So the photography show was on at the NEC in March again.
New hall and another new look but i’m still not sure it worked!
I like my gear porn as much as everyone else (i may own more than a couple of cameras) but for an event called the photography show there was something missing…PHOTOGRAPHY!
Now i appreciate there was a lot going on and the show is certainly less passive than it’s predecessor, Focus on Imaging, but there is still a lack of end result in my opinion. The 30 under 30 exhibition was great but it was the only real display of work at the show. Most of the stands had a limited display of work that was really aimed at advertising (other than the self aggrandising work of the photographic society stands) or photography that was there purely to sell product. What it needs is a much larger exhibition space with a lot more work on show. Perhaps the organisers should attend Photokina in Cologne and see how they do it.
Having been going to these shows for many years now, it seems to be the one thing that has got less attention year after year. Previous shows housed displays by the Salvation Army, a variety of University work, The RPS used to show the award winning images, the Hasselblad Masters etc. Displays of the end result has been sacrificed for areas that make more money i suppose! Ultimately all these cameras, tripods and bags are just to help take photos are they not?
This year also seemed to take a step back in terms of who the show was aimed at. Last year was a good start and showed a desire to attract a diverse range of photographers, interested in a variety of styles. This year it felt like the show had reverted to being aimed mainly at social and wedding photographers. I can’t really put my finger on on why but that is certainly how it felt.
What the Photography show has done well is attract a good range of speakers (I went to the Michael Kenna talk, very inspiring) and have plenty of demonstrations. Now i could go on about how these were all lighting demos but it is difficult to demonstrate much else indoors; it’s really tough to do a landscape photography demonstration indoors on the outskirts of Birmingham! The indoor garden provided to demonstrate macro photography was a great addition and a stand dedicated to ‘mobiography’ is a nod in the direction that photography is taking.
It wasn’t a bad second attempt at a show but i still think it needs more work on display to make it a really good show.
So will i go next year? Of course i will!