Wow, each year that I attend the SWPP convention in London I come back inspired ! It is always great to meet up with everyone and this year I was kept particularly busy presenting four different classes.
I would like to say a very big thank you to everyone that attended one of my classes, especially the people that came along to all four of them ! I’m now busy catching up from a week away before sending out the download links to the notes etc that I have promised to people. It was great to see the rooms nearly full each day.
The convention also has a trade show…. this can get particularly dangerous especially when Zeiss have a stand with their new lenses for the Sony A7 series cameras. I have been looking at buying either the Zeiss Batis 85mm f1.8 lens or the Sony G 90mm macro lens for a while now. I have a mixture of lenses at the moment but in general I prefer the Sony Zeiss lenses to the Sony G series lenses so I was VERY keen to get a hands on look at the Zeiss Batis 85mm lens. These lenses are incredibly hard to get hold of because they have been so popular, I don’t think anyone quite realised how popular they would be so it was great to be able to try one. Zeiss have succeeded in making a beautiful lens that keeps the weight proportional to the weight of the camera (hopefully that makes sense) when you hold it the lens just “feels” right. The rather unscientific focus tests that I did on their stand consisted of me trying to find something with very little contrast and then seeing how quickly and easily the camera and lens were able to focus. As a photographer you get to know how your camera and lenses perform in all sort of lighting conditions and a badly lit area of a trade show does actually make quite a good testing ground for focus 🙂 Lets just say that I was impressed enough to buy one…. or at least pay my money and have my name added to the list of people that now have them on order !
The very helpful chap from Zeiss did tell me that they are doubling the production for these lenses so that should help to ease the supply problems but it may still be 6-8 weeks before I actually get hold of it…… When it does arrive it will be a bit like Christmas !
It was also lovely to catch up with the people from Album Epoca who supply all our wedding and portrait albums and chat to them about their plans for the coming year especially after visiting their factory in October and seeing how and where our albums are made. I have always been impressed by the amount of care and attention that goes in to each album and it is great to see some of our wedding albums and baby books displayed on their stand !
In addition to presenting four classes I also made the time to attend talks by Sean McCormack and Robin Goodlad, they were both talking about landscape photography. This is something that I am planning to do more of this year as a personal project rather than commercially. I have found that when I go running I see some amazing places but hardly ever have a “proper” camera with me….. With the Sony A7r2 I can take a brilliant camera with me that still fits in my running backpack 🙂 I did go for a run round Hyde Park and took a camera to get some shots of the Serpentine…
It was also good to see everyone from the Photographer Academy again; I have had Jay and Sam filming me for eight years now making films that are used to train other photographers and it is a privilege to be one of their Photography Masters. I most probably won’t get the chance to catch up with them again now until the summer when I’m next in Wales…
So, that is the convention over for another year. In a few weeks time I’ll start putting together the talks for next year so we can do it all again !