A Day at the Exhibition

Earlier this week I made my annual pilgrimage to the Focus on Imaging Exhibition at the NEC Birmingham. This is the biggest Trade Fair for everything remotely photographic. Time for a picture or two. And a purchase.

This year I came away with the Topaz set of plug-ins at a massive discount of about 65%. Good value! I seriously considered buying a tripod but baulked at the price and wasn’t quite sure how to secrete that back into my house past the resident detective!

The NEC is a vast set of exhibition halls and a concert venue, and the first image is of the ceiling of one of the vast walkways on the way in.


The huge warehouse-sized hall for Focus was crowded and noisy. No surprise! Around every corner there was yet another speaker with a microphone extolling the benefits of something or other. If you stood strategically you could hear three lectures at once but sadly my brain has difficulties interpreting one. Anyway, here’s an image of our good friends at OnOne Software.


The oddest sight was to be found high up above a stand (that will remain nameless) where a woolly cloud lurked accompanied by a couple of stuffed seagulls. Bizarre! A reference to iCloud seemed unlikely as Apple was not an exhibitor, so I remain in the dark as to the significance of this installation that probably went unnoticed by most visitors.


A few hours in one of these places is draining physically – always an opportunity to inspect the plumbing. Some of the pipes were really quite impressive.


And why is it that this event is so miserly at providing seating for those who purchase something from one of the sandwich stalls? Many of us, me included, were reduced to sitting on the floor propped against a wall with our belongings scattered around us looking like homeless people!


Sealed into a giant warehouse for hours with daylight only filtering in through vast roof lights it’s nice to find an emergency exit door with windows in it providing an opportunity to view one’s immediate surroundings. I took a look and saw a picture.


I saw another and was lining up the shot when ‘security’ approached me and told me I couldn’t take pictures of the outside! What? I moved on but my unspoken reply would have required significant censorship. What a crazy world we live in.

On the way home, the sun was out and I captured my annual view of the ‘Red Zone’ through which one passes to/from the rail station. And as always I was the only person who appeared to see the potential of this area photographically. Strange.

Post259_DS74850_wpIt was good to sit down eventually on a quiet train. The train was late – oh joy! That is six late trains out of the last eight that I have boarded. You need a sense of humour to travel in the UK.

Have a good weekend everyone.

About LensScaper

Hi - I'm a UK-based photographer who started out 45+ years ago as a lover of landscapes, inspired by my love of outdoor pursuits: skiing, walking and climbing. Now retired, I seldom leave home without a camera and I find images in unexpected places and from different genres. I work on the premise that Photography is Art and that creativity is dependent on the cultivation of 'A Seeing Eye'.
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12 Responses to A Day at the Exhibition

  1. Len says:

    Sorry you couldn’t snag a tripod Andy. They are pricey. Cool images by the way.


    • LensScaper says:

      Thanks Len. I had a good look round Manfrotto, Gitzo and Gioto tripods. It would be easier to justify the cost if I would use one regularly – but I know I won’t.


  2. Very cool images Andy. There’s a photo expo coming to Toronto at the beginning of April that I’m really looking forward too.


    • LensScaper says:

      Thanks Edith. These events are almost too popular – the crowds around the major stands can be horrendous. It’s good if you go knowing exactly what you want to see.


  3. A very entertaining post Andy 🙂


  4. oneowner says:

    Excellent images, Andy. Once I was asked by a security guard to not take photos from the roof of a parking garage. He said to me, and I quote, “After 9/11 you never know what someone is going to do”. I complied but I think it was silly.


  5. What a great opportunity to visit something like this! Wonderful pictures.


  6. As usual, the photographs are superb and the eye even better… 😉
    Do you like the Topaz plug-ins?


    • LensScaper says:

      Thanks George. Sadly I haven’t got round to loading Topaz. It’s been a hectic week – decorating duties. Should be finished today, then I can have time to load it. I’m really looking forward to exploring the Simplify module.


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