Tag Archives: Disability

Focus On Imaging NEC Birmingham 3 – 6 March 2013

Focus On Imaging 2013

Focus On Imaging 2013  External link - opens new tab/page
National Exhibition Centre Birmingham 3 – 6 March 2013

A broad range of new equipment.

It appeared from busy aisles at this years Focus On Imaging Exhibition External link - opens new tab/page that photographic business is actively fighting off the economic depression, possibly even in rude health. With around one hundred and sixty exhibitors there was plenty to see. There was a whole range of new developments as well as the old favourites.

A Key aspect of the show this year was the new ranges of cameras. Leading manufacturers were actively promoting mirrorless cameras. The gradual shift away from the point-and-shoot market also seemed to continue. The camera market appears to be changing. Heavy duty technologies from the top-of-the-range DSLRs are being used in the lower end cameras. The market seems to be shifting in favour of high resolution processing right through the full range.

The economic climate is obviously still impacting. A predominant theme on retail stands was deals and offers. There was plenty on offer too. In previous years many of the accessories available in the UK seemed to be expensive compared to current prices. Today imported goods appear to be impacting the market. Exhibitors were showing equipment which appeared robust and very competitively priced. The shift in the camera market also appears to be creating deals. There were very good prices offered on cameras in all segments of the market. Many of these deals reflect depressed prices in the market in general but the many of the stands were offering greater reductions than even shop prices.

The show organisers unfortunately failed to publish the event list this year. Show goers were left to pick up what information they could about various talks and demonstrations from stands themselves. It made choosing how to spend our time was a little difficult. However, I managed to see three interesting demonstrations. There was a lot of emphasis on lighting techniques this year. Some very good models and backdrops were shown and lots of people were taking photographs. If you are going to go to the show take your camera for some additional fun.

Aside from impressive stands by Canon and Nikon, Sigma had an impressive spread of lenses available. There were some excellent tripods on show this year on several stands. Despite the reluctance of beginners to buy them, the tripod market is both competitive and innovative. Tripod heads are getting smoother and there are some very interesting new ideas, particularly in the high-engineering end of the market. However, the top tripod head units were weighing in at around £500… not a price to be taken lightly.

Other stands of interest included the extremely active Disabled Photographers’ Society. That society fosters a wonderful camaraderie and energy among its members. The Royal Photographic Society were also at the exhibition showing continuous short events which were well attended. They also are in active recruiting mode.

My overall impression of the exhibition this year was one of great energy. There was a lot of business being transacted and show-goers were being dynamic on all the stands. It was an enjoyable day, and one that will help to keep me informed about products and trends in this business.

By Damon Guy (author and Photokonnexion editor)

Damon Guy - Netkonnexion

Damon Guy (Netkonnexion)

Damon is a writer-photog and editor of this site. He has run some major websites, a computing department and a digital image library. He started out as a trained teacher and now runs training for digital photographers.
See also: Editors ‘Bio’.

Five tips you must know to start photography

Essentials are simple…

The simple things make the biggest improvements. Concentrate on taking some simple steps and your photography will quickly improve. These tips will get you ahead when you start photography.

Tip 1. Solid base: The best ways to hold a camera for a sharp shot…

You can use the hand-held method for a lot of things. Using auto settings most simple shots come out right. There are many things you cannot do that way. A tripod helps. Most beginners disregard the tripod as an annoyance. They cannot be bothered with it. Actually, if you take time and get the shot right you will get the best results. The tripod is the best friend of results. No self respecting professional photog would be without one. If you are not using one then you are ignoring the simplest method to get sharp shots.

Tip 2. Daily use: In any sport, skill or hobby, improvement comes with practice, practice, practice. So, do some photography every day. Take at least one photograph every day. Sometimes many more. There is no better way to start photography. It helps to have somewhere to show off the results. Especially if you can get supportive and helpful comments back. There are some great places to post your shots on the web. Many of these places you can get helpful comments from other users too. Get your relatives to comment, even your kids. Do some photography every day and you will soon find friends, online or offline.

