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TPS – The Photography Show 2021

The Photography Show, in various guises, has been a regular at the NEC for many years. Last year’s TPS  was cancelled due to Covid and before the National restrictions came in. in-between that one and this one there was a ‘virtual show.

From the exhibitor list it was clearly going to be a reduced TPS compared to normal. Apart from camera manufacturers and stores many of the big companies were not going to be there. No ProFoto, Broncolour, Elinchrom / TFC, Manfrotto / Lastolite. Also some suppliers and organisations that were listed originally were not there, one of whom usually uses some of my photos in their publicity.

With fewer stands and in smaller halls space to move around might have been a problem, not so however. Despite being a Saturday there was plenty of space to move around.

With the Nikon stand being right by the entrance and my arriving earlier than I’d expected went straight there. I had a few specific queries with regard to the mark 2 versions of their mirrorless cameras and if they’d corrected some things missing on the original versions but worked on their DSLRs. To this end I’ had with me a particular lens and a laptop. On the Mk2 Z6 & Z7 they have corrected the omission of the focus box going green when Zeiss Milvus lenses are used. It does on the Nikon DSLRs but not in Z6 & Z7.

Next was to try in-camera custom WB reading when tethered. Out with the Laptop and tether lead and then set a function button to enable the custom WB reading. When not tethered it was behaving correctly and as it does on both their DSLRs and Mirrorless cameras. Next was to try it tethered. No joy, it still doesn’t work despite it working on their DSLRs.

Enquiring if they were able to share anything about the Z9, no. Not surprising that one.

Next a tour around the stands and layout. Bumped into someone from Courtyard Studio / 6 Towns Camera Club. Whilst chatting someone walked past who I was sure I recognised. I came across them again on a stand selling smoke Grenada’s. They’d been the model for Hannah. Couzens on the ProFoto stand. For one of guides sessions I even got up on the stage, holding a reflector. I also had a brief chat with the son of a former colleague from AMS who I’d taken climbing a few times 20+ years ago.

At the Fuji stand I complemented them on having a male model. Too many of the people ( men ) who go to the show just go around flashing away with their cameras at any female model, ignoring any skills learning the demonstrator is sharing. These people crowd around with hot shoe mounted flash complete with the de rigour light sphere or whatever expecting to get some form of bounce off of the high ceiling at the NEC and temporarily blinding everyone else around. Thankfully, with the overall reduced numbers there were less of these people around today.

 

The session by Gary Hill on the Click stand was definitely very worthwhile. I’d seen some of his Webinars via The Societies and also seen some of his images in Imagemaker, the magazine of The Societies, as well as some of his prints in the winners exhibition at The Societies Convention. It was refreshing to hear a skilled professional advocating using a meter and a WB target to get things quickly sorted before even taking a photo. Too many photographer demonstrations and YouTube videos decry the use of a light meter and then take most of their demonstration time just getting the power settings sorted. Useful input on using the light above the subject and feathered. I thought I recognised the model, Tegan, she’d done some ‘Viking’ sessions.

I caught the end of a session on a main stage and, guess what, the photographer was faffing around with flash power settings instead of using a meter …

Sanjay Jogia was up next on that stage. I’d been to one of his Masterclasses at The Societies Convention where he’d explained how he had lit and processed some of his wedding photography masterpieces. This session was on posing the bride and groom. Expected it to be good and well communicated and it was. 

It was refreshing on the Chillblast stand to be told that if I’m not being inconvenienced by an older, slower, computer, don’t upgrade it yet. I’ll probably replace the SSD with an NVME M.2 drive instead. Honesty and integrity is clearly not lacking there.

AJ’S confirmed that it isn’t possible to get new Profoto B2 batteries, not exactly good from Profoto.

Chuckling at another demo when the Sony camera was having difficulty achieving focus. On Social Media people go on about Sony AF being the best, Nikon the worst. I was achieving focus without any difficulty.

One session that I started off at I quickly left. It was just a gear sales pitch as opposed to a ‘how to’ session.

I also had a chat at some of the other stands to sort some things out or get input on new gear. One of those new gear things was a heavy duty power bank that can recharge camera batteries etc. In film days I just needed a spare pair of LR44 button cells or a PX625 and that’d last me months. Digital cameras being much more power hungry and having battery power for multi-day treks is more of a problem. With these power banks I’d still need the full mains charger and the power bank device. It wouldn’t really help in lightening my load. It’ll probably be more straight forward to take quite a few batteries, the charger and use a B&B every so often when I need to do a charging session instead of sleeping out in the hills that night. Alternatively, lighten the walking load completely and just use my ‘phone and a much lighter & smaller powerbank.

Useful day thanks in particular to Dave & Sanjay and their presentations. Also being able to clear up that despite the dual processors and two card slots in the Mk2 Nikons, something that I really do use and need hasn’t yet been sorted, the WB tethering, but the Zeiss focus confirmation has. I’m not sure that it is worth updating just for that.

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