branding to UK photographers. Business Development Manager Tim Haskell commented “The Photography Show is helping to introduce Bowens to a new and younger audience and is the ideal place for us to introduce our vibrant new brand identity to photographers, and to re-engage with our established professionals”.


Panasonic have the new Lumix CM1 on their stand for consumers to try for the first time. They are also running a 4K video education programme with their training team and brand ambassadors on hand to offer advice on how to shoot 4K video and extracting stills from 4K footage. Mark Baber, Panasonic’s Product and Marketing Specialist, had this to say “The Photography Show offers a diverse and interesting mix of photographers, but also introduces a younger and more dynamic audience to our products.”


As well as cutting edge products, some of the most respected photographers in the world presented on the Super Stage.


Michael Kenna

On why he mostly works in black and white… “I personally find it more mysterious. It simplifies the forms, it’s more malleable…. You can use the the medium more like sculpture. I’ve always found colour, for me, to be correct or not correct.”


“Photography for me is an interpretation. It is a dialogue, a conversation. It is not representing what was out there in full detail. [Leaving out] a few elements suggest a great deal, it leaves a lot of space for the imagination of the viewer who comes in and finishes the photograph. There is me, the photographer, there is the subject matter that is going on, there is the technology (that to me personally is not that important) and then there is the viewer who has to complete that triangle for me.”


Susan Meiselas

On shooting the carnival strippers photos – “I see it as immersive photography. You immerse in every perspective possible. So from the outside to the inside to the afterlife. It was a three summer project over an extended period of time.”


On establishing trust with your subjects. “Hopefully the passion is sincere. I think people can trust you if people believe you are truly interested and really curious and want to contribute in some way to understanding them.”



Day Three of The Photography Show


The crowds continued to come out in force on day three of The Photography Show. The live talks and demonstrations have proven to be immensely popular as enthusiasts, professionals and trade visitors queued up to see the best of all things photographic.


As well as cutting edge product, some of the most respected photographers in the world presented on the Super Stage, today these included Martin Parr and Lynsey Addario.


Martin Parr – President of Magnum Photos

“Anyone who is any good has to be obsessed. All good photographers, all good artists have to be obsessed. Basically what I am doing with my life is my hobby full time, and for the hobby to be successful you’ve really got be be passionate and obsessed with it. There is no short cuts. It’s very simple to take a photograph but it’s very difficult to take a good one.”


On modern day photography – “I don’t think it has ever been so exciting. There is more people that like photography, the platforms in which we are able to share our photos like Instagram, flickr, there has never been more so the audience has never been bigger. The downside of that you get thousands of bad ones, but I say keep the bad ones coming so we know what a good photo is.”


“Photography is ruthless and accurate. It tells the truth and most photos in life are trying to tell us lies and they are surrounded by propaganda. I’m trying to show my personal truth as opposed to the propaganda we all feed off. Something like a family album is full of propaganda, everybody has got to be smiling. You are allowed to take pictures at a wedding but not a funeral. Why is that? Because we expect photos to show us how good the world is.”



Lynsey Addario

“The photography came first but my curiosity in other cultures was paired with that. It just sort of happened organically, I was living in India and Afghanistan was right next door. Many of the correspondents based there were covering Afghanistan under the Taliban and I ended up going out of curiosity and to see how women were living under the Taliban. They [the Taliban] were giving visas to journalists at the time so I started going there and it just continued.”

“I’ve been kidnapped twice”… When these things happen do you question your sanity? “No I don’t question my sanity because I really believe in what I’m doing and I think the role of the journalist is fundamental for everyone in our society, but I do question why I personally think I need to be there.”

On the movie being made of her life “It’s incredibly flattering. I never expected that and I think it is very important for photojournalism to keep working on trying to show what it is all about and the issues we cover. I think the main goal for all us photojournalists is to get the issues out there, and if a Hollywood movie helps bring light to those issue then that’s fabulous.”

On women in photography. “It bums me out that in 2015 we still have to have this discussion, that there is so few women covering war, and in photojournalism at all, and I’m not sure why that is. We all have work to do to get more women involved.”

The fourth and final day of The Photography Show


Showing Photographers How It’s Don


The last day of the largest photography event in the UK finished with a flourish as one of the biggest names in British photography, Don McCullin CBE, took to the Super Stage.


Don McCullin is famed for his images of conflicts and disasters. Approaching his 80th birthday he shows no sign of slowing down and retirement is certainly not on the cards anytime soon. He has covered conflicts in Cyprus, Vietnam, Bangladesh and Lebanon, as well as the effects of AIDS and famine in the developing world.


‘It’s not just about seeing the image, it’s also about the perception. As soon as I look through the viewfinder I have an instant recognition of what I’m after. Composition is the most disciplined part of my photography, being able to create in a split second.’


Speaking about his influences Don referred to his extensive personal library, including works by master of composition Henri Cartier-Bresson. He said that even after all these years he’s still learning, ‘I’m still a student, I’m still willing to learn’.


Still shooting predominantly on film, Don doesn’t want to be seen just as a war photographer and is just as at home photographing landscapes.


The final speaker on this year’s Super Stage, Don McCullin provided a fitting conclusion to The Photography Show 2015.


There’s just time to squeeze in a couple more quotes from some of the exhibitors before the packing up begins.


Ivor Chamberlain, Sales Director for Manfrotto Distribution, has been delighted with the diverse range of people that have attended the show. He commented “Not only has the show attracted our traditional audience, but we have seen a much broader demographic of visitors than ever before, and that can only be a good thing for the industry.”


After a ten year absence it has been an honour for The Photography Show to welcome back Leica as an exhibitor. Arguably one of the most iconic brands in photography, the Leica stand has been one of the ‘destination’ stands at the show.



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