Tip 3. Always have your camera with you: I have a number of cameras. I always go out with at least one. If you have your camera with you, there is no excuse for ignoring it. If you use it you are practising. Simple!. Start photography the way you mean to go on… do a lot of it.

Art and interest in everything

Tip 4. There is art and interest in everything: Go for a walk, search your house, see a friend… these and more are scene creating events. I have friends who only ever take photographs in their home and local neighbourhood. They take great shots and have great fun. Look for interest in everything near where you are now. You will find something, probably lots of things. Have your camera with you and your eyes will be opened to a new world. If you see something you don’t have time to shoot, make a note of it. That’s one for another day!

• Lemon Juicer! • There is art and interest in everything. Even your everyday house-hold equipment. Start photography the way you mean to go on.

• Lemon Juicer! •
There is art and interest in everything. Even your everyday house-hold equipment.
Start photography as you mean to go on – do a lot of it.

Tip 5. Camera settings. Getting to know your camera will put you ahead of many other photographers. You might be surprised to learn that most DSLR owners never use anything but the ‘auto-mode’. If this is you too, then by learning more about your camera you can quickly learn to take pro-shots. Study the manual. Be objective. Try out one setting many times in many situations. Then, move on to another setting. Mastering your camera is the first step to becoming a master of the art of photography. It costs nothing to take a shot but learning the settings will repay your effort many times over. Experiment, have fun!

OK… 6 tips to start photography!

Tip 6. Ha! I slipped in an extra tip for free… In number 1. above I mentioned a proper stance. Well, if you practice every day with the proper stance (Simple tips for a good stance), you will find your shots get sharper. The act of repetitively holding the camera in the same position a few times every day when you start photography will build up muscles. You will quickly learn to get precise control using that position. Practice gives you body control, as well as improving your skill. The muscle memory you develop will help you react quickly and precisely in situations where you want to take shots. Particularly with disabled people or people with weak muscles, some really big improvements can be made by using the camera a few times every day. Your body responds well to all forms of exercise. Some of today’s cameras are not a trivial weight. If you expect to hold it properly and steady you must practice with your camera from the moment you start photography.

Damon Guy - Netkonnexion

Damon Guy (Netkonnexion)

Damon is a writer-photographer and editor of this site. He has run some major websites, a computing department and a digital image library. He started out as a trained teacher and now runs training courses to help you start photography.
See also: Editors ‘Bio’.
By Damon Guy see his profile on Google+.

DIY Camera Chest Harness for Weak Hands & Arms

Chest based harness to help support the weight of your SLR if you have weakness in the hands or arms

Chest based harness to help support the weight of your SLR if you have weakness in the hands or arms. Click to see the full construction articles on Instructables.

Carry on using your SLR after weakness causes problems

A lot of people suffer from weak hands and arms. Injury, disease and age can all affect photographers. It is understandable that weakness makes it difficult to lift or hold a DSLR. The frustration, and perhaps pain, can be very off-putting. Here is a solution that just about anyone can make. It takes the weight off the hands and arms. Bracing the weight of your camera against the chest makes sense. It is a stable platform, the weight is supported by the neck and shoulders and it is easy to use with one hand. Using a remote trigger you can even hold the camera with just your left hand.

This easy-build solution is found on “Instructables.com“. There are detailed instructions on how to build the ‘Camera Chest Harness‘. In addition detailed photographs show you the components and assembly. All the parts are easily purchased or made from materials found in local hardware warehouses or DIY stores.

If you have not seen “Instructables.com” it is a great site. There are lots of Instructables DIY photography Projects as well as thousands of other interesting ideas for DIY projects. If you sign up for free you can follow people to keep up with their latest projects. Or, you can post your own hacks or projects. You can comment and ask questions and take part in all sorts of community activities including competitions. There are quite a few DIY photography projects there too. Why not take a jump over there and check it out